Paula White-Cain, a prosperity preacher and Trump’s spiritual advisor, recently rattled the internet with a video excerpt of her prayer for “satanic pregnancies to miscarry.”
While confusing to some outside of the Pentecostal or charismatic worlds to which White-Cain belongs, those familiar with the Bible and even popular Christianese know that the thrust of her prayer, for the most part, is actually quite biblical.
White-Cain’s January 5 prayer, steeped in spiritual references, caused such confusion among the public, that the preacher provided clarification on January 26.
I don't normally respond but clearly this has been taken out of context. I was praying Eph 6:12 that we wrestle not against flesh and blood. Anything that has been conceived by demonic plans, for it to be cancelled and not prevail in your life… https://t.co/tKEUs4muwZ
— Paula White-Cain (@Paula_White) January 26, 2020
“I don’t normally respond but clearly this has been taken out of context. I was praying Eph 6:12 that we wrestle not against flesh and blood. Anything that has been conceived by demonic plans, for it to be cancelled and not prevail in your life,” White-Cain tweeted. “That is–any plans to hurt people. Let’s be clear what is really going on… this is a disingenuous attempt to use words out of context for political gain. I will just keep praying!”
The section of Ephesians 6 that White-Cain references encourages Christians to “be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” The Apostle Paul, credited as the author of the letter to the church at Ephesus, reminds the Christian community that their ultimate enemies are not so much other human beings, but “the powers of this dark world” and “the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” He tells them to use the tools God provides, such as faith and Scripture, to successfully wage this spiritual warfare.
Some viewers of White-Cain’s prayer clip, including some reporters, tripped over the specific part in which the preacher demands “all satanic pregnancies to miscarry right now.”
“We declare that anything that’s been conceived in satanic wombs, that it will miscarry, it will not be able to carry forth any plan of destruction, any plan of harm…” White-Cain is heard saying before the video excerpt ends.
Some reports suggested that White-Cain was calling for pregnant women to literally suffer miscarriage (“It Sure Sounds Like Trump’s Spiritual Adviser Prayed for Women to Miscarry”) or was alluding to the abortion debate (“Trump Advisor’s Prayer for ‘Satanic’ Miscarriages Is a Wild Anti-Abortion Take”). However, the context of the preacher’s prayer doesn’t support the claim that she’s focused on literal pregnancies.
“We interrupt that which has been deployed to hurt the church in this season, which has been deployed to hurt this nation, in the name of Jesus,” White-Cain begins in the 1:34 clip shared January 24 on Twitter by Right Wing Watch.
Presidential spiritual adviser Paula White takes authority over the marine kingdom, the animal kingdom, and all "satanic pregnancies" that seek to harm Trump or the church. pic.twitter.com/pmrJEIxCHk
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) January 24, 2020
“We cancel every surprise from the witchcraft and the marine kingdom. Any hex, any spell, any witchcraft. Any spirit of control, any jezebel. Anything that the enemy desires through spells, through witchcraft, through any way that is manipulation, demonic manipulation — we curse that, we break it, according to the Word of God, in the name of Jesus,” Cain-White goes on to say, standing at a podium to the exuberant applause of her audience.
The controversial Florida preacher known for using the Bible to solicit donations for her ministry goes on to declare a spiritual offense/defense “against the marine kingdom” and “against the animal kingdom.”
White-Cain declares an attack on the power of “the woman that rides upon the waters,” likely a reference to Revelation 17. Some Christians believe the passage uses the imagery to describe an anti-Christ religious system.
After rebuking “any strange winds that have been sent to hurt the church, sent against this nation, sent against our president, sent against myself, sent against others,” White-Cain eventually turns to evil conceptions.
“We command all satanic pregnancies to miscarry right now,” she declares. “We declare that anything that’s been conceived in satanic wombs, that it will miscarry, it will not be able to carry forth any plan of destruction, any plan of harm…”
What’s up with Spiritual Pregnancies?
To understand her reference to “satanic pregnancies,” it’s helpful to consider the Christian world White-Cain comes from–that is, a charismatic or Pentecostal context. In these communities, references to “pregnancies” as a spiritual metaphor abound.
A common metaphor some Christians like to use is “pregnant with a purpose.” The phrase suggests that God has specific plans for a Christian and, like a literal human pregnancy, that divine calling has to be nurtured for it to come to full term and be realized.
A Google search of “pregnant with a purpose” yields countless results of the phrase being used in a spiritual context.
Several years ago, The Potter’s House Pastor T.D. Jakes preached a sermon called “Don’t Be Blindsided.” In the sermon Jakes states that the Apostle Paul was “pregnant” with divine purposes for the church at Ephesus.
Paul was “[p]regnant with destiny, pregnant with purpose, pregnant with possibilities, pregnant with creativity, pregnant with ideas, pregnant with concepts,” Jakes said. “Oh, I love to be around pregnant people. They’re always birthing stuff.”
White-Cain’s own use of the metaphor can be traced back to 2015, when she tweeted to followers: “You are pregnant- Get in position & PUSH.. #Pray until something happens!
What Does the Bible Say About These Pregnancies?
As one can be “pregnant” with good purposes, conversely, one can be pregnant with evil intent, as White-Cain suggests in her viral prayer.
In this regard, she’s in good company, according to the Bible.
The “pregnancy” metaphor originates with the Bible.
For example, the author of Psalm 7:14 declares: “The wicked conceive evil; they are pregnant with trouble and give birth to lies.”
In Job 15:35, one says of the godless: “They conceive trouble and give birth to evil; their womb prepares deceit.”
Elsewhere, in James 1:15, the apostle states: “Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”
The writer in the Book of Psalms suggests wicked people are “pregnant” with evil ideas; the speaker in Job suggests God’s enemy nurtures deceit in his figurative “womb”; while the writer of James likens the process of giving in to temptation to the birthing process.
So, when White-Cain “command(s) all satanic pregnancies to miscarry right now,” she’s describing “any plan of destruction, any plan of harm” as “satanic” or evil, anti-Christ, or anti-God. She demands, in Jesus’ name, that these “satanic” plans and harmful attacks be aborted.
Despite her many questionable antics, it’s pretty clear that Paula White-Cain is not calling for literal miscarriages or the abortion of any human pregnancy in the viral video prayer.
White-Cain’s brief remarks in the viral video were excerpted from the January 5 “Power Night” message she delivered at City of Destiny church in Florida, where her son is senior pastor.