Thursday, October 03, 2013

Weeping intercession

Jeremiah weeping - Lamentations 2-4 (Artist unknown)
Jeremiah weeping (Lamentations 2-4) - Artist unknown
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Lamentations 2:1-22

TO CHEW ON: "'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

In this chapter Jeremiah (most likely the writer of Lamentations) bears witness to the unthinkable. God Himself has destroyed Jerusalem. He has withdrawn His protection so that enemies have devoured her like a "flaming fire" (Lamentations 2:1-3). Her palaces are toppled, her strongholds destroyed. God has even abandoned the temple so that the noise from it on feast days is the voice of the enemy (Lamentations 2:4-8).

Leaders sit in mourning and the surprising thing is that Jeremiah is with them, at least in spirit. Hasn't he warned them to repent or this would happen? Now it has so shouldn't he be gloating? But that's not Jeremiah. Instead he weeps with the most distraught.

It seems his emotions are aroused especially by the children—the poor starving children:
"My eyes fail with tears
My heart is troubled ….
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.

I see two lessons for us from Jeremiah's reaction here:

1. The true intercessor identifies with those he or she prays for. She lets her heart get moved to tears as she prays for things that weigh on her spirit. As Leslyn Musch says in her commentary on verse 18: "Do not hold back your tears as you pray and intercede …. Do not hold back in pouring out your heart before the Lord" - Leslyn Musch, Truth-In-Action Through Lamentations, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1049.

2. We too should be moved by the plight of our children. No, most of our kids aren't starving in the street (in fact the opposite, as many are overweight from too much junk food and inactivity). But they need our intercession like never before.
  • Too many are victims of broken homes and confusing relationships as they experience the consequences of our unfaithfulness.
  • Educators are mandating that the youngest be exposed to sexually confusing and explicit information ( website has links to proposed and implemented curricula).
  • Too many youth are in despair to the point of committing suicide because of bullying spread via social medial.

What is our response? Do we stand back with a smug "I told you so" attitude? Or do we allow our hearts to be moved by the plight of our society—especially the children?

PRAYER: Dear God, please touch and burden my heart with the things that move Yours, especially the plight of our children. Amen. 


New King James Version (NKJV) Used with permission. The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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