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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Weeping for the lost

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 Weeping for the lost

I was just wondering what you guys thought about how much weeping for lost souls during prayer should be an integral part of our spiritual lives.

Can we say we truly care about lost souls when we have yet to weep for one? I have yet to cry for anyone that is hell-bound, although I await the spiritual tears and not simply emotional ones.

In Ravenhill's book, 'Why Revival Tarries,' he says this - 'You cannot have revival without Mr. Amen and Mr. Wet-Eyes sitting in the congregation.'

Could you also link this to having a heart for the lost? Do we really care if we have never cried before?

How much should weeping for lost souls be a part of our spiritual lives? I feel quite sick with myself, because I think about hell and what a terrible place it will be, yet I can't seem to weep for the people that are going there, some of whom may be very close friends.

Help me please!

 2006/7/12 4:52

Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776

 Re: Weeping for the lost

Richard, You have asked an important question. The Bible doesn't give us a formula for weeping, but it does teach us about the value of weeping. Here are some comments from the scriptures. This may give you some food for thought.

[url=]A Time to Weep [/url]

"There is a time to weep
and a time to laugh."
Ecc. 3:4

"Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh".
Lk 6:21


 2006/7/12 7:11Profile

Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas


"If we wept as much in the prayer closet as devout Jews have done at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, we would now be enjoying a prevailing, purging revival!"

"These great Revivalists - Evan Roberts of Wales, Jonathan Edwards of New England, and George Whitfield of England and America - were all great reapers in public because they well all great weepers in private."

"Bible schools don't teach 'tears'. They really cannot, of course. This is spirit taught; and a preacher, however weighed down with degrees and doctorates, has not gotten far unless he knows soul-bitterness over the sin of his day....The scholarly Ander Bonar lay on his bed on a Saturday in Scotland, and as the people below trampled the streets from the taverns and shows, he used to call from his tortured heart: 'Oh! They perish! They perish!' Alas, brethren, we have not so learned Christ. Many of us know only a sick, tearless, passionless soulless round of preaching, which passes for the minister's office these days."

"Oh, for a generation who will daringly and desperately pray with Jeremiah: 'Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain daughter of my people!' (Jer. 9:1)

L. Ravenhill

Paul Frederick West

 2006/7/12 7:40Profile

Joined: 2005/4/19
Posts: 772

 Re: Weeping for the lost

I know exactly what you mean. I have wept over family members and friends, but not for the lost in general. I try to always pray for the lost that if not me, someone would show them God's Truth, but no tears.

I often pray that God would break my heart for the lost, that I would see people the way He does.

Thanks for posting this.


 2006/7/12 9:52Profile


I agree, you cannot invent a formula for weeping; it is like trying to make a formula for praying or breathing. As Carter Conlon says, you either do it or you die!

I just feel bad because I know what a sinner I am, although by God's grace I have an eternity with him to look forward to. However, so many others do not have this thought to enjoy, because they will burn in hell forever, they will search for death and not find it. And yet, in the knowledge of all this, I still cannot shed a single tear.

I think people like me need to stop being so selfish in our actions and in our prayers. I have all of eternity to look forward to and be happy, and so my time on earth should be used to bring others to Christ. If only I could stop thinking about myself so much, and think about others.

 2006/7/12 9:53

Joined: 2005/4/19
Posts: 772


again, I am in complete agreement. I feel the same way.


 2006/7/12 10:43Profile

Joined: 2006/5/22
Posts: 2645
Nottingham, England

 Re: Weeping for the lost

Please don't think of me as arrogant or as a know-all. I'm not. But I have wept for the lost. It is painful, physically painful. You cry and weep until your stomach hurts, the tears flow and won't stop and you want the pain and misery of it to go away. One thing you do not do is try to work it up yourself. It just comes. Especially after a time of fasting. It just naturally enchances it. Maybe that is why the enemy tries to hinder Christians from fasting. Jesus said this kind does not go out except through prayer and fasting. He was refering to demon possession. However, just think what is broken when we do fast and pray.
Just seeing people when you go out on the streets, and seeing their lost condition can affect you. Some years ago I saw someone wearing a t-shirt with abusive language on it. It lead me to do a 5 day fast. If satan can have such perverted people, why can't God have holier people. We are first to seek God's glory, let Him do the rest. God bless.

 2006/7/12 11:03Profile

Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732

 Re: Weeping, compassion, and Godly Sorrow


While I may not have anything to offer in the way of a ‘doctrine’ of weeping per se, (regarding such formulas as suspect), I do value the force of conviction, humility, abasement, and repentance behind tears. As a somewhat ‘hostile’ witness to the revel of tears, because not all tears are Godly sorrow, and because there is no lasting power in sweet tasting emotionalism, I would like to share some recent conviction regarding this subject.

In coming to grips with the drastic need for revival, not for the church but for myself, I have indeed experienced tears. When I am aware of the distortion to the name of God that my Christianity has left in it’s wake, I understand weeping. When I realized that I have taught my children Christian morality, but have treated their conversions as a charming Sunday school rite, I comprehend the need for weeping. I could make this list longer, but I think the gears of your own conscience will either be engaged or not engaged at this point if need be. In short, when my heart soberly tastes just a little have the dept and greatness of how far the Church has fallen from grace, I confess that I have convulsed in sobs.

None of this means I am spiritual! It means I am merely sorry, sad, or concerned, because Godly repentance is not measured by tears, but by obedience. We weep, but do we turn from our own lives, even our own religious fancies, to God’s interests with the glory of eternity in clear view? If not, then consider that we are not alive in Christ, perhaps not even yet converted! Such is the state of tragic affairs today that these things need to be said to the church. It may be the wound of a friend to observe that many weeping in the church are in reality no closer to the Kingdom of God then the young rich man who walked away in sadness when the cost of discipleship was too great for him. Does weeping lead to turning? Then so, then our tears are from heaven!

My point is that we do not see how close to home the need for revival is. If you say that you are spirituality healthy then you should be the greatest intercessor! I do not believe tears begin with the lost, but for the church that has lost it’s way. This is a tiresome sermon I know, because we are little different then those lost who shrink from conviction with fear and unbelief, rather then respond with hope in God’s promises.

This is not a sermon but a self-admission. Does my self-focus keep me from simply seeing how Jesus has wept over the lost? Over our own hardened condition?

And when He was come near, He beheld the city, and wept over it, saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong to thy peace! But now they are hid from thine eyes.

How can one admit their guilt in the church today without being exonerated? We dread sorrow so much that we do not let it cut the fat from each other’s hearts…we apply a salve of psychology so quickly that we can hardly be broken enough for God to heal us. Yet how else can the winds of revival, the waters of life invade a heart unless it is broken? A heart shut up in it’s own security, even religious concerns, cannot pray for others, much less for revival. Christians are not disturbed from their sleepiness because they do not realize how close the Almost Christian is in Church on Sunday morning. Revival is for the church we say…

Let me end this unhappy post with some apt 17th century preaching from a Puritan named John Howe.

And that thou mayst not throw away thy soul and so great a hope, through mere sloth and loathness to be at some pains for thy life, let the Scriptures, which hath been thy directory about the things that belong to thy peace, be also thy motive, as it shows the Son of God weeping over such as would not know those things. Shall not the Redeemer’s tears move thee? O hard heart! Consider what these tears import to this purpose.

1. They signify the real depth and greatness of the misery into which thou are falling. They drop from an intellectual and most comprehensive eye, that sees far and pierces deep into things,… in all the horror of it. The Son of God did not weep vain and causeless tears, or for a light matter… “Weep not for me, O daughters of Jerusalem, but for yourselves and your children." He knows the value of souls, the weight of guilt, and how low it will press and sink them; the severity of God’s justice and the power of His anger, and what the fearful effects of them will be when they finally fall. If thou understandest not these things thyself, believe Him that did; at least believe His tears

2. They signify the sincerity of His love and pity, the truth and tenderness of His compassion. …remember that He who shed tears did, from the same fountain of love and mercy, shed blood too!

3. They show the remedilessness of thy case if thou persist in impenitency and unbelief till the things of thy peace be quite hid from thine eyes. These tears will then be the last issues of (even defeated) love, of love that is frustrated of its kind design… He even tells thee, sinner, “Thou hast despised My blood; thou shalt yet have My tears.” That would have saved thee, these (tears) do only lament thee lost. But the tears wept over others, as lost and past hope, why should they not yet melt thee,…

4. They signify how very intent He is to save souls, and how gladly He would save thine, if yet thou wilt accept of mercy while it may be had… And that love that wept over them that were lost, how will it glory in them that are saved! There His love is disappointed and vexed, crossed in its gracious intendment; but here, having compassed it, how will He joy over thee with singing, and rest in His love! And thou also, instead of being revolved in a like ruin with the unreconciled sinners of old Jerusalem, shalt be enrolled among the glorious citizens of the new, and triumph together with them in glory.

Turn our hearts if they are not facing heaven Lord,


Mike Compton

 2006/7/12 11:20Profile

Joined: 2006/3/12
Posts: 24
USA-West/mountain state

 Re: Weeping for the lost

Hi Richard:

My advice to you is to seriously ask The Lord to give you a spiritual Glimpse into eternity. Ask Him to let you see the lost as He sees the Lost. Ask Him to let you see yourself as He sees you.

You will not ever be the same.


Bill Rudel

 2006/7/12 13:53Profile

Joined: 2005/4/19
Posts: 772

 Re: Weeping for the lost

Richard, I found the following testimony of parents weeping for their son and his praise for Jesus. It moved me. I hope it moves you too.


 2006/7/12 15:23Profile

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