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When We Cry Out to God

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
July 21, 2023 12:00 am

When We Cry Out to God

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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July 21, 2023 12:00 am

Discover the difference between praying to God and crying out to Him.


Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Friday, July 21st. It's natural to feel fear, anxiety and panic in a sudden crisis, but what would happen if we immediately cried out to God in our desperate circumstances? Today's podcast explains how the Lord responds to urgent needs. I want to talk about what it means to cry out to God. And more than likely, you may say, well, I've been praying to God ever since I've been a Christian.

Well, I understand that. But have you ever cried out to God? Do you understand what it means to cry out to Him? The difference between simply praying to Him and crying out to Him. And I want us to begin in the seventeenth Psalm. Look, if you will, in the seventeenth Psalm. And let's look at one verse here, and then we'll take just a couple more. The seventeenth Psalm, listen to what he says in verse one. The Scripture says, Hear a just cause, O Lord, give ear to my cry, give ear to my prayer, which is not from deceitful lips. Sometimes the word prayer and sometimes the word cry are used interchangeably, but not all times.

Now watch this. There are nineteen different words in the Bible for cry. And essentially they all mean to cry out loud.

There are ten root words and they're non-derivatives from those root words, all mean to cry out. That is to cry out with a loud voice. And so when it comes to this whole issue of crying to the Lord, there is a difference between that and praying. So let's think about what do we mean when we talk about the whole idea of crying out to the Lord. That is, is this just some phrase in the Scripture that we can say, well, you know, you cry when you don't feel good?

No. We've got a principle here. Because when a person begins to cry out to God, what it is, it is a spontaneous response to an urgent need. Now that need may be there for a while, but oftentimes it is that momentary, instantaneous, urgent need in which we feel hopeless or helpless, inadequate, don't know what to do next. And so when a person cries out to God, it is a spontaneous response to a simple, urgent need. Now, it may be motivated by danger, and that is all of a sudden I'm in this dangerous situation and I cry out to God to help me in that time. It may be the result of sudden pain, physical pain, or sudden emotional pain that grips you, overwhelms you, and will almost destroy you in a moment, and you cry out to God. And oftentimes it's motivated not only by that, but sometimes it's because of bad news. At that moment your soul sinks, your spirit as if it were going to die. You don't know what to do, which way to turn, and it's like your whole world has come crashing in upon you.

What is the response? Crying out to God. So when we talk about this whole issue, we're talking about the anguish of the soul that sometimes can be prolonged because there are certain situations and circumstances in which God does not deliver us from the situation or the circumstance, but He does deliver us from the anguish of our soul.

We're torn to shreds in a brief moment. He listens, He hears, and He responds to the cry of His children. Now there's a difference in that in praying. For example, a person can pray and you can pray silently. And people say, well, I don't pray out loud, I always pray to myself.

Now they don't realize what they're saying. If you pray to yourself, you can only get what yourself can give yourself. You don't want to pray to yourself, you want to pray to God. Now I understand what they mean when they say, I just pray in silence.

Well, my friend, let me tell you something, you're missing something awesome. If you only pray silently, if you only sort of think about it, but you don't cry out to God, you don't talk to Him out loud, you don't voice, you're petitioned to Him, you're missing something and I want to show you in a few moments that you are. But prayer can be very quiet. For example, in your time of meditation and you're being quiet and you're reading the Scriptures and you're talking to the Lord, there's nothing wrong with that.

That's all right and good. Your time of solitude, you're being alone with Him and you're just listening to what He has to say to you. Or it may be that your prayer, for example, is a prayer of thanksgiving and a prayer of intercession, all this together, a prayer of your petition. So usually the difference between a prayer and a cry is this. In our prayer time, we usually bring Him many things.

We will tell Him how wonderful He is, how much we love Him and praise Him and adore Him and worship Him. And then we talk about this need, we're going to pray for Him and for her and for that and for this and this need, that need, His need, her need, interceding for those people so that a season of prayer can encompass many things. Our cry to God in the Scriptures, our cry to God is usually centered on one specific need, some urgent need in our life at that time. So there is a distinct difference and we see in these verses that there is a difference. And in each of these, the Bible talks about praying versus crying out to God. Now let's turn to Matthew chapter fourteen for a moment. Matthew chapter fourteen, you will recall that Jesus has just fed the five thousand. He sent His disciples away on the boat across the sea. He said He'd meet them there.

Now, they probably never asked stuff to think, well, how are you going to get there? And so remember the storm comes up that night and Jesus comes walking in the water and they're first of all frightened to death. And then all of a sudden, Peter says, Lord, if that's you, bid me to come to you. So He calls him to him.

And here's what happens. Verse twenty-nine of chapter fourteen. And he said, Come. And Peter got out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened and beginning to sink, he cried out, Lord, save me. Do you think he said, Oh, Jesus, save me? No, he was scared to death. He was frightened.

Lord, save me. He cried out to him. And how long did it take the Lord Jesus to respond?

What's the next phrase? Immediately Jesus stretched forth His hand to him. Now listen carefully. When you and I cry out to God, listen very carefully. When you and I cry out to God, God doesn't simply sit around in heaven waiting until He gets good and ready to hear us. When we, walking obediently before the living God, cry out to Him, immediately God responds. He may not change my circumstance, but He will change my spirit, my feeling, my sense of confidence and courage, listen, and my faith and my trust and my sense of contentment that my God is acting as my shelter and my refuge and His wings are over me. He's going to take care of me in this circumstance. Now let's say, for example, that your danger is that whether you walk into your car or in your home or somewhere and somebody approaches you with the intention of harming you, they're either going to rob you or in some way molest you or hurt you in some fashion.

Now there's something to remember here. First of all, remember this, that that person, whoever they are, has an evil purpose in mind. That person with an evil purpose not only has themselves for you to deal with, but there is an evil spirit you have to deal with.

Because the Bible says we're not wrestling against flesh and blood, but we're wrestling against principalities and powers of darkness. So the person who approaches you to harm you, not only is that person your enemy, but there is the spirit of evil. That is Ephesians chapter six, he says, darkness, evil, principalities, powers. So the first thing you remember is that you're dealing with two forces, a physical force and an evil spiritual force. The second thing you must remember is this, that that person, whoever they may be, whatever the situation might be, more than likely is certainly not thinking about God. And I want you to turn to a passage of Scripture that might be helpful at this point. Turn to the tenth Psalm for a moment, Psalm ten, and look, if you will, at a couple of verses here.

Because here's the description of that kind of person. Psalm ten verse four, listen carefully because it could save your life, tell your children, tell your young daughters, tell your sons, this is what you must be aware of. Listen to this, Psalm ten verse four, the wicked in the heartedness of his countenance does not seek Him, all his thoughts are there is no God. When somebody is about to do you harm, they're not thinking about God. God's totally out of their mind. So what you have is you have a person, a bodily force and an evil force about to attack you or harm you. That person has no thought of God whatsoever, therefore, what we ought to do and how we're to respond is not simply cry out, help, help, help, somebody help me.

That may not do any good at all. But we are to cry out to God, Lord Jesus, help me. Listen, when you bring the name of Jesus into that circumstance, what you've done is you brought the most powerful name on this in the universe into play in that circumstance and that person has no thought of God suddenly, one thing they absolutely will have to do, they have to think Jesus. They may not like the idea they have to think Jesus suddenly, the evil force within them that's motivated them is confronted with a supreme superior force. He says, Almighty God, Most High God is now in this circumstance on your side intervening for you before you. He says, He says, He will move heaven to accomplish all things for you. And I read one instance where this person was being robbed and the lady began to call out the name of the Lord Jesus and cry out to Him.

And the man apologized, gave her a pocket book back and left. What you and I don't realize is the awesome power of the name of Jesus Christ. Listen, you can, and God, the Father knows that I wouldn't discredit Him because a G.O.D.

means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, but Jesus Christ only means one thing. There's no question in anybody's mind about who we're talking about. For example, the Muslim can talk about God, the Buddhist can talk about God, Zorias can talk about God, Hindu can talk about God. In other words, all these people can talk about God. When you name Jesus, you have singled out one single person in the history of humanity, the most powerful person in the whole universe.

No question about who you're talking about. And no evil force can defeat the Son of God. And when we cry out, we're to cry out, Lord Jesus, save me, Lord Jesus, Lord Jesus, defeat my enemy, Lord Jesus, intervene in this circumstance. You're crying out to Him.

And that cry could save your life, the life of your son, the life of your daughter, your grandchildren, whoever it might be. Don't ever be too proud to cry out to the living God, because, my friend, all of us need to learn how to cry out to Him. Somebody says, well, you know, I would read the Bible, but I just don't understand it.

Well, cry out to God. God, I don't understand Your Word. Give me understanding of Your Word. I want to understand the truth of Your Word. I want to know who You are. You think God will keep knowledge and understanding from someone who's crying out to Him with a genuine, sincere cry, God, I want to know who You are.

God, I'm crying out to You. Show me Yourself. Help me to understand You.

Draw me to Yourself. Show me the truth. Well, God, answer that, absolutely He'll answer it.

He says He will sin from heaven with loving kindness and with truth. So think about it. You want to understand who God is better? You want to know what's going on? You want to know how He thinks and how He operates? You say, well, I pray and I'll read the Bible, then start crying out to God.

I am desperate to know the truth. I want to know who You are. I want to be able to walk in Your will and Your way. Show me Your will, oh God. Show me the truth of Your will.

Show me which direction to take. Will He do it? Yes, indeed, He will. Now, you say, well, but I just never have cried out to Him.

Get ready. It just may be that God has sent me to preach this message that He would save your life, that He would give you a warning, that He would give you the principles, that He would show you how to respond in difficult, in pain, in hardship, in sudden disaster that you may face in your life. You cannot afford to ignore the message of God. You cannot afford, listen, to listen to the very simple principles of Scripture and walk away and ignore them for the fact that they may save your life.

Let me just come now to this simple fact. Why doesn't God answer the cries of His children? I want you to turn back one book to Job, Job chapter 35. Job's book is all about suffering and pain and heartache and disaster and all the rest.

Look at 35, because he answers the question right here. You say, well, if I cry out to God and He doesn't answer me, why? Verse 12, Job chapter 35, there they cried, but He does not answer, because of the pride of evil men. Surely God will not listen to an empty cry, nor will the Almighty regard it. What does He mean by an empty cry? A cry that is void of faith. When there is no faith and you're just crying out to God and you don't really believe He's going to do anything.

When there is no faith, that is, it's an empty cry that I don't really believe what I'm saying. Now if you take these verses and think about them yourself, then I think you'll come to the conclusion that you have a right to come to Him and cry out to Him and expect God to respond to your cry. You're one of His sons.

You're one of His daughters. He's a God who says, who responds from heaven, accomplishing all things for us. And He will provide, He takes great delight in answering our cry. Now how do we cry to Him? Somebody says, well, you know what, I just, I just think I can, I don't really think that I have to say anything out loud.

Well, you'll never know what you've missed until you try it. Listen to these verses. Let me just give you two or three verses right quick. Psalm twenty-seven, look at this for a moment. Verse seven.

I'll give you three verses and they all sort of say the same thing, but I want you to just notice something. Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my what, my what, my voice. That is, not Lord, hear my cry when I think about it, when I just think. But rather, hear my cry when I cry with my voice.

Look at the next chapter, twenty-eight, verse two. Hear the voice of my supplications when I cry to you for help, when I lift up my hands toward your holy sanctuary. Hear the voice of thy servant. When you hear the voice, not my mind thinking, when you hear my voice. God wants us to express audibly. And that word in all of its occasions, almost every single one, it's a loud voice.

My God, I need you. Look at the hundred-and-forty-second Psalm, hundred-and-forty-second Psalm, and the very first verse says, I cry aloud with my voice to the Lord. I make supplication with my voice to the Lord. That is, it isn't just my mind, it isn't just what I'm thinking, I'm saying it out loud to Him.

Now this is not to discredit in any way your time of quiet prayer and meditation and solitude. That is a very, very vital part of our life. But there are times of distress, there are times when there are urgent needs. For example, let's say that this week you walked in, your boss said, you know what, we don't need you anymore, so you don't have a job. You have a mortgage payment that's coming up in a few days, or next month maybe, or you have a car payment, you have utilities to pay for, you have insurance, you have your children's school, you have all these things to deal with. You don't have a job.

That's it. Today's it is your paycheck, last one, you're out. That is a very, very common time of distress and a time to cry out with urgency, God, I need you, Lord. I want to take care of my family, I want to take care of them. I'm not just throwing money, God, I don't have anything. This is all I have.

I need a job. You begin to cry out to God with a sense of urgency and humility and desperation and a cry of faith. And what happens is, you know, we'll just mumble around, pray a few days because we don't feel desperate.

Then I mean, when the bill comes in, they says, you know what, we take your house in two weeks. All of a sudden, you're willing to cry. Don't wait till it gets that desperate, cry to begin with. My God, my God, I need you at this point. And I believe personally, because of what I've seen God do in my own life over and over and over again, crying out to God is an awesome, powerful experience. Because I can tell you, there have been times when I have cried out to God during the night, cried out to God on my face before Him, before I ever went to bed, wake up in the middle of the night crying out to God, and before the twenty-four hours has passed, God has done the most absolute miraculous thing that I had nothing to do with, could not do anything about it, totally helpless, totally out of my control. And the only thing that happened is I cried out, God, I need you, God, I need you to change this.

And He did. Will He change all of our circumstances? No, not unless it's His will to do so. And to some circumstances, He won't change because He has a higher and a better purpose.

And when He doesn't, here's what He does. Our crying out gives us a sense of assurance, confidence, quietness in our spirit, contentment, joy, and a sense of happiness. And we can't even explain why it's there because the circumstances may be the same, but God has changed everything about us. Thank you for listening to When We Cry Out to God. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-21 03:29:54 / 2023-07-21 03:38:14 / 8

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