With Loud Crying and Tears

By Francis Frangipane

Some of us are too quiet in our prayer times. Face down does not mean quiet. I know there is a time for silent prayer, but it shouldn't be the norm. As Christians we must let ourselves feel the agony of the world around us. While our faith should never be based upon feelings, our capacity to empathize with another's loss or pain should be fully alive in us and compelling.

Satan wants us muted. He desires that our prayers degrade into quiet muttering, as though we are ashamed of saying out loud what is going on inside. Our needs demand, at times, that we have volume and substance in our prayer. Scripture says of Jesus that "In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety" (Heb 5:7).

Some say this verse refers to Jesus' prayer in Gethsemane, a onetime experience. I disagree. The thought is introduced with the phrase, "In the days of His flesh." The word days is plural. It indicates that there were times when, as the situation warranted, Jesus prayed with "loud crying and tears." My point is, Jesus felt deeply what He was praying about. His whole being was in His prayer, even expressing His burden with both loud crying and tears.

Our Master also felt the sorrow of His friends. He wept at the tomb of His friend Lazarus. Yes, He knew He was about to raise Lazarus, but He felt the heartache (not the unbelief) of Lazarus' friends and their sorrow seized His heart.

Even as Christ can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, we must allow ourselves this same empathy toward human suffering and injustice. Thousands are dying because of wars, terrorism, disasters and disease; multitudes are homeless, starving and living in abject poverty. Infants are pulled apart in the womb before their lungs have taken a single breath. Jesus says we are blessed if we are capable of mourning over these things.

Granted, we cannot be ruled by our feelings, but they can help compel us toward heaven. As we pray, let the pain of those who cannot cry fill our hearts. Let us lift our voices in prayer, even with loud crying and tears as we approach Him who is able to save from death.

Lord Jesus, moved with compassion You healed the multitudes. From heaven You felt the pain of earth and extended Yourself into our world, where you were acquainted with grief and human suffering. Your whole life was consecrated to the Father as an act of intercession. Master, give us a vision of Your love. Our world is wrought with pain and beyond our ability to ease it. Expand our hearts as we cry to You. Father, enlarge our souls, so that we pray with the very intercessions of Your Son, Jesus. Let our voices be full of empathy as we pray. In Jesus' name.