Jesus Christ before going to the garden of Gethsemane He began to be sorrowful and very heavy because of the burden for prayer He had in His heart, while His disciples had no burden in their hearts for prayer, despite all the intimations prior to the time of prayer.
“… He (Jesus) began to be sorrowful and very heavy.
Then saith he unto them, my soul is exceedingly
Sorrowful, even unto death; tarry here and watch
With me” – Matt.26:37, 38
Hannah was burdened as she continued praying before the LORD to the point that Eli observed that her praying was different from that of those who had no specific burden to pour before the Lord that he thought she was drunk.
“And it came to pass, as she continued
Praying before the LORD, that Eli observed
Her mouth. And Hannah answered and said, No,
My Lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit. I
Have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but
Have poured out my soul before the LORD.
Count not thine handmaid as a wicked woman;
For out of the abundance of my complaint and
Grief have I been speaking.
Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace, and
The God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou
Hast asked of him” – 1 Sam. 1:12, 15-17.
Nehemiah on learning about the distress of the remnant in Jerusalem became so burdened that his sinner master could even notice that he had sorrow of heart.
“And it came to pass when I heard these words
That I sat down and wept, and mourned certain
Days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of
Heaven, wherefore, the king said unto me, why
Is thy countenance sad, seeing thou are not sick?
This is nothing else but sorrow of heart…” – Neh. 1:4; 2:2
Nehemiah was eating well in his master’s house. He had all that he needed. Like some of us, he could have forgotten what he heard about Jerusalem since there was no immediate effect of it on him. But, no, he became sad for the sad-news. And see his heart preparation before a prayer that gave him favour before his master. On hearing those sad words, he sat down to think of the plight of his people, he wept profusely to identify with them, he mourned certain days and then entered into fasting and praying. God answered and gave him favour.
Read also:“Until Prayer”
There are a lot to sorrow about the plights of our nations, our leaders, our governments, our schools, our homes, our relations, our parents, our children, our friends, our enemies, the church, and even ourselves. The bible enjoins us to pray for all men, for kings, for all that are in authority, for one another, for them that despitefully use us, for those that persecute us and for ourselves (1 Tim. 2: 1-3; Matt. 5:44; James 5:16; 1 Thess. 5:25). But how can we actually pray with results without burdens (or sorrow of heart) for them. We should ask for godly sorrow that worketh repentance to salvation.
“For godly sorrow (burden) worketh (produces)
Repentance to salvation not to be repented of,
But the sorrow (worry) of the world worketh
Death” 2 Cor. 7:10.
Again, the scripture says that
“Sorrow is better than laughter;
For by the sadness of the countenance
The heart is made better’’ – Eccl. 7:3
The Lord did not tell us to complain about the numerous categories of people He told us to pray for. But when we have no burden in our hearts to pray for them, we resort to complaining, castigating, blaming and condemning them. May the Lord help us to heed his word when he said:
“Bear ye one another’s burden, and so
Fulfill the law of Christ”- Gal. 6:2.
“…weep with them that weep” – Rom. 12:15
“…weep for yourselves and for your children” Lk. 23:28
“…weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning” Ps.30:5 . (KJV)
A woman, when she is in travail(in pains) hath sorrow, because her hour is come; but as soon as she is delivered of a child, she remembered no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world(Jn.16:12). Our hour is come. Let us travail in prayer, pains and agony to give birth to a restored church, a man-child company that has been conceived in the heart of the Holy Spirit long ago and are locked up in the womb of the harlot church. They must be liberated and delivered from Egypt (so to speak), to come to the wilderness of this world to worship God in spirit and truth. We mustn’t compromise with pharaoh’s to think that we can stay there to worship God (Ex. 8:25). To everything there is a season, a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance (Eccl. 3:1, 4). This is a time to weep and mourn.
“Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD,
Weep between the porch and the altar, and let
Them say, spare thy people, O LORD, and give
Not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen
Should rule over them. Why should they say
Among the people, where is their God?” – Joel 2:17. (KJV)
There are many challenges of faith that we cannot shy away from. Let those challenges put burdens in our heart, great heaviness and continual sorrow and let us begin to agonize for theirs and our salvation.
“And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye
Have ought against any, that your Father
Also, which is in heaven, may forgive you your trespasses.
But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father, which is in heaven, forgive your trespasses.” Mk. 11:25, 26. (KJV)
Some would say, because of maturity and growth in holiness, there is no need again to confess sins each time we pray, and yet in the prayer of all time Jesus taught that whenever we pray, we should say,
“Our father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come… forgives us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us”. Go through that prayer again (our prayer, the pattern of prayer we must follow. Some call it our Lord’s prayer)’ i discover that it covers all aspects of praying-praise, worship, thanksgiving, intercession, confession, repentance etc.
And because to pray is to bring down the presence and the power of God into our situations, we must, like David in bringing back the Ark, like Elijah in the contest at Mount Camel, and like the disciples in the Upper Room, prepare ourselves before we call on the Lord of glory to come into our situations, consume our offerings, and to fill us again with the end-time power of the Holy spirit (1 Kings 18; 1 Chronicles 15 and Acts 2).Begin to sing along as you go to God in prayer:
“Lord prepare me, to be a sanctuary,
Pure and holy, tried and true.
With thanksgiving, l’ ll be a living
Sanctuary for you”.
May the Lord out of His endless love brings us into this place of agonizing prayer. Shalom!