The Prayer of Tears
Next on Foster's list of prayers is the Prayer of Tears. This is one many of us don't experience very often. Foster says this is "being 'cut to the heart' over our distance and offense to the goodness of God" (Acts 2:37). There are many accounts of weeping in the Scriptures. David exclaimed "every night I flood my bed with tears, I drench my couch with my weeping (Ps. 6:6). What is it about tears and a deep, heartfelt sorrow that aids us in our prayer life? Foster makes a great statement that we need to heed. He says "unless the emotive center of our lives is touched, it is as if a fuse remains unlit." This is a primary reasons why we struggle with prayer and why so many people fail to experience intimacy with God. We wrongly put up walls to protect ourselves and hold God at a distance. We want a relationship with God, but we don't want to get emotional about it. We'll never know God that way. We'll never know the depths of intimacy we can have with the Holy Spirit. We'll never be able to truly love others. None of this is possible if we aren't broken before God and flooded with emotions we cannot contain. The prayer of tears takes us past our breaking point helping us release everything and hold back nothing.
I remember a time when I was on a spiritual retreat with other believers. During the worship time I began to think about the dreams God has given me. My own frustrations and anxieties usually accompany these thoughts. I felt I needed to just release the whole thing to the Lord. I held my hands out as a gesture of surrender and let it all go. God started to point out areas in my life where repentance was needed. I was overwhelmed with an intense desire to be righteous and clean before the Lord. Everything in my life that was not God's had to go. I dropped to my knees and felt the tears come and it quickly became a time of weeping that I could't stop. Then God gave me a precious gift and allowed me to start seeing people that he would touch through my life. Its hard to explain because one image placed in our mind by the Holy Spirit can contain a flood of knowledge, purpose, and emotion shared with us in just a moment of time. I not only saw these people, but I could feel their intimacy with God. I knew they possessed something of substance in Christ. Then the tears of repentance turned to tears of joy. What a wonderful God we serve!