When we cry out to God, we understand how God cries. Crying to God is more than an emotional release for it connects our heart with God’s heart.
Many years ago, I lost a friend to suicide. I cried when I heard the news but I also sensed when my friend took his life that God was crying out for him. In July of 2017, I had a vision of God crying over America and this has led me into a deeper journey of prayer for the country. In October, 2017, Lisa Race shared the sudden and tragic death of her sister and I heard God say, “Crying is the first step to hear my cries. When you know my cry, you move to another level of the supernatural.” My meeting with Lisa inspired me to reflect on the story of the disciples in the storm and start the article “God Cries.” As I ended the first draft of this article, Dana Muwanas without knowing about my article drew the picture, “Holy Spirit crying” which is featured in this article. Later, praying with Dana brought new revelation about the cry of God. As I prepared to release this article, Doug Addison released a “Prophetic Word for November: A Breakout Power is Coming & There’s Power in Your Tears.” The timing of Doug’s article was providential and I saw new insights on crying. Finally, November 13, Catherine Brown from Scotland shared at a home meeting some very deep insights about Luke 7:36-50, the story of the woman who anoints Jesus with her tears.
The followings are some insights about a God who cries.
Learning to Cry
Crying is the first step to hear God’s cry. The disciples of Jesus were repeatedly told by Jesus to take a boat to the other side of the lake and God would repeatedly send a storm to hinder their task. The storm and the unknowns that appeared to them were God’s means for the disciples to learn how to cry out for help. (Mark 6:30-56)
One of the Old Testament words for cry is “tsaaq” which means “to cry for help.” Crying is not based out of fear, but from a heart that wants help. (Exodus 15:25)
“My storms are to awaken your cries in order to hear my cries.”
Hearing the Cry of Injustice
From the beginning of time, God cries against the injustice to the millions who have died through genocide, war, and murder. He cries for the poor, forgotten, afflicted, and oppressed.
Jeremiah 14:17-18, “And you, Jeremiah, will say this to them: “‘My eyes pour out tears. Day and night, the tears never quit. My dear, dear people are battered and bruised, hopelessly and cruelly wounded. I walk out into the fields, shocked by the killing fields strewn with corpses. I walk into the city, shocked by the sight of starving bodies. And I watch the preachers and priests going about their business as if nothing’s happened!’”
“”I cry over every broken heart, every needless death and every injustice.”
Hearing the Cry of the Land
God cries not because He is wounded but because the world is wounded. The land is crying for redemption and God is crying for the land. Do we hear these cries? God wants to heal the land and He is looking for a crying people.
Romans 8:21, “that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now;”
I Chronicles 7:14, 14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
“When you cry the cry of the land then I will heal the land.”
Crying Godly Sorrow
Godly sorrow leads us into salvation and worldly sorrow leads to death. When we understand what breaks God’s heart, we begin to understand godly sorrow. Another word for cry in the Old Testament is zaaq which means “deep distress.” When the Hebrews cried [zaaq], God responded. (Nehemiah 9:9–11)
2 Corinthians 7:9, 10, “For you felt the sorrow that God had intended, and so were not harmed in any way by us. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation without regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”
“When my cry and your cry come together there is life.”
Crying His Prayers
When our prayers of intercession come into alignment with God’s prayers, then we wept over what God weeps. Another Old Testament word for cry is “gara” which means “to call all with a loud sound, or scream.” (I Chronicles 4:10). “Loud sound” is not necessarily volume but comes from a deep place of the heart.
Hebrews 5:7, In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.”
“When we weep together over the world, I have found a prayer partner.”
Crying Changes Us
Often the most heartbreaking moments prepare us for the next season of our life. In our pain, we find God’s gain. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prepared for the crucifixion by crying his deepest feelings and was filled with “sorrow to the point of death.” Jesus repeatedly asked the disciples to stay awake and join him in this Gethsemane moment, but they continued to fall asleep. God is looking for a people who will not fall asleep and are willing to go through the Gethsemane moment.
Matthew 26:36-38, Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
Psalm 30:5, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”
“Weeping in the night brings the breakthrough for the day.”
Crying as Lifestyle
Crying is not a sign of weakness but of strength. Crying is more than an emotion, but having the heart of God. Romans 8 gives the blueprint for dealing with suffering, living in God’s purpose and allowing the Spirit of God to cry in us.
Romans 8:26, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”
“To walk in the Holy Spirit, is to walk in my cry.”
Crying the War Cry
Crying is a sign of a strong warrior. The Bible describes the “war cry” with the Hebrew word “ruwa.” The war cry is born from confidence and not from fear. The war cry knows the battle will be hard but God will be victorious.
II Chronicles 13:15, “Then the men of Judah gave a shout [ruwa] and as the men of Judah shouted, it came to pass, that God smote Jeroboam and all Israel.”
“Cry for I am mighty and my victory is near.”
Crying for Healing
The shortest verse in the Bible is “Jesus wept.” (John 11:35) The people asked why is Jesus crying? Jesus did not cry because he was sad that Lazarus had died for he had announced his upcoming resurrection. Jesus weeps for all the Lazarus’ in the world who are sick and have died. Jesus weeps for all the Marys and Marthas who are in emotional turmoil because their loved ones are sick and have died. Jesus weeps for all those who have lost hope. Jesus joined the weeping of Mary and Martha. Mary and Martha have the opportunity to join the weeping of Jesus. In the chorus of weeping, God sends the miracle of the resurrection.
John 11:33, 35, “When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. … Jesus wept.”
“Your tears get my attention but my tears release miracles.”
Crying is God’s treasure to bless others
God uses the cries of our difficulties as a pool of refreshment for others. In Luke 7:36-50, the “sinner” woman literally used her tears to clean Jesus’ feet.
Psalm 84:5-7, “Happy are those who are strong in the Lord, who want above all else to follow your steps. When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of springs where pools of blessing and refreshment collect after rains! They will grow constantly in strength, and each of them is invited to meet with the Lord in Zion.”
“Your tears are someone else’s blessing.”
Crying will cease
There is a line in the song “Show Me Your Ways,” which says, “The cry of my heart Is to love You more, To live with the Touch of Your hand.” The song reminds me of the heavenly scene, when we cry before God and His hand wipes away every tear from our eyes.
Revelation 21:1, 4, “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away… And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
“When you cry, my hand will touch you and you will cry no more.”