The tears flowed freely. I replayed the awful encounter over in my mind, disbelief filling my heart. I couldn’t believe the words she had spoken to me, the things she had said, the accusations…and then the worst of it all…the realization that the last 8 years had not mattered to her. How could she say such things? To me? After everything? I was at a loss. I had no idea what to do next. The grief swallowed my soul and my heart was shattered. All I had to offer in the form of crying out to God was my tears. Have you been there? Yes, I bet you know exactly what I am talking about. Sometimes, our prayers are just that. Tears. That’s all. Nothing more. And we wonder if this is true prayer. I want to share some truth with you for When You Prayers Are Tears.
**I was live on Facebook talking about this post. The recording is at the bottom.**
This particular topic in prayer is one that has always had a very tender spot in my heart. I’m talking about the prayers that can only be expressed with tears. Do you know what I’m talking about? Like those awful times when the pain of brokenness is so great, that the only way to articulate my prayers is through tears of sorrow and grief.
Do Not Be Surprised
I really should not be surprised at all about what transpired with this other person. Less than 2 weeks before, I spoke at a ladies retreat where amazing things happened. Women reclaimed things that rightfully belonged to them. Pieces of their hearts that the enemy stole from them. And he loathes that. He hates when God’s people live victoriously.
Our enemy does not give up his claim without a fight. He is terrified of the truth and when someone speaks truth to those who need to hear it, he will do whatever he can to stop it. And he does not care how he accomplishes his goals as long as it is effective.
From Ephesians 6:11-12, we know where the battle is and who we are really fighting against. We must remember this when we experience dark times when we have been hurt. So, I am confident that the painful situation that occurred was a direct result of me fighting for these women. However, that does not make the incident any less painful or what happened ‘ok’. It just helps to give me a different perspective. And in the midst of my prayer of tears, I will stand firm and claim victory. My enemy will NOT stop me from fulfilling God’s call on my life.
No weapon formed against me will prosper – none. Period.
He Is Near
But what do we do through those times when all we have to give to our King is our tears and our pain? Those times when we feel that’s all there is – just the broken shards of our shattered hearts? Psalm 34:18 gives us a sweet promise, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”
He is close and we can rest in that assurance – because He is faithful to His word.
I love the story of Hannah in 1 Samuel 1. She is utterly broken because she was without child. Isn’t that the heart of most Christian women? To offer life? I’m not talking about just children. I mean we were created to pour life into others.
But there are times when we just don’t have it. Life has been sucked out of us for whatever reason and we are just broken. We have nothing but the shattered remains of our hearts to offer the Healer.
And that’s a good thing.
That is what we are supposed to do with those pieces – offer them up to Him for healing.
When Hannah was pouring out her heart through her tears, Eli actually thought she had been drinking. Have you ever wept in anguish like that? Like if someone saw you, they’d think you were drunk or completely nuts? If so, I want you to know a piece of truth:
Your tears are important to Him.
Another favourite story is found in Luke 7 – another broken woman who wept at the feet of Jesus. She washed His feet with her tears – how precious were her tears to Him! We find out in John 11 that this woman was Mary, the sister of Lazarus. And in that story, Mary wept for her brother and her weeping filled Him with sorrow.
He was moved by her grief.
He is moved by your grief.
Your tears are important to Him.
In John 20, when Mary Magdalene discovered the empty tomb, she began to weep. And then she saw Jesus. He suddenly appeared in the midst of her sorrow and grief.
Her tears of grief and sorrow were important to Him, so important to Him that He revealed Himself to her. What a moment that must have been. Can you imagine? Jesus shows up just because of our tears. There is no other reason.
Your tears are important to Him.
Our tears flow because we don’t know what to pray; our tears fall when all we have left is Him. And do you know what? We can rest in the assurance that even when that’s all we have to pray, it is enough.
It may not seem like much to us, but it means the world to Him.
We also have someone who prays on our behalf. The Holy Spirit will always pray the will of God. In those times when we don’t know what to pray, He does know. And we can trust that all things will work together for good.
“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:26-28
To Sit at His Feet
We can simply sit at His feet and wait on Him. Can we talk about Mary again? She seems to have a very special place in the heart of Jesus, doesn’t she? In Luke 10:38-42, we find her sitting at His feet, soaking in every single word.
I wonder why she sat at His feet? Did she just want to listen to Him? Or was her heart broken and she desperately needed to hear His truth? Scripture says she just sat there and listened to His words. Was He saying something to her that her heart desperately needed to hear and rest in? Maybe. I am getting comfortable with sitting at His feet. Waiting on Him is growing to be a very comfortable place for me. I know that is where my heart needs to be. Is sitting at His feet in your comfort zone?
But have you noticed that other people are not as comfortable with seeing Mary resting at His feet? Like Martha, all they see is someone not ‘doing anything’. It makes them feel uncomfortable and impatient. When that happens, remember what Jesus told Martha. Mary has chosen the good part and it will not be taken away from her.
Don’t let anyone take that intimate time away from you. You sit at His feet for as long as you need to.
Tenderly Placed In A Jar
And if you had any more doubt about how special your tears are to our Heavenly Father, take note of Psalm 56:8. Not one single tear is missed by our God. Not one. He knows. He remembers. He understands. Each tear is precious. Others may not see or even care, but He does.
And that’s more than enough.
Never feel ashamed of your prayers of tears. Don’t ever feel embarrassed about your tears. Never feel like they don’t matter. They do.
And one day, all tears will be wiped away and not one more will be shed.
I can’t wait for that day. But until then, I will offer each spilled tear into His nail-scarred hands. Are you ready to believe that your tears are important to Him? That they actually are a vital part of a strong prayer life? Can you think about the last time you prayed tears and see it as a very holy moment?
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