"Before she went into labor, she had the baby. Before the birth pangs hit, she delivered a son....So I open the womb and not deliver the baby? Do I, the One who delivers babies shut the womb?" - Isaiah 66:7-9
Soul travail is an impassioned deep level of intercession (prayer) that affects the spiritual atmosphere so that the lost can hear the gospel and make a decision to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
We literally push back the blinding oppressing power of the enemy so that the gospel penetrates the heart. Effective soul winning can never be done without a burden, anguish and true weeping for souls in prayer first!
BURDEN US WITH HIS HEART
We cannot have believers being stirred up to win souls out of duty or obligation because it's the Christian thing to do. But we can cry out and say: Holy Spirit come and burden me with his heart. Holy Spirit come and put inside of me the desire of God! Holy Spirit come and break me like You are broken for souls to be saved. Help me to travail for souls.
LET JACOB BE OUR EXAMPLE
We need to be wrestlers with God for souls. We need to become like Jacob (Genesis 32:24-30) and say, "I'm going to get a hold of you Lord God. I am going to wrestle with You, O God. I am going to labor right here in the spirit until You bless me with the burden for souls."
The Apostle Paul talks about travail: "My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you." - Galatians 4:19. Paul had already labored and travailed for their spiritual birth and once again he is in labor until Christ is formed in them.
OVERCOME WITH THE HEART OF GOD
There is a fire -- there is an anointing that can fall on us so that we are literally overcome with the heart of God. There is grace available from the Lord to bow before Him on our face, weeping, crying out, and there is grace for us to be touched by the Holy Spirit to labor and travail for souls. And God can take us out of our comfort zone and compel us by His Spirit to go into the streets to share the gospel with the lost.
We will not be operating from a sense of duty and obligation. Jesus never ministered to people because it was something he had to do or because it was His job. Rather He reached the lost because of His great love for them.
WE HAVE A GREAT PROMISE OF HOUSEHOLD SALVATION AND REVIVAL
"And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shall be saved, and thy house. (Acts 16:31) Travailing in warfare prayer can break satan's power -- through the ministry of binding and loosing we can truly help push back the blinding power of deception keeping souls from making a decision for the gospel.
In order for Jesus to be the greatest intercessor, to be the greatest High Priest and to have the ministry forever of intercession (Hebrews 4:14, 5:1-10), He had to really relate and identify with where we're at. He had to identify with us.
We need to identify with the lost too. When we allow the Holy Spirit to take us into a place of identification, we will actually identify with the plight of the lost to the point that our heart and emotions become involved. At this point we need to persevere and allow ourselves to move into prayer in a deeper and deeper way, travailing for the salvation of souls.