Sorrow and Tears

Posted on 2007-08-02. Filed under: Thoughts |

I feel like all I’ve been doing lately is quoting but I’m trying to be still and just receive and not process too much right now. Here’s another quote from Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home by Richard Foster. It’s about sorrowful prayer or the Prayer of Tears as he calls it.

…certain temperaments are slow to furnish tears. If this is the case with you, do not be discouraged. I have been where you are. Allow me to share a few counsels that have been helpful to me.

Be both firm and friendly with yourself. Do not let yourself get away with the “I’m just not the emotional type” excuse. …Be encouraged by the observation of Thomas a Kempis that “habit overcomes habit.” You are building new habits of prayer, and patient, kind, firm persistence is what you need with yourself.

Next, if you will immerse yourself in the Gospels, they will cure you of the “stiff-upper-lip” religion that is so foreign to the one who was “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” Jesus knew the Prayer of Tears, and he will show you how to follow “in his steps” (1 Pet. 2:21). Follow the counsel of Saint Theodore the Studite: “Let us go in the Spirit to the Jordan…and let us receive baptism with him, I mean the baptism of tears.”

Also, when you cannot weep outwardly, shed tears before God in your intention. Have a weeping heart. Keep your soul in tears. even if the eyes are dry, the mind and the spirit can be broken before God.

Finally, as you wait for the baptism of tears to come, rest in the words of John Chrysostom: “The fire of sin is intense, but it is put out by a small amount of tears, for the tear puts out a furnace of faults, and cleans our wounds of sin.”

This correlates nicely with something that I read recently but I can’t be sure where. It may have been Hiding From Love by John Townsend. It was simply discussing depression an d it said that the antidote to depression was sadness and true grief. By allowing yourself to be sad and to fully feel grief, you can overcome depression. Also, I was listening to someone today and they were talking about healthy negative feelings versus unhealthy negative feelings and they actually used sadness and depression as examples.

So, it’s OK and even desired to be sad when it’s warranted. I guess Happiness truly is Not Required (all the time).

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One Response to “Sorrow and Tears”

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“O God give me a well of tears to atone for my sins – I shall not
hide it; land is not fruitful without moisture, I am not holy while
I remain without a tear.”

I pray often for the gift of tears in prayer. I don’t want to be dry and hard when I pray.


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