Crying Out To God

Crying Out To God

Tuesday’s Column: Dale Mail


What does it mean to cry out to God? The Hebrew word paints a colorful picture of what goes on in the hearts and minds of those that have cried out in the past, but before we look at the meaning— here are three examples found in scripture. 

Ex. 2.23

“Now it came about in the course of those many days that the king of Egypt died. And the sons of Israel sighed because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry for help because of their bondage rose up to God.”

Judges 6.7 

“The Israelites cried out to the LORD because of Midian” 

Ps. 107.19

“Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.”

The word is זָעַק (pronounced zaw-ak’) and it means, “to proclaim/summon together.” 

It’s interesting to note that when God’s people cried out to Him in the examples given above, as well as on many other occasions, God brought salvation. 

From the definition, we can make at least three practical applications.

  1. God brings positive and radical change when His people cry out in a unified manner. Many congregations assemble each year to have special services dedicated to prayer. Some may not appreciate the power and potential these kinds of events can bring about. 
  2. We can move God to action by summoning Him. There are countless testimonies of desperate prayers answered by those who turned to God for answers. There’s always a need to be reminded that talking to God is not simply talking to yourself or yelling into a void. Pray often.
  3. God returns to His people when His people return to Him. In the Bible we often see a unified cry to the Lord take place, once His people have hit rock bottom. From that we learn that God hears the prayers of the distressed— but we also see that being away from God is distressing. The moment God answers, they’re free from captivity. Sin has taken many captive and some feel that God is One who enslaves with Law and commands, but the opposite is true. Freedom is found in Him and He’s faithful to the faithful. 

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

Galatians 5:1

Dale Pollard

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