Here are some thoughts on this topic I have been studying lately. I hope it is helpful for you.
What does it mean to “cry unto the Lord?”
- To pray with all your heart.
- To vocally express your prayer with great emotion.
- To feel it more than think it.
- To let go of all pride.
- To be like an infant crying out for his parent to rescue them.
- To become as a little child.
- To cry for joy.
- To cry for help.
- To cry to be picked up and held.
- To cry to be fed and nourished.
There are many examples in scripture of crying unto the Lord.
King David wrote the Book of Psalms; these were songs written to praise God.
“Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me” (Psalm 50:15).
“The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles” (Psalm 34:17).
“When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me” (Psalm 56:9).
Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear me. – David, Psalm 55:17
Luke 18:1-8 “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.” And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
What does this parable tell us about crying unto the Lord?
- God will hear speedily those who pray fervently.
- God will avenge the Elect.
- This is a principle of faith.
- It is an uncomfortable thing to badger a judge, you feel that you are a burden or your cause does not warrant the effort.
And Jesus answered and said unto him, what would thou that I should do unto thee?”(Mark 10:47-51; Luke 18:35-43).
47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.
48 And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.
49 And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee.
50 And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus.
51 And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.
52 And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.
The blind man had been crying out loud repeatedly, “Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.” The cry had reached the ear of the Lord. He knew what the man wanted and was ready to grant it to him. But before He did it, He asked him, “What wilt thou that I should do unto thee?” He wanted to hear not only the general petition for mercy, but the distinct expression of what the man’s desire was that day. Until he verbalized it, he was not healed.
The crowd rebukes the noisy clamour of Bartimaeus. Despite the seeming unconcern of our Lord, however, and despite the rebuke of an impatient and quick-tempered crowd, the blind beggar still cries, and increases the loudness of his cry, until Jesus is impressed and moved.
“Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am.” (Isaiah 59:9)
Caananite Woman: Fervourless prayer has no heart in it; it is an empty thing, an unfit vessel. Heart, soul, and life, must find place in all real praying. Heaven must be made to feel the force of this crying unto God.
At first, Jesus appears to pay no attention to her agony, and ignores her cry for relief. He gives her neither eye, nor ear, nor word. Silence, deep and chilling, greets her impassioned cry. But she is not turned aside, nor disheartened. She holds on.
This last cry won her case; her daughter was healed in the self-same hour. Hopeful, urgent, and unwearied, she stays near the Master, insisting and praying until the answer is given. What a study in importunity, in earnestness, in persistence, promoted and propelled under conditions which would have disheartened any but an heroic, a constant soul. (Matt. 15:22-28)
Robert Murray M’Cheyne PRAYER, without fervor, stakes nothing on the issue, because it has nothing to stake. It comes with empty hands. Hands, too, which are listless, as well as empty, which have never learned the lesson of clinging to the Cross. Fervorless prayer has no heart in it; it is an empty thing, an unfit vessel. Heart, soul, and life, must find place in all real praying. Heaven must be made to feel the force of this crying unto God. (Church of Scotland, 1813-1843)
Wellington Boone “The prayer that sparks revival begins long before the countryside seems to awaken from its slumber in sin. It starts when men fall on their knees and cry out to God. That’s where true intimacy with God takes place and we begin the journey of being transformed into the image of Christ. And as men are transformed, the course of a nation can be changed.” (Evangelical Christian, 1948-)
Isaiah 62: 6,7 “I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence, 7. And give Him no rest, till he establish, and till He make Jerusalem a praise in all the earth.”
When is the last time you prayed a travailing prayer? God is counting on us to cry out for the lost and the perishing people. There are two kinds of intercessors. There are those who pray and there are those who cry out to God.
Only the desperate ones cry out. Are you desperate? When you cry unto the Lord, the Lord avenges speedily. God gives immediate attention to the people that cry out to God. ‘And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them’? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily (Luke 18:7,8)
“Go through the midst of the city, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.” (Ezek. 8:4).
16 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, being exceedingly young, nevertheless being large in stature, and also having great desires to know of the mysteries of God, wherefore, I did cry unto the Lord; and behold he did visit me, and did soften my heart that I did believe all the words which had been spoken by my father; wherefore, I did not rebel against him like unto my brothers. (1 NE 2)
4 And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens. (Enos 1)
Alma gives us council for what to cry unto the Lord for:
20 Cry unto him when ye are in your fields, yea, over all your flocks.
21 Cry unto him in your houses, yea, over all your household, both morning, mid-day, and evening.
22 Yea, cry unto him against the power of your enemies.
23 Yea, cry unto him against the devil, who is an enemy to all righteousness.
24 Cry unto him over the crops of your fields, that ye may prosper in them.
25 Cry over the flocks of your fields, that they may increase.
27 Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are around you. (Alma 34)
How does someone cry unto the Lord?
- Praise Him
- Broken heart and contrite spirit.
- Plea for mercy.
- Speak vocally with emotion.
- Forget your self, complete humility.
Examples of God’s Response to Crying Out
- Elijah cried out, and God revived a dead child: “He cried unto the Lord, and said, O Lord my God, hast thou also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son? And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the Lord, and said, O Lord my God, I pray thee, let this child’s soul come into him again. And the Lord heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived” (I Kings 17:20–22).
- Jehoshaphat cried out, and God delivered him from death: “It came to pass, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, It is the king of Israel. Therefore they compassed about him to fight: but Jehoshaphat cried out, and the Lord helped him; and God moved them to depart from him” (II Chronicles 18:31).
- Hezekiah cried out, and God gave him victory: “Hezekiah the king, and the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz, prayed and cried to heaven. And the Lord sent an angel, which cut off all the mighty men of valor, and the leaders and captains in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land” (II Chronicles 32:20–21).
- Jesus’ disciples cried out to Him in a storm, and Jesus calmed the sea: “As they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm” (Luke 8:23–24).
- Blind Bartimaeus called to Jesus, and He restored his sight: “And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’ And Jesus stopped and said, ‘Call him.’ And they called the blind man, saying to him, ‘Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.’ And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. And Jesus said to him, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ And the blind man said to him, ‘Rabbi, let me recover my sight.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Go your way; your faith has made you well.’ And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way” (Mark 10:46, ESV).
- Nephi and his family was about to be swallowed by the storm and had endured great suffering by his brothers, but after they loosed his bands he cried unto the Lord all the day. He praised and did not murmer. He was blessed. 1 Nephi 18:16 “Nevertheless, I did look unto my God, and I did praise him all the day long; and I did not murmur against the Lord because of mine afflictions.”
As members of the Church we have been taught to pray quietly and reverently. We have been trained to often control our emotions. How often have we seen a member filled with the Spirit stand up in Sacrament and shout hallelujah!? Could it be that when Moroni told the Daughters of Zion in the last chapter of the Book of Mormon to “awake and arise” he meant both spiritually and literally?
Let us learn to cry unto the Lord with all our hearts. Let us allow our prayers to reach the heavens as never before.
We become desensitized by the world , but praying with power, a heart felt prayer softens our hearts, when we are not praying like our lives depend on it our spirits are like asleep, and they need to wake up, but it won’t happen when our prayers are short and superficial ones. Thanks again!
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