Article: PRAYING WITH TEARS IN FAITH | JACOB VARGHESE

Hebrews 5:7 says “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.” The first and foremost among prayers is the prayer of tears. Look at a child! Maybe hunger or an ant’s bite or falling down, whatever the problem may be, the child expresses all its needs to its mother through cry. The heart beats become rapid for a mother when her child cries. Once she hears the child’s cry, she comes fast and takes care of the child and fulfills the needs. God is like a mother to us. He is God El Shaddai. The word El Shaddai means ‘God Almighty.’ The Lord says “As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you and you shall be comforted in Jerusalem” (Isaiah 66:13). “Can a woman forget her nursing child and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you” (Isaiah 49:15). David calls God as “O you who hear prayer,” (Psalm 65:2). He is not only one who listens to our prayer but also one to answer it. The prayer of tears melts the heart of God. He will definitely answer the prayer of tears. Being afraid of meeting his brother, Jacob crossed the ford of Jabbok to pray alone. God saw the anguish of his soul and his anxiety and descended for helping him. God strengthened and stabilized Jacob and blessed him. The prayer of tears which Jacob made on that day helped him to meet his brother in a peaceful atmosphere. Dear people of God, are there problems and struggles in your life? Do many people rise against you? Pray with tears. Definitely, there is going to be an answer to your prayer. The hand of God will intervene and make the crooked places straight.

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I remember a servant of God who was not much educated but he used to pray with tears before coming to the church. During the entire church service, tears will be there in his eyes; while singing, while worshipping and even during sermons. For those who come to the front after the altar call, he will be rendering counseling with tears. Because of this, the divine love will flow in his meetings. Souls came to him in plenty and there was a great revival. Look at Jesus! He always shed tears while praying. He stood near the tomb of Lazarus and wept (John 11:35). Then he raised Lazarus from the dead. He saw the city of Jerusalem and wept over it (Luke 19:41) He prayed with tears in the Garden of Gethsemane. He knows your tears. He will never neglect your tears and pass away. The life of Jesus provides the model for our prayer lives. God is seeking to mold us into the image of His Son (Col. 1:27-28). If we are to act like Christ, our prayer lives must be conformed to His. Many Christians are unwilling to pay the price that Jesus paid when it comes to interceding with God. Jesus’ prayers came with vehement cries and tears and, “because of His godly fear,” He was heard by the Father.
Ephesians 6:18 “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” According to the book of Ephesians, God’s desire is for us to pray “on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests”. What is prayer? Prayer is a heartfelt petition to God – a spiritual communion with God in adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication. We turn to prayer because it is the most personal way to experience God, to encounter Him and to grow in the knowledge of Him. Nearly everyone reaches a moment, when the only thing he or she can think or is left with to do is pray. Tragedy, uncertainty, unrest, fear, insecurity, sickness and trouble can bring even the most self-assured individuals to their knees. But why is it that the urge to pray only seems to come when the going gets tough? When life is going well and everything seems to be right on track, we think ourselves to be fully capable of handling it all. Many people only recognize their need for God when things begin to fall apart. People are most motivated to pray when they need something from God. Jesus provides clear instructions when it comes to prayer. Jesus shares with His followers what has become known as “The Lord’s Prayer.” His example models prayers of praise, submission to the will of God, reliance upon Him for daily sustenance and requests for forgiveness and deliverance. Jesus’ prayer focuses more on honoring God than listing needs to be met. Interestingly, shortly after this instruction on how to pray, Jesus reminds his followers in Matthew 6:8 that “the Father knows what you need before you ask Him”. This raises a fairly obvious question: if God already knows what we need, why bother asking? But Prayer is not a transfer of information; rather it is an act of humility. God is all knowing and completely wise which means He understands everything about a situation and sees the best path through it. Jesus demonstrates through His own life that prayer provides an avenue to the Father. Throughout the New Testament, we are told that Jesus “often withdrew to lonely places and prayed”. He was actively carving out time alone to meet with the Father in prayer. The act of prayer leads to the peace, patience and perseverance we all so desperately need. Proverbs 15:8 says “The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases him.”

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Jeremiah 33:3 says “Call to me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” Matthew 21:22 “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. In James 5:17, he gives us an example of this from the story of Elijah. It was a time of great idolatry, as people were worshiping Baal, and Elijah prayed that it would not rain. You can read the story in 1 Kings 17-18. He must have been sure that what he prayed would happen, because 1 Kings tells us Elijah went into the court of the tyrant, King Ahab, and said, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word” (1 Kings 17:1). You have to be pretty sure of the answer to your prayer to speak like that to the king. Elijah knew that what he prayed would happen. We know by observing what happened three and a half years later: After a long time, in the third year, the word of the Lord came to Elijah: “Go and present yourself to Ahab and I will send rain on the land.” (1 Kings 18:1) God says to Elijah, “There will be rain.” On the basis of that promise, Elijah speaks to Ahab and then begins to pray. God revealed what he was going to do, so when Elijah prayed, he had great confidence that what he prayed would happen. That’s how it happened when the rains returned, and I think it is reasonable to assume that it happened the same way three years earlier when the rains stopped. God told Elijah what would happen, and so Elijah prayed with great assurance (1 Kings 18:42).

James 5:14-15 say “Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up.” James is telling here how believers should respond when we are “sick,” and what result we should expect when we take action. The initiative has to come from the sick person, not the elders. It may be the purpose of God to intervene in their life with a gift of healing. Here is the promise of physical healing and the assurance of forgiveness of sins. Through prayer we need to speak to God and ask for healing, forgiveness, and direction. Praying is important for us as Christians to grow into a deeper relationship with Christ and to know the direction God wants our life to go in.

Jacob PRAYING WITH TEARS IN FAITH
By JACOB VARGHESE

Hebrews 5:7 says “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.” The first and foremost among prayers is the prayer of tears. Look at a child! Maybe hunger or an ant’s bite or falling down, whatever the problem may be, the child expresses all its needs to its mother through cry. The heart beats become rapid for a mother when her child cries. Once she hears the child’s cry, she comes fast and takes care of the child and fulfills the needs. God is like a mother to us. He is God El Shaddai. The word El Shaddai means ‘God Almighty.’ The Lord says “As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you and you shall be comforted in Jerusalem” (Isaiah 66:13). “Can a woman forget her nursing child and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you” (Isaiah 49:15). David calls God as “O you who hear prayer,” (Psalm 65:2). He is not only one who listens to our prayer but also one to answer it. The prayer of tears melts the heart of God. He will definitely answer the prayer of tears. Being afraid of meeting his brother, Jacob crossed the ford of Jabbok to pray alone. God saw the anguish of his soul and his anxiety and descended for helping him. God strengthened and stabilized Jacob and blessed him. The prayer of tears which Jacob made on that day helped him to meet his brother in a peaceful atmosphere. Dear people of God, are there problems and struggles in your life? Do many people rise against you? Pray with tears. Definitely, there is going to be an answer to your prayer. The hand of God will intervene and make the crooked places straight.

I remember a servant of God who was not much educated but he used to pray with tears before coming to the church. During the entire church service, tears will be there in his eyes; while singing, while worshipping and even during sermons. For those who come to the front after the altar call, he will be rendering counseling with tears. Because of this, the divine love will flow in his meetings. Souls came to him in plenty and there was a great revival. Look at Jesus! He always shed tears while praying. He stood near the tomb of Lazarus and wept (John 11:35). Then he raised Lazarus from the dead. He saw the city of Jerusalem and wept over it (Luke 19:41) He prayed with tears in the Garden of Gethsemane. He knows your tears. He will never neglect your tears and pass away. The life of Jesus provides the model for our prayer lives. God is seeking to mold us into the image of His Son (Col. 1:27-28). If we are to act like Christ, our prayer lives must be conformed to His. Many Christians are unwilling to pay the price that Jesus paid when it comes to interceding with God. Jesus’ prayers came with vehement cries and tears and, “because of His godly fear,” He was heard by the Father.
Ephesians 6:18 “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” According to the book of Ephesians, God’s desire is for us to pray “on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests”. What is prayer? Prayer is a heartfelt petition to God – a spiritual communion with God in adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication. We turn to prayer because it is the most personal way to experience God, to encounter Him and to grow in the knowledge of Him. Nearly everyone reaches a moment, when the only thing he or she can think or is left with to do is pray. Tragedy, uncertainty, unrest, fear, insecurity, sickness and trouble can bring even the most self-assured individuals to their knees. But why is it that the urge to pray only seems to come when the going gets tough? When life is going well and everything seems to be right on track, we think ourselves to be fully capable of handling it all. Many people only recognize their need for God when things begin to fall apart. People are most motivated to pray when they need something from God. Jesus provides clear instructions when it comes to prayer. Jesus shares with His followers what has become known as “The Lord’s Prayer.” His example models prayers of praise, submission to the will of God, reliance upon Him for daily sustenance and requests for forgiveness and deliverance. Jesus’ prayer focuses more on honoring God than listing needs to be met. Interestingly, shortly after this instruction on how to pray, Jesus reminds his followers in Matthew 6:8 that “the Father knows what you need before you ask Him”. This raises a fairly obvious question: if God already knows what we need, why bother asking? But Prayer is not a transfer of information; rather it is an act of humility. God is all knowing and completely wise which means He understands everything about a situation and sees the best path through it. Jesus demonstrates through His own life that prayer provides an avenue to the Father. Throughout the New Testament, we are told that Jesus “often withdrew to lonely places and prayed”. He was actively carving out time alone to meet with the Father in prayer. The act of prayer leads to the peace, patience and perseverance we all so desperately need. Proverbs 15:8 says “The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases him.”

Jeremiah 33:3 says “Call to me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” Matthew 21:22 “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. In James 5:17, he gives us an example of this from the story of Elijah. It was a time of great idolatry, as people were worshiping Baal, and Elijah prayed that it would not rain. You can read the story in 1 Kings 17-18. He must have been sure that what he prayed would happen, because 1 Kings tells us Elijah went into the court of the tyrant, King Ahab, and said, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word” (1 Kings 17:1). You have to be pretty sure of the answer to your prayer to speak like that to the king. Elijah knew that what he prayed would happen. We know by observing what happened three and a half years later: After a long time, in the third year, the word of the Lord came to Elijah: “Go and present yourself to Ahab and I will send rain on the land.” (1 Kings 18:1) God says to Elijah, “There will be rain.” On the basis of that promise, Elijah speaks to Ahab and then begins to pray. God revealed what he was going to do, so when Elijah prayed, he had great confidence that what he prayed would happen. That’s how it happened when the rains returned, and I think it is reasonable to assume that it happened the same way three years earlier when the rains stopped. God told Elijah what would happen, and so Elijah prayed with great assurance (1 Kings 18:42).

James 5:14-15 say “Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up.” James is telling here how believers should respond when we are “sick,” and what result we should expect when we take action. The initiative has to come from the sick person, not the elders. It may be the purpose of God to intervene in their life with a gift of healing. Here is the promise of physical healing and the assurance of forgiveness of sins. Through prayer we need to speak to God and ask for healing, forgiveness, and direction. Praying is important for us as Christians to grow into a deeper relationship with Christ and to know the direction God wants our life to go in.

Jacob varghese

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