Roy Exum: ‘Liquid Prayers’ Are Real

Wednesday, October 9, 2019 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

In the first book of the Holy Bible, we read about the Tower of Babel, which explains why French, Spanish, Russian and more than 7,000 other languages are now spoken by the world’s 7.7 billion people. Of these languages, 90 percent are spoken by fewer than 100,000 people, and, while I have no way to know how many will be joining Tennessee Governor Bill Lee tomorrow in a statewide Day of Prayer and Fasting, I am fascinated that there is one language the world holds that is universal. Charles Spurgeon (1834-1872) was a renowned Holy Man often called “The Prince of Preachers,” and talked about ‘Liquid Prayers’ and their great worth. 


Spurgeon was so profound that today at the Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo., many of his sermons and his personal 6,000 volume library are housed in the Spurgeon Center. Not long ago a warm friend shared a bit from one of his most famous sermons that explained the power of “Liquid Prayers:” 

“Is there a voice in weeping? Does weeping speak?” Spurgeon asked. “In what language does it utter its meaning? Why, in that universal tongue, which is known and understood in all the earth, and even in Heaven above. When a man weeps, whether he is a Jew or Gentile, Barbarian, Scythian, bond or free — it has the same meaning in it. Weeping is the eloquence of sorrow. It is an eloquent orator, needing no interpreter — but understood by all. 

“It is sweet to know that our tears are understood, even when words fail. Let us learn to think of tears as liquid prayers, and of weeping as a constant dropping of importunate intercession which will surely wear its way right into the very heart of God's mercy, despite the stony difficulties which obstruct the way. My God, I will "weep" when I cannot plead, for You hear the voice of my weeping!”

Oh boy, I love that and it’s true. Randy Winton, who I once hired as a fledgling sports writer while he was just getting out of Tyner High School, went into the ministry and became one of the top youth leaders in all the Southeast. He once said getting away from me and James Beach was his only chance at salvation. That aside, he paid me a visit when I was in the hospital and said it wasn’t bad to cry at all. “Tears are cleansing … they are wonderful … emotion makes everything you go through in life,” he said, or at least it was something like that.

Jim Valvano, one of the greatest college basketball coach of all time, said one of his goals was to be moved to tears at least once every day. Thomas Watson famously wrote, “It is a sight fit for angels to behold, tears as pearls dropping from a penitent eye!" and it’s an odds-on bet Dr. Spurgeon himself drew inspiration from the verse in Psalms (6:8) where King David claimed, “The Lord has heard the voice of my weeping." 

So it is that tomorrow, if you are moved to tears in your prayers of petition to God, tears speak the most wonderful universal language known throughout the world.

* * *


[NOTE: I do not know who wrote this. It came to me via my email and ‘Laus Deo’ is most authentic.] 

One detail that is seldom mentioned is that in Washington, DC. there can never be a building of greater height than the Washington Monument. With all the uproar about removing the Ten Commandments, etc., this is worth a moment or two of your time. I was not aware of this amazing historical information.

On the aluminum cap, atop the Washington Monument in Washington, DC., are displayed two words:  Laus Deo.    

No one can see these words.

In fact, most visitors to the monument are totally unaware they are even there and for that matter, probably couldn't care less.

Once you know Laus Deo's history, you will want to share this.

These words have been there for many years; they are 555 feet, 5.125 inches high, perched atop the monument, facing skyward to the Father of our nation, overlooking the 69 square miles which comprise the District of Columbia, capital of the United States of America.

Two seemingly insignificant, unnoticed words. Laus Deo!

Out of sight and, one might think, out of mind, but very meaningfully placed at the highest point over what is the most powerful city in the most successful nation in the world. So, what do those two words, in Latin, composed of just four syllables and only seven letters, possibly mean? 

Very simply, they say 'Praise be to God!' Though construction of this giant obelisk began in1848, when James Polk was President of the United States, it was not until 1888 that the monument was inaugurated and opened to the public. It took twenty-five years to finally cap the memorial with a tribute to the Father of our nation, Laus Deo, 'Praise be to God!'

From atop this magnificent granite and marble structure, visitors may take in the beautiful panoramic view of the city with its division into four major segments. From that vantage point, one can also easily see the original plan of the designer, Pierre Charles L'Enfant... a perfect cross imposed upon the landscape, with the White House to the north, The Jefferson Memorial is to the south, the Capitol to the east and the Lincoln Memorial to the west.

A cross you ask?  Why a cross? What about separation of church and state?

Yes, a cross; separation of church and state was NOT, is NOT, in the Constitution.

How interesting and, no doubt, intended to carry a profound meaning for those who bother to notice.

When the cornerstone of the Washington Monument was laid on July 4th, 1848 deposited within it were many items including the Holy Bible presented by the Bible Society. Praise be to God! Such was the discipline, the moral direction, and the spiritual mood given by the founder and first President of our unique democracy 'One Nation, Under God.'

I am awed by George Washington's prayer for America. Have you ever read it?  Well, now is your unique opportunity, so read on!

"Almighty God; We make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy holy protection; that Thou wilt incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow citizens of the United States at large.  

“And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love MERCY, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without a humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

Laus Deo!

It is hoped you will share this to every sister, brother, father, mother or friend. They will not find it, offensive, because you have given them a lesson in history that they probably never learned in school.  With that, be not ashamed, or afraid, but have pity on those who will never see this.

-- Author Unknown

* * *

“In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart.” -- John Bunyan

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