“You know how troubled I am;
you have kept a record of my tears.”
Psalm 56:8 (GNT)
After a fellow counselor and I completed the divine appointment God had prepared for us with a young man rededicating his life to Christ at the Just Give Me Jesus revival in Augusta, Georgia, a friend approached me with tears of thankful joy streaming across her cheeks.
Just before the program had begun, her eyes sparkling with excited anticipation, she had asked me to pray with her for her precious daughter-in-law who was then reluctantly taking a seat in the stands.
My friend had been praying for years for this woman to come to the cross with seemingly no results and was thrilled that she would soon be listening, along with thousands of others, to the gospel of Jesus Christ shared in word and song. I prayed with my friend and for her asking God to reassure her of His power and love, regardless of the evening’s outcome.
The outcome was everything and more my friend had hoped for when, in the James Brown Arena, through the anointed words of his servant, Anne Graham Lotz, God publicly answered her prayers. The spiritual strongholds that had kept the wife of her son captive crumbled at their feet as the daughter-in law softly whispered, “Please, come with me” and, hand-in-hand, they walked onto the arena floor to stand before the cross and pray for Jesus to come and fill the now surrendered fortress of her heart.
Earlier in the evening, just before departing with my friends carpooling to the revival, I went through the mental checklist of things I needed to bring with me. As I did, the words of Jenny Stokes from Angel Ministries given during the final training session for counselors came to mind. “You may see tears as you quietly stand behind and pray for an attendee who has come forward. Don’t rush. Quietly wait for the Holy Spirit to work in their life”. I called to my friends, “Coming!” and quickly returned to the bedroom to tuck one of the antique handkerchiefs I collect into the sleeve of my blouse.
In the moments of thanksgiving and praise we shared for the things God had done, I pulled from my sleeve the handkerchief and pressed it into her hand sharing the words of Psalm 56… how God not only knows but records every tear we shed as we pray for those we love. Some translations say He saves them in a bottle. As she blotted her face, we thanked God for the tears she had shed in faithful prayer.
What a blessing to be reminded of that truth. What an encouragement for me and others not to give up, but to steadfastly continue in prayer for the members of our own families who we have prayed for and cried over for years and years with seemingly no results. God hears our prayers. God treasures our tears and, as long as there is breath, there is hope for those we love.