Life is hard. In our lives, we experience death, sickness, unemployment, rejection, and all manner of oppression from the world. In worship, we are able to weep before God as the cry of the needy toward the One who can provide. When we lament before God, it is an act of worship like none other. We cry to Him as the only One who can make any difference in our circumstances. When we cry in our private worship, it is done to abandon our life’s needs to God.
Jesus Himself wept before the Father. Just before His arrest in the garden of Gethsemane, the Messiah grieved so intensely His sweat became thick “like drops of blood” (Luke 22:44; cf. Matt. 26:37). It is not a shameful thing to shed tears while before the Lord. It is the acknowledgment of our own helplessness before our omnipotent God.
Others in the Bible followed a similar path. One of my favorite people to follow in this is the prophet Jeremiah, who has been called the weeping prophet. After all, the companion book of his in the Old Testament is titled Lamentations. With Jeremiah, we see a man who was stalwart when before the people. In delivering the prophecies given to him by the Lord, he did so with a strong voice and a courageous life. But his private life revealed a broken and sometimes distraught man. As Jeremiah spent time with the Lord, he would cry out in tears. Perhaps those tears are what created a difference for him. Jeremiah’s weeping before God strengthened him before the people.
Let me encourage you to be raw, transparent, and allow yourself a weeping spirit before God. Our private devotional time is not an opportunity to pose before our Heavenly Father. It is in our relationship with Him that we can honestly bare our souls. If the kings and prophets of the Old Testament could weep before God, then we can. If Jesus wept before the Father, then we should. As you worship, weep. With faith, lay down the burdens of this life before God and give Him glory for what He can do in you through these trials.
Adapted from my book, Habits for Our Holiness. To discover more about this spiritual discipline, take a look at the chapter entitled “Our Soul’s Desire and Design: The Practice of Worship.”