“I am weary with my groaning; all night I make my bed swim; I drench my couch with my tears. My eye wastes away because of grief; It grows old because of all my enemies. Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity; for the LORD has heard the voice of my weeping. The LORD has heard my supplication; The LORD will receive my prayer. Let all my enemies be ashamed and greatly troubled; Let them turn back and be ashamed suddenly,” Psalm 6:6-10 NKJV.
Old Testament: 8467 techinnah (tekh-in-naw’); from OT: 2603; graciousness; causatively, entreaty: KJV-favour, grace, supplication. OT: 2603 chanan (khaw-nan’); a primitive root [compare OT: 2583]; properly, to bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior; to favor, bestow; causatively to implore (i.e. move to favor by petition): KJV –beseech, fair, (be, find, shew) favour (-able), be (deal, give, grant (gracious (-ly), intreat, (be) merciful, have (shew) mercy (on, upon), have pity upon, pray, make supplication, very. OT: 2583 chanah (khaw-naw’); a primitive root properly, to incline; by implication, to decline (of the slanting rays of evening); specifically, to pitch a tent; gen. to encamp (for abode or siege): KJV -abide (in tents), camp, dwell, encamp, grow to an end, lie, pitch (tent), rest in tent.
So here we see the meaning going deeper into the root of the word for supplication means to PITCH A TENT.
So in the spirit we “pitch a tent” unto the LORD of Hosts, imploring His favor for situations that we bring to HIM.
And in this case, it may be tears coming from our own heart and compassions, and maybe not even His… to move the heart of God.
David is writing that even his bed is swimming in tears from his weeping. Certainly God is not irritated with this “emotional outburst”.
Unlike men, or women, God does not grow impatient with us when we get emotional. He made us and knows all things about us.
He is an emotional God filled with passions of His own. He understands our frame.
One of His names is Qanna –Jealous. Jealous is an emotion, yes?
“Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear to my cry; Do not be silent at my tears; For I am a stranger with You, a sojourner, as all my fathers were. Remove Your gaze from me, that I may regain strength, before I go away and am no more,” Psalm 39:12-13 NKJV.
Here the very thing causing the tears is the heavy hand of the LORD. Have been there in God purifying my heart and showing me the ugly things in it.
God is awesome and MIGHTY to behold, and He is dedicated to making us more and more like HIM.
And HE ALWAYS hears our prayers. Others with less mature hearts may not understand but God understands us.
“My tears have been my food day and night, while they continually say to me, “Where is your God?” When I remember these things, I pour out my soul within me. For I used to go with the multitude; I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast. Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance. O my God, my soul is cast down within me; Therefore I will remember You from the land of the Jordan, and from the heights of Hermon, from the Hill Mizar. Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; all Your waves and billows have gone over me. The LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, And in the night His song shall be with me — A prayer to the God of my life.9 I will say to God my Rock, “Why have You forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” As with a breaking of my bones, My enemies reproach me, while they say to me all day long “Where is your God?” Psalm 42:3-10 NKJV.
In the deepest despair that may come against us, or the ungodly prayers of even fellow “Christians” God sees all our tears, and feels our pain. It is a comfort that nothing escapes His eyes.
He is El Rohi, the God Who Sees. He knows there are times of oppression and He sees the times of travail and tears. He will answer the broken hearted.
“You number my wanderings; put my tears into Your bottle; are they not in Your book? When I cry out to You, then my enemies will turn back; this I know, because God is for me,” Psalm 56: 8-9 NKJV.
“For You have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living,” Psalm 116: 8-9 NKJV.
“Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him,” Psalm 126:5-6 NKJV.
There is reward for our hearts breaking for what breaks His, and for feeling the pulse of what is bothering Him. We will reap in JOY, as we sow in tears. For we will see He ANSWERS the cry of the desperate heart!
“Therefore I will bewail the vine of Sibmah, with the weeping of Jazer; I will drench you with my tears, O Heshbon and Elealeh; for battle cries have fallen over your summer fruits and your harvest. Gladness is taken away, and joy from the plentiful field; In the vineyards there will be no singing, nor will there be shouting; no treaders will tread out wine in the presses; I have made their shouting cease. Therefore my heart shall resound like a harp for Moab, and my inner being for Kir Heres,” Isaiah 16:9-11 NKJV.
“He will swallow up death forever, and the LORD GOD will wipe away tears from all faces; the rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth; For the LORD has spoken,” Isaiah 25:8 NKJV.
The good news is that there will come a day when we will no longer weep for the awful things we see wrought in the earth today.
There will be a day when swords will be turned into plowshares! There will be only JOY in His Kingdom!
Paul urged us in the Word to weep with those that weep, and to rejoice with those who rejoice.
It takes true LOVE to do either. I’ve met very few Christians who would rejoice WITH ME, when God was doing great things in me.
Sadly they usually have been jealous. Sibling rivalry reigns in the church, but it should not be so, if the hearts of people were more healed!
The weeping is for that you know. All the great revivalists were weeping men or women who connected with God’s heart in intercession!
There are few Christians I know who see the weeping as a strength. Most pastors I know, have taken it to mean the woman is an emotional basket case, instead of realizing that it may be the tears of the LORD!
Others may be jealous, I don’t know. But it takes discernment to know the true from the false weeping, that I do know.
Disobedience Brings God’s Judgment
“Oh, that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!” Jeremiah 9:1 NKJV.
Sometimes the prophets are weeping because they usually have a feel for what is coming down the road.
They are given insights into future days so usually they are not in the same place the church may be.
They may be crying while the church overall is rejoicing, because they see what lies ahead.
They cry for the sins of the people when they see the desperate need for healing and deliverance in the church and the in the world.
The evangelist who wants to make an impact needs to have a heart at one with the LORD for the LOST he is reaching out to.
“Let them make haste and take up a wailing for us, that our eyes may run with tears, and our eyelids gush with water. For a voice of wailing is heard from Zion: ‘How we are plundered! We are greatly ashamed, because we have forsaken the land, because we have been cast out of our dwellings.’ “Yet hear the word of the LORD, O women, and let your ear receive the word of His mouth; Teach your daughters wailing, and everyone her neighbor a lamentation. For death has come through our windows, Has entered our palaces, to kill off the children — no longer to be outside! And the young men — no longer on the streets!” Jeremiah 9:18-21 NKJV.
Okay, here we have the verse that tells us what the intense wailing and screaming that becomes a part of travail is about.
“FOR DEATH has come through our windows, has entered our palaces, to kill off the children.”
This is the point of the wailing and screaming. It is a terrible thing to see the violence in the world today.
A Few years back, in a few days time, people had sent to me three heart-wrenching videos.
One was on the Palestinians teaching their children to use guns, showed them gloating over a Jew they had murdered, and holding his liver in their hand and cheering.
I began to wail and scream in the spirit. I am not that way naturally. I was an RN with a master’s degree and for years worked in hospitals.
This is not normal behavior for me. Compassion may be, but not wailing like an Italian funeral, okay?
So then I got another video, showing how fetuses are sold as a FOOD on shelves in Taiwan. And another photo showed a man cooking one!
I wanted to throw up, again wailing, weeping, screaming ensued in intercession for these atrocities.
Then another came about the Sudan and what they were doing to Christian women there, raping and maiming them, leaving them to die. And again the same response.
The LORD was wanting me in the wailing room in the Spirit, because of all the violence in the world.
It is stirring HIS heart – so should it not convict our own hearts?
He is weeping. He is so broken hearted for what His creation is doing to each other.
Note that in the above scripture He is telling women, TEACH your daughters to travail!
He is not wanting us to be complacent. If we shut our eyes to all the horror of the world completely, then it will not change our heart.
I know that nurses, after being just in a few rotations of medical surgical floors in nursing school, that we went through some heavy changes in our emotions.
We had one day a week for a couple hours where we had psychology counseling session session for us, because I was in a Christian program and they recognized we would have to deal with our emotions of seeing people die, seeing difficult things happen to people.
Watching children die was so hard. Nurses and doctors and other health professionals are exposed to things MOST people NEVER see.
So it was important for us to be able to talk about the feelings we had to get through, and the change going on in us.
I was very blessed to be in that program even before I was a real Christian!
What this taught me, is that God doesn’t want us to completely turn our heads from seeing the bad things.
He wishes we never had to see bad things/ or situations. But if we don’t look at them, there is a tendency that we will become complacent and apathetic.
We will deny it even exists eventually, or become so hard that we blame people all the time for their problems, instead of seeing the overall picture, from a godly point of view.
We need to be asking God A LOT of questions if we want to hear HIS view on things.
“But if you will not hear it, My soul will weep in secret for your pride; My eyes will weep bitterly and run down with tears, because the LORD’s flock has been taken captive,” Jeremiah 13:17 NKJV.
“Therefore you shall say this word to them: ‘Let my eyes flow with tears night and day, and let them not cease; For the virgin daughter of my people has been broken with a mighty stroke, with a very severe blow,” Jeremiah 14:17 NKJV.
PRIDE comes before a fall the Word says.
We have been very proud in the western world about our affluence and blessings.
We have judged others who have not had it so well. When you travel and see the reality of the world others live in who don’t have it so well.
It jars you, but it is still too easy to become complacent when all our needs are again met.
It is too easy in American society to forget about the poor of the nations, or even of our own nation.
Comfort always seemed to cause Israel to go in that same direction also. So I know it is true. Every time they got wealth and comfort, they backslid!
So we need to recognize our true spiritual lack and be sure we have a reality check on our hearts from time to time. Asking for HIS heart is key to keeping ours in check.
“Thus says the LORD: “Refrain your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears; For your work shall be rewarded, says the LORD, and they shall come back from the land of the enemy. There is hope in your future, says the LORD, that your children shall come back to their own border. “I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself: ‘You have chastised me, and I was chastised, Like an untrained bull; Restore me, and I will return, For You are the LORD my God. Surely, after my turning, I repented; and after I was instructed, I struck myself on the thigh; I was ashamed, yes, even humiliated, because I bore the reproach of my youth,'” Jeremiah 31:16-19 NKJV.
Like Ecclesiastes indicates, there is a time for weeping and a time for laughter. There are times to weep, and times NOT to weep.
We cannot have false compassion either when people have been so rebellious that they walk all over others.
“She weeps bitterly in the night, Her tears are on her cheeks; among all her lovers she has none to comfort her. All her friends have dealt treacherously with her; they have become her enemies. Judah has gone into captivity, under affliction and hard servitude; she dwells among the nations, she finds no rest; all her persecutors overtake her in dire straits,” Lamentations 1:2-3 NKJV.
“My eyes fail with tears, My heart is troubled; My bile is poured on the ground because of the destruction of the daughter of my people, because the children and the infants faint in the streets of the city. They say to their mothers, “Where is grain and wine?” As they swoon like the wounded in the streets of the city,” Lamentations 2:11-12 NKJV.
“Their heart cried out to the LORD, “O wall of the daughter of Zion, Let tears run down like a river day and night; Give yourself no relief; Give your eyes no rest. “Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the watches; pour out your heart like water before the face of the LORD. Lift your hands toward Him for the life of your young children, who faint from hunger at the head of every street,” Lamentations 2:18-19 NKJV
POUR OUT YOUR HEART like water before the FACE of the LORD Jeremiah says. I
t reminds me of David and how he had sinned and when his baby took sick, the first one born to him and Bathsheba, he cried and covered himself in ashes, hoping the LORD would refrain and have mercy.
But once the baby died, he ate and stopped praying . And the people were puzzled. And he told them, he was hoping for mercy from the LORD.
But once the baby was dead, what more could he do? The weeping and travailing is the utterances and groanings of the Spirit spoken of in Romans:
“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered,” Romans 8: 26 NKJV.
“Son of man, behold, I take away from you the desire of your eyes with one stroke; yet you shall neither mourn nor weep, nor shall your tears run down. Sigh in silence, make no mourning for the dead; bind your turban on your head, and put your sandals on your feet; do not cover your lips, and do not eat man’s bread of sorrow,” Ezekiel 24:16-17 NKJV.
Here the LORD tells Ezekiel NOT to weep, NOT to bemoan the dead.
The wickedness of the dead was terrible to the LORD.
“And this is the second thing you do: You cover the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping and crying; So He does not regard the offering anymore, Nor receive it with goodwill from your hands. Yet you say, “For what reason?” Because the LORD has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, with whom you have dealt treacherously; Yet she is your companion and your wife by covenant. But did He not make them one, having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth. For the LORD God of Israel says that He hates divorce, for it covers one’s garment with violence,” Says the LORD of hosts. “Therefore take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.” You have wearied the LORD with your words; Yet you say, “In what way have we wearied Him?” In that you say, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and He delights in them,” Or, “Where is the God of justice?” Malachi 2:13-17 NKJV.
One of the things the LORD showed me about this verse is that when men neglect the wife of their youth, and do not see to it the children are cared for by a father, that is SO grievous to Him.
He didn’t seem all that upset with Jacob having four wives… technically two wives, and two concubines.
What is upsetting to the LORD is NOT TAKING CARE OF THEM. And when men’s hearts are clothed with the violence of hating their wives, it will limit the answers they get to prayer.
It is a good thing to forgive the actions of others, as if you don’t, that violence of hatred in your heart will cause you much harm.
Bitterness is a terrible thing in the human soul. And if you want the gift of God’s heart, you cannot remain bitter, hateful, or vengeful if you expect to know His heart.
God is LOVE. And he who hates his brother [or sister] does not know the LOVE of the Father.
Many people are locked up from hearing HIS VOICE, or having their prayers answered because of this.
“Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “LORD, I believe; help my unbelief!” Mark 9: 24 NKJV.
Here is another important aspect for having prayer and travail be effective. You have to BELIEVE that you will RECEIVE an answer. There is a saying that he who expects nothing will not be disappointed !
A Sinful Woman Forgiven
“Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat. And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.”” Luke 7:36-39 NKJV.
“Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” Luke 7:44-49 NKJV
Even if the tears of the intercessor were her own in a prayer group, it is a very private thing between her and God.
If they ASK for prayer, great, but if not, let them work it out alone with God.
The key is DON’T assume anything. And don’t go up to them and say PEACE, PEACE, when there is NO PEACE.
“And when they had come to him, he said to them: “You know, from the first day that I came to Asia, in what manner I always lived among you, serving the LORD with all humility, with many tears and trials which happened to me by the plotting of the Jews,” Acts 20:18-24 NKJV.
“Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears,” Acts 20:31 NKJV.
~ Priscilla Van Sutphin
PRISCILLA VAN SUTPHIN is the founder of Upstream Ministries, California, online at www.upstreamca.org and blogtalkradio.com/ Upstream. Donate to Upstream: via secure Paypal by sending as gift to upstream.ca @me.com or send to: Upstream, PMB 545, 14311 Newport Blvd, Suite G, Tustin, CA 9278, USA.