I’ve been reading about and experiencing a depth in prayer that has had me a bit scared, thinking that God’s gone away somewhere, because of this unfamiliar place I find myself in…I think, rather I was grieving the spirit of God by not going deeper into his exposed heart, a place without words…a grieved and grieving place that I didn’t understand.
Let me first tell you about some of what I’ve read lately:
Finney writes about Nash:
1. (I was asked) “Brother Finney, do you know a Father Nash? He and two other men have been at my boarding house for the last three days, but they haven’t eaten a bite of food. I opened the door and peeped in at them because I could hear them groaning, and I saw them down on their faces. They have been this way for three days, lying prostrate on the floor and groaning. I thought something awful must have happened to them. I was afraid to go in and I didn’t know what to do. Would you please come see about them?” “No it isn’t necessary,” I replied. “They just have a spirit of travail in prayer.”
2. A burden of prayer, or travailing prayer is not based in someone looking for acceptance from God, or for the ear of God. Instead, it is someone who has been marked with the heart of Jesus, who, having “joy above His companions,” wept over the death of Lazarus. The miracles of Jesus were done as He was “moved with compassion.” He invites us to share His burdens. ( This can also be likened to what Paul described as spiritual groanings.) ( John 11:35, Romans 12:15, Romans 8:26)
In Hebrews 5: 7, along with the other reasons given for why Jesus possessed a divine nature and was truly who he said he was and now is, it also says of him: ” 7 In the days of His flesh [Jesus] offered up definite, special petitions [for that which He not only wanted but needed] and supplications with strong crying and tears to Him Who was [always] able to save Him [out] from death, and He was heard because of His reverence toward God [His godly fear, His piety, in that He shrank from the horrors of separation from the bright presence of the Father].”
Jesus knew that, in the presence of God, there was more than met his own eye, so he cried out, not just for his own needs, but for those of others, because his heart was one that was turned towards His father.
I will admit that I know strongly that having divine compassion, being so in tune with the heart of God and being near to him is not a place I necessarily want to be. I associate it with pain. I associate it with deep grief. God grieves so much for our souls. When we are brought into that, our hearts deeply cry..our souls cry out..whether audibly or not.
Being in that place, you recognize there are times when words do not make the prayer, your throat dries up, and there is only a deep yearning to cry, to cry out to God, in his presence, praying for things you don’t even know how to explain but you know that it hurts, that it is wretching itself from a place within you that is so inexplicably linked to your own being that it feels as if it’s being ripped from your own soul. What is this mourning?
Cry out. Christ is our high priest, now, and he is grieved, he cries out: “We, though many, are one body IN Christ,” so we mourn as he mourns, we, when tuned in to the Holy Trinity, feel his pain…simply put, to exit the pain is to exit his presence. I pray that we are all able to abandon ourselves and cry out as our High Priest did and does.
Other supporting scripture: Romans 8: 21 – 23, 26, Psalm 34: 15; 17, Romans 12: 5
1. Excerpt taken from: http://radiantnation.wordpress.com/2011/09/09/the-finney-nash-effect-part-1-by-richy-clark/
2. Excerpt taken from: http://radiantnation.wordpress.com/2011/09/18/the-finney-nash-effect-part-3-richy-clark/
P.S. I’m thinking of doing a weekend long fast and prayer soon. I’m currently seeking out a location and finalising a date. If anyone is interested and you live in Trinidad/Tobago, please email me at: janessa[dot]mckell[at]gmail[dot]com or comment below, leaving your email address (I’ll get your email but it won’t be publicly viewable) Thanks much.
– Artwork by Nicholle Greaves: www.nicholle.co