In our home, we have an expression that all our children know well: “Crying doesn’t get you anywhere!”
Yet there is a cry that brings results.
As a parent, there is a cry you respond to and a cry that you should ignore.
There is a cry that rises above adamancy and frustration, and there is another cry that rises from desperation and humility.
Now if you are a serious student of the Holy Spirit, it is critical for you to identify the difference between both.
To proceed, first you must investigate to see if there are traits of religion in your tears. Traits of religion in your tears includes entitlement. Look out for frustration that is born out of impatience. When impatience to do the due diligence, to locate why the heavens are brass over you occurs, emotions of disappointment and loud protests may take over your prayers. Our protests may be then masked as tearful prayers.
The Kingdom of God is anything but a democratic process. Majority does not sway God. Noise doesn’t threaten it. Tears cannot be used to manipulate.
Yet, there are hot tears that match the temperature of Heaven, birthed in the crevices of your heart, processed through a surrendered mind, that may cause Heaven to bend down to answer.
The most difficult thing we need to remember as children of God, is that God doesn’t respond to the fear in our prayers but to the faith in our prayers. So many times, our frustration comes from the fact that our tears are begotten by fear hiding in our heart. This may explain why Jesus so strongly rebuked His disciples for crying out in the storm. Our prayers must be rooted in trust in the Lord, in the certainty of His forever Faithfulness.
Paul says in Philippians 1:6-7, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace.
Trust in the Lord must be our starting place for petitions and supplications. (Click here for the Equilibrium series for further instructions on balance with emotions).
The Bible says in Hebrews 5:7 that the Perfect Man Jesus, offered prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears. It’s essential to understand tears through the One Who gave us the capability to petition Heaven.
There is a line that is critical in Hebrews 5:7.After it mentions, loud cries and tears, the verse continues with, and He was heard because of His reverence. This word, reverence, is key to how much tears can bring results. The word reverence shows us that the Lord’s loud tears were not demands; they were the reflection of the brokenness of His heart. The word reverence shows us that before the Father, Jesus was highly aware and pursued Him with great reverence (appreciation, recognition, honour, high esteem). His humility, this pursuit the Lord kept, was the awareness that the God Whom He served is Just and all His ways are perfect. The posture to recognize “His ways over our ways and His thoughts over our thoughts” (Isaiah 55: 8) is as critical as our mandate of asking, seeking, knocking.
There were two other times that records when Jesus wept in the Bible:
1. Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem as He approached it.(Lk 19:41-42)
2. Jesus wept before raising Lazarus from the dead. (Jn 11:35)
It is interesting to note that two different Greek words are used for “wept” in these two passages. The Greek word used for “wept” in Luke is “klaio,” which means to “wail aloud,” while the Greek word used in John is “dakruo,” which means “to cry silently” (see Strong’s). I find it likely that Jesus wept more times than this, but this is all that the Bible records.
The question that then begs to be asked is, “Is it okay if we don’t have tears in our pursuit of the Lord, in our journey with the Lord?”
Aside from the very fact that Jesus, our Perfect Role Model, had tears as part of His Journey on earth, especially when communicating with the Father, I also believe that this is a principle in the Kingdom:
Ps 126:5 says those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy. How best to sow and to offer supplication, than to sow with tears, because God has promised that He will reap with shouts of joy.
Psalm 56:8 reminds us this powerful fact: Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?
Tears of repentance are a sign that you are not just repenting from your sins, but that you are truly sorry about them, that it is not just that you are desiring for mercy, but a sign of the grievance of your heart.
Tears of repentance are what drew the attention of the Lord to the life of Hezekiah the king, that withdrew God’s anger against a king. Note what the Lord says in Isaiah 38:5: Go and tell Hezekiah, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will add fifteen years to your life.
Jeremiah the prophet desired that his head were watered and his eyes were a fountain of tears so that he might weep for the inditement of the people of God (Jer. 9:1).
Tears can shift destinies and restore nations.
John 11:33 notes, When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled.
I pray, that in this season, your humility before the Lord will produce a godly grief (2 Cor. 7:10), that will cause the Lord to rend Heaven and come down.