SpeakerDwight K. Nelson
Since 1983, Dwight Nelson has served as lead pastor of the Pioneer Memorial Church on the campus of Andrews University. He preaches on the “New Perceptions” telecast, teaches at the theological seminary and has written some books, including The Chosen. He and his wife, Karen, are blessed with two married children and 2 granddaughters.
“Don’t Cry for Me”
□ Hebrews 5:7
Anne Lamott: “There are three things I cannot change: the , the
, and .” (Help Thanks Wow: The Three Essential
- But can prayers and tears change ?
Hebrew 5:7—Jesus “offered up prayers and petitions with fervent
to the one who could save him from death, and he was .”
“Abba, Father—everything is possible for You. Take this cup from Me. Yet
not what I will, but what You will.” (Mark 14:36)
C. S. Lewis: “It is clear from many of His sayings that Our Lord had long
foreseen His death. He knew what conduct such as His, in a world such as we have made of this, must inevitably lead to. But it is clear that this knowledge must somehow have been withdrawn from Him before He prayed in Gethsemane. He could not, with whatever reservation about the Father’s will, have prayed that the cup might pass and simultaneously known that it would not. That is both a logical and a psychological impossibility.” (Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer 42)
- But the prayer of Christ did not the mind of God.
□ Hebrews 5:8
- “He learned from what He suffered.”
- Philippians 2:8—“And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming to death—even death on a cross!”
- “Submission to the will of God is the great secret of prayer.”
- “The Majesty of heaven, while engaged in His earthly ministry, prayed much to His Father. He was frequently bowed all night in prayer. . . .The dew and frost of night fell upon His head bowed in prayer. His example is left for His followers. . . . Jesus could heal the sick and raise the dead. He was Himself a source of blessing and strength. He commanded even the tempests, and they obeyed Him. He was unsullied with corruption, a stranger to sin; yet He prayed, and that with strong crying and tears.” (2T 508)
- Rabbi Yehudah: “All human things depend on repentance and the prayers which men make to the holy blessed God; especially if tears be poured out with the prayers. There is no gate which will not pass through.”
- Tears don’t change God’s mind—they change my .
- Desire of Ages: “Three times has He uttered that prayer. Three times has humanity shrunk from the last, crowning sacrifice. But now the history of the human race comes up before the world’s Redeemer. . . .The woes and lamentations of a doomed world rise before Him. He beholds its impending fate, and His decision is made. He will save man at any cost to Himself. He accepts His baptism of blood, that through Him perishing millions may gain everlasting life.” (690,693)
- Philip Yancey: “A person prays, said Augustine, ‘that he himself may be , not that God may be instructed.’ I examine my own erratic prayer life and see it as a time when God has indeed worked to lop off the protuberances and smooth the rough edges. I see defeats and victories both. Like a child who quits badgering a parent, I have sometimes found that I get an answer to my persistent request after I have learned to do without it. The answer then comes as a surprise, an unexpected gift of grace. I seek the gift, find instead the , and eventually come away with the gift I no longer seek.” (Prayer: Does It Really Matter? 154)
He washed my eyes with tears that I might see, The broken heart I had was good for me;
He tore it all apart and looked inside,
He found it full of fear and foolish pride.
He swept away the things that made me blind And then I saw the clouds were silver lined; And now I understand 'twas best for me
He washed my eyes with tears that I might see.
“I will do a new thing. . . . I will pour water on those who are thirsty and floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, and My blessing on your offspring.” (Isaiah 43:19/44:3)
Prayer doesn’t change God’s mind— it changes mine.