A Call to Anguish

Date: August 23, 2023

They said to me, “Things are not going well for those who returned to the province of Judah. They are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem has been torn down, and the gates have been destroyed by fire.” When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven. Nehemiah 1:3-4


As he walked the streets of the city, the prostitutes, pimps, runaways, drug addicts and hustlers he saw, filled his heart with anguish. “All true passion of life comes out of anguish,” David Wilkerson said, years after founding an international drug rehabilitation program. Teen Challenge has one of the highest success rates in the world. Wilkerson continued, “Search the scriptures and you’ll find that when God determined to recover a ruined situation, He would share His own anguish for what God saw happening… He would find a praying man and He would take that man and literally baptize him in anguish.”


Hearing that the capital of his homeland was in ruins, the prophet Nehemiah of the Bible said, “When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven” (Nehemiah 1:4). In Nehemiah, “God found a man who would not just have a flash of emotion, some great burst of concern and then let it die.”


Anguish comes from deep pain and sorrow about the conditions within or around you, expressing the agony of God’s heart over our brokenness. “Satan,” warned Wilkerson, “would like nothing more than for followers of Jesus to stop fighting, stop laboring in prayer, stop weeping before God…There’s a great difference between anguish and concern. We have become blind to lukewarmness…You can sit and watch television and your family go to hell.”


Does your heart, or the heart of one you love, lay in ruins today? Restoration begins with prayer and “A true life of prayer begins at the place of anguish.”[1]


[1] All quotes: A Call to Anguish–David Wilkerson, Bravehearted Christian, 8 May 2009, https://youtu.be/lGMG_PVaJoI. Accessed 25 July 2023.