"The Bible was written in tears and to tears
it will yield its best treasures.
God has nothing to say to the frivolous man."
A.W. Tozer, in God Tells the Man Who Cares
Tears of Intercession
Copyright © 1971, 1997 by Diane Dew in Essentials of Revival
Saints of old knew the powerful secret of tears shed in God's Presence.
Hannah cried out to God and in her grief poured out her soul before the Lord. In severe trial, "in bitterness of soul, (she) prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore ... And she vowed a vow" that brought forth a manchild: Samuel, which means Heard Of God. (I Samuel 1:7, 10-15)
"In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death." The words had been spoken by the mouth of the prophet: "Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die and not live." Here was a man who would turn the arm of God. Hezekiah "turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the Lord ... and Hezekiah wept sore." God responded to his cry and prayer of desperation with words of grace and assurance: "I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee ... I will add unto thy days 15 years." (II Kings 20:1-6)
When King Josiah heard of the wrath of the Lord against the people of Judah, he humbled himself before the Lord and cried out to God, Who answered him: "Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before the Lord, when thou heardest what I spake against this place ... and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before Me; I also have heard thee, saith the Lord." (II Kings 22:19ff)
Then there was the woman who came to Jesus and "brought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping, and began washing His feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed His feet, and anointed them with the ointment." Jesus did not rebuke her for crying or making such a display of herself in His presence. Rather, He valued the preciousness of her offering to Him and granted her complete forgiveness. (Luke 7:37-48)
Something is lacking in the lives of many of God's people today: It is something that preserved the purity of His Word as spoken through the prophets and kept the sacredness of His Presence, as manifest in the early church. It is that quality of whole-hearted abandonment unto Him, which requires the willing surrender of all else, the forsaking of self, for Him and Him alone. There is a brokenness learned only through experience, and it finds expression in tears.
Job learned the meaning of suffering and was purified as gold. (Job 23:10) The psalmist knew this secret of fellowship with the Father, and he recognized that any going forth must be preceded with much weeping, if it is to bear fruit. "He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed ..." What had been sown in the heart was finally being brought to life in the outward expression of those inner longings through the shedding of tears. "They that sow in tears shall reap ..." (Psalms 127:5, 6)
Our cries never go unheeded. (Lamentations 2:18, 19; 3:48-51) It is recorded in the Psalms that God sees our tears and preserves them in a bottle. (Psalms 56:8) He honored the cries of the priests and prophets of old. (Joel 2:12, 17ff) It was with "many tears" and "much affliction and anguish of heart" that Paul wrote the early church. (II Corinthians 2:4; Philippians 3:18; Acts 20:19, 31) Yes, even "Jesus wept," and "in the days of His flesh ... offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears ..." (John 11:33, 35; Hebrews 5:7) He was grieved and wept over Jerusalem, "because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation." (Luke 19:41, 44)
We must sense that same awareness of God's purposes in the earth, and "give Him no rest" until we have seen the fulfillment of those things long ago spoken by the mouth of the prophets. (Isaiah 62:6, 7) "Arise, cry out in the night: in the beginning of the watches pour out thine heart like water before the face of the Lord: lift up thy hands toward Him ... Till the Lord look down, and behold from heaven." (Lamentations 2:19; 3:50)
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