Emotion: The Gift of the Spirit


There is something about worship music that completely overtakes me. As I lift my hands up in praise and as I worship Him with the congregation, I am always overcome with intense emotion. I feel the music deep in soul as it bubbles up. I become filled with the words of praise and I weep. Every. Single. Time.

I remember noticing this when I was about fifteen years old at my youth group. We would always begin and end the night with praise and worship and I would always bawl my eyes out. As a teen, I felt like an anomaly; I felt strange. I would question my emotions. I would be thinking, Why am I crying? No one else is crying. I would try to distract myself during the music so I would not cry. I would try to block out the words of the song so I would not be overcome with emotion. I was self-conscious and I doubted myself.

But one day, I remember it clearly, one of my youth group leaders and I were talking and I mentioned to her that I would always cry during worship music. I explained to her of my self-doubt. But she said something that has stuck with me for the last ten years: “Your emotional expression is a Gift of the Spirit.” This simple declaration completely floored me. She went on to explain that when our hearts are touched by the Holy Spirit, we simply cannot help but release this emotion. Our earthly bodies are simply not capable of containing the immensity of the Holy Spirit. Our bodies find ways of cathartic release—and for me it is through crying.

Today’s Psalm completely echoes of this notion:

“Oh sing to the Lord a new song.”
“Make a joyful noise to the Lord.”
“With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord!”

All of Heaven and earth sings His praises. Even when we picture the angels in Heaven, what do they always have with them? Harps and trumpets. God’s Own angels in Heaven are constantly singing His praises! It only fits that when we sing His praises on earth we catch a glimmer of the perfect sounds of the angels. It is as if during worship music, the heavens part and the angels sing with us and the Holy Spirit is called.

Now whenever I am lifting my arms in praise and singing with my brothers and sisters, I allow my emotions to pour out. I feel no shame. I feel no embarrassment. I feel connected to the complete faithfulness of our Lord. It is beautiful. Do you feel overcome with emotion when you sing His praises? Is there anything you do in the name of the Lord that completely overtakes you?


Samantha Aguinaldo-Wetterholm is a wife, mom, and soon-to-be-dentist currently living in San Francisco, California. You can find out more about her here.


  • Reply
    May 14, 2017 at 9:35 am

    I sometimes cry too and sometimes make some sound as if ululating and one Pastor laid hands on me thinking its demonic……it happens mostly in praising and worshiping in church.

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      September 7, 2017 at 12:06 pm

      I think you’re speaking in tongues, honey!

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        November 15, 2017 at 3:22 am

        I have just recently started speaking in tongues. When I do, I weep. Uncontrollable weeping and there is no want to stop it. I googled tonight and found this blog. My purpose was to see why. Why do I weep? I’ve prayed over 4 people in this language and the same thing happens. I’m green so someone tell me what’s happening. Please?

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          January 24, 2018 at 11:26 pm

          I was baptized in the Holy Ghost prior to an intense season. I started speaking (praying in tongues) for HOURS a day for three years. I only wanted to be with the Lord. I HAD TO PRAY. During this season I wept, travailed and cried all the time. I was always COMFORTED in these times but I cried so heavily. I believe the Lord was “purging” me as the Word outlines. This is a process. Once you are saved and THEN ASK FOR AND RECEIVE the Holy Ghost, you will be purged. It’s like the Holy Ghost moved in, which he does, and re-arranged the furniture and this is the firing process. He “deals” with the filth and stuff from your past and presents it to the Lord. This is what Romans talks about in chapter 8, closer to 26-28. I HIGHLY recommend Dave Robersons book “The Walk of the Spirit, The Walk of Power.” It has hundreds of positive reviews from baptized believers who don’t understand this experience. I believe the Lord led me to this book and I was blown away. It’s free on his site or buy it at Amazon. Today, for me, the crying is gone but returns at times. There is great peace but I still talk to God EVERY DAY in tongues. Driving, washing dishes, praying over my wife and daughter. It’s an intercession gift as well. I am so thankful my prayers are CODED from the enemy!!!


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      November 4, 2017 at 6:46 pm

      The same thing happens to me, I’ve been prayed over more than once a rebuking of the devil. It complety confuses me.

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        November 17, 2017 at 8:11 am

        Hey . What yot have received is an immense gift, when you speak in tongues you enter the spiritual realm and speak things that the enemy cannot understand. Your spirit becomes one with the Holy Spirit. I believe weeping is utter brokenness before God and leads to spiritual edification. Look at it this way; Jesus in the garden wept and cried to God and as a result angels came and ministered to Him because of the task he had at hand-dying on the cross. When you weep, your spirit is edified and speaking in tongues allows the Spirit to interceed for your present and even future. When you want to weep, weep it is a manifestation of the Holy spirit. Do not quench the Spirit or the tears, let it all out. Be blessed.

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          November 19, 2017 at 11:58 pm

          Oh thank you! This answered things exactly how I needed to hear it at this moment ❤

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      November 25, 2017 at 2:28 pm

      Twice i’ve experienced this. A sharp sound would just come out of me, like a whistle. Then i would cry.

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    June 10, 2017 at 6:01 am

    I cry everytime too. I felt self conscious about it because others around me would feel compelled to dance, yell and shout. I feel like dancing often times but im on usherboard wedged in the middle of a row with no space to shout and dance how i feel i want to but i ALWAYS just end up drenched in tears. Not because of sadness but because im grateful. God is good all the time. Even now as im laying in bed I feel like shouting but i dont want to wake the kids. My throat is burning from holding it in. Thank you Jesus!!!

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    Maxzine Grandison
    June 16, 2017 at 9:54 am

    I cry & start sweating very very heavy, it is the ANOINTING OF GOD Ana THE GLORY OF GOD that is consuming your THE HOLY SPIRIT is filling you up to the TOP, IT IS FOR OTHERS FOR THE PURPOSE OF GOD

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    July 12, 2017 at 12:48 am

    So thankful to read your article! I, too, cry every single time and also wondered why?! I have been so embarrassed by this and try to secretly wipe tears. I’m glad to hear why and that it’s not completely unusual. I will begin embracing this!

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      January 22, 2018 at 9:21 am

      I feel so overwhelmed with emotion that soon after the pastor begins to speak, I start crying. Always, no matter what church or what the occasion. I feel embarrassed and self conscious but then I feel bad, because I wonder if it is some kind of blessing and I’m rejecting it. Reading these posts has helped. I just wish I could stop feeling embarrassed and embrace it…

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    Gus able
    July 24, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    I can’t sing hallelujah without balling my eyes out. I just heard kari Kobe forever for the first time and when she sings Hallelujah the lamb is overcome!!! It just touches my heart

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      November 5, 2017 at 5:48 pm

      Me either! Thanks for sharing.

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    July 29, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    I could have written this myself. Finally, an answer! Thank you!

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    July 30, 2017 at 2:10 am

    I cry each time I hear something about God that touches me or has a deep meaning, I can’t control it, it comes out and I can’t put an emotion to it I just cry like someone is touching my soul. Is it Jesus? The Holy Spirit? Or both?.

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      October 22, 2017 at 9:32 pm

      I do too. Every. Single. Time. Today it was when an elder was thanking our pastor. Then everyone stood and started clapping , and tears were just pouring down my face. Everyone else was happy and I was so overcome with emotion. Glad it’s not just me!

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    Jeanette Joseph
    September 11, 2017 at 1:22 am

    Every time I hear the word of God preached, I cry. I cannot stop it.

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    September 11, 2017 at 4:31 am

    I do this every time I am at church, I GIVE GOD ALL THE GLORY AND PRAISE!!!!!!!!! I JUST HUMBLE MYSELF BEFORE HIM!!!!!!!!!!

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    N morales
    September 18, 2017 at 11:47 am

    I’m so happy I read this article I was always trying to hold my tears in and break focus to not cry.. Now I won’t and ill embrace the Holy spirit. Amen

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    September 22, 2017 at 6:40 am

    I cry but…..this has happened to me several times. When I’m really into my prayer during worship and the song if very meaningful to me I begin to praise harder and then I cry but sometimes I will blackout and once I hit the floor my eyes open and I’m stuck on the floor crying so hard but for a few minutes I can’t move. This happened very often. I know it’s the holy Spirit because I can just feel it in my heart. I can’t feel the spirit rush in and out of my body. It is truly and amazing experience but I cannot find anything that can explain why it happened to me so often.

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    October 3, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    Bless you are sharing this! This in itself is an answer to my prayer! To know others actually share this emotion through song. I cry every single time at church during worship. From a young age. It’s plagued my why I can’t get through a song without crying. Most times I concentrate so hard on trying not to cry, because of embarrassment, that I can’t concentrate fully on worshiping God. My husband always asks me what’s wrong, and I say I don’t know! Nothing, actually! I sort of feel at peace now knowing I’m not the only one. Praise God!

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    October 10, 2017 at 12:24 am

    I am a (Male)pastor and I have learned that the Holy Spirit brings such a sensitivity and compassion to us. My heart is moved quite easily to cry. I attended a funeral recently and the family, most of which I didn’t know began to mourn as they were closing the casket. Hearing them hurt cause my heart to hurt for them and I had fight to keep from weeping.
    There is brother in the congregation, we tease each other about….”manning up” we both are easily moved! I guess it could be embarrassing but I have learned that it is something that the Holy Spirit works in those whose hearts He has touched!!!!

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    October 11, 2017 at 9:30 am

    I feel like this too. For me it started when i was an adult. I was raised in a christian home but things happened and i became an atheist because i believed God did not care about me. But one day i was listening to a pastor on T.V and he was singing a praise song and i just started crying and i could not help myself. I thought i was being emotional but now i know i wasn’t . Thank you!! Shish from Kenya.

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    October 15, 2017 at 11:44 pm

    An answer i was looking for ! I recently started to attend a christian church “ well more like Congregation” and eveytime i go i feel the need to cry and when worshiping our god and when singing along. I have try to hide it and blink a lot so people do not notice and I really was embarrassed because i asked myself the same question, Omg why am i crying? What is happening? I now know that it is our holy spirit, our GOD touching my heart and i will praise to him with everything i got! And i will let my emotions run wild because it is for him!

  • Reply
    Linda Lopez
    October 16, 2017 at 7:47 pm

    I’m so happy to hear I’m not the only one who feels this way…at night when I pray I sometimes get very emotional…speaking to our Lord..I don’t know I just feel so blessed..so full of joy its a great feeling..does anyone feel the same way ?

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    October 21, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    I am so thankful that I googled this question i felt very alone & embarrassed thank you!

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    October 23, 2017 at 6:41 am

    Amen thank you LORD Jesus for loving us so much, its so refreshing.

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    anne cosgrove
    October 28, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    so glad I googled this I received God’s calling a few months ago and got this urge to attend church and have been for the past couple of months and so glad I did. But I also would cry when singing and praying and felt embarrassed now I will embrace it. I could never understand why I got overwhelmed now I do

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    October 30, 2017 at 10:24 pm

    I’ve always found when I worship I start to weep and weep. Not with joy but with incredible pain and grief. I don’t consider myself an overly emotional kind of guy but worship rips my heart asunder and all I can feel is wave of hurt after wave of hurt. I don’t know why but if any of you could shed some light on this I’d be glad for some insight.

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      November 1, 2017 at 2:49 am

      i get the same exact way too. im filled with grief and i weep uncontrollably. i think its cuz we feel ashamed for the life we’ve lived and for hurting Jesus. We appreciate what Jesus has done for us on the cross and emotions overtake us and we can’t control it, because deep down inside, we know we deserved to be nailed to the cross and not Jesus. i see it as a good sign of the Holy Spirit working in us, allowing us to repent and appreciate what Jesus has done for us. But thats just my opinion because thats how i often feel. i have a lot of grief thinking about Jesus suffering on my behalf and i know i deserved to be on that cross and not my innocent precious beautiful Jesus.

      • Reply
        December 20, 2017 at 9:06 pm

        AMEN! This is it!!! Thank you so much for not only stating your opinion but putting words to my feelings. EXACTLY! All I could really muster was….”I am just so unworthy.” I think because the feeling is grief instead of joy, it makes me feel like I should hide it even more.

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      January 26, 2018 at 9:16 pm

      I have the same feeling but it’s not hurt . It is purging the hurts from you. I’ve been doing this since a teenager and now I’m in my forties. I’m embarrassed every time. It’s gotten worse now almost if preaching is doing any kind of singing or praise I boo hoo . I just wanna ask him to stop singing so I can stop crying. Sometimes I think he sings like a light switch and there she goes. The more I try to control it the worse it gets so I think it’s better to cry and I feel so good after just abnormal cause I’m the only one most of the time like a huge crybaby. Why me God! I hope the pastor doesn’t start singing on que for me to cry

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    November 2, 2017 at 3:00 am

    I have just finished bawling my eyes out while having some quiet worship time and listening to worship songs. I seem to cry hard for a few seconds, tears pouring down my face, then an overwhelming peace fills me and I suddenly stop crying. Then the crying starts up again and this goes on for a while crying on and off. I absolutely feel it’s the Holy Spirit. When I first gave my heart to God, and began crying during worship I would feel hurt and pain too but after a while (and it did take a while) the pain went. I do think it has something with letting my past go and asking forgiveness for all the things I have done in the past. I guess it’s like a healing period. Now when I cry during worship, I just feel blessed 🙂

    • Reply
      November 19, 2017 at 3:27 am

      I googled because I don’t understand why I cry either.. first time I came to Christ, I went to a Bible study that my friend has invited me to. My life was a mess, I was so miserable and I was tired of life. My friend invited me to the Bible study and my words to use were”what do I have to lose” and I went. The whole time I was there I felt like everything the pastor talked about referred to me and I was trying so hard not to cry. I’m one of those persons that once they start crying, nothing can make them stop. So I’m sitting there holding in my tears wishing for it to sin be over so I don’t lose it and start sobbing. When it was finally over, the pastor said she wanted to pray over me and I agreed. I couldn’t take it anymore and I started sobbing uncontrollably. So I’m being prayed over and all of a sudden I feel a tremendous peace come over me. My tears stopped and I couldn’t cry, I was in shock with what was going on. From that day on, I believe. I’ve always wondered if anyone else had ever felt that.

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    November 4, 2017 at 8:41 am

    I cry all the time, listening to sermon or worshiping. JUst wondering if there is something wrong with me.
    When I see people get baptist I cry and during Good Friday service I cry because I feel so sad for Jesus dying on the cross for us. What is wrong with me?? I felt embarrassed as I am always in tears at church. I try very hard not to show the ?

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    November 4, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    I almost always cry a little bit. And recently noticed my right hand starts to shake when I pray. Thursday night at church I started crying and couldn’t stop. I started sweating and my ears and face and neck were on fire. When praise and worship was over and I sat down, it instantly ceased. God is amazing and I get closer to Him every day. Thank you Jesus for these fellow Christians.

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      November 19, 2017 at 3:24 am

      I googled becaus me to. My life was a mess, I was so miserable and I was tired of life. My fri Claudetteend invited me to the Bible study and my words to use were”what do I have to lose” and I went. The whole time I was there I felt like everything the pastor talked about referred to me and I was trying so hard not to cry. I’m one of those persons that once they start crying, nothing can make them stop. So I’m sitting there holding in my tears wishing for it to sin be over so I don’t lose it and start sobbing. When it was finally over, the pastor said she wanted to pray over me and I agreed. I couldn’t take it anymore and I started sobbing uncontrollably. So I’m being prayed over and all of a sudden I feel a tremendous peace come over me. My tears stopped and I couldn’t cry, I was in shock with what was going on. From that day on, I believe. ? @ Cath, I’ve always wondered if this was something other people experienced.. this was my first and only time.

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    November 19, 2017 at 1:48 am

    I am very encouraged by this. Just today at a women’s conference I was crying because of the emotion of the topic. Then we started worship and I felt like wailing! And I fought and fought to not wail, so much I even had a small face twitch and my voice wasn’t coming out to sing. I have been scared it is a demon bothering me but I know that is impossible because I am filled with the Holy Spirit and am of God. Thank you for this encouraging blog. I know now not to be embarrassed or ashamed of my blubbering or mistake it for evil. The Lord will do great work through those who humble before Him.

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    December 1, 2017 at 6:00 am

    I’m a guy and I weep whenever I listen to intense worship songs. Sometimes it happens even when I listen to worship songs at work. I didn’t understand it before, Thank you for the explanation.

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    December 3, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    Me too. I’m so glad to know there are others having the same experiences I am. I always felt so alone before, and would always try to stifle my tears. Now I’m thinking there’s probably others in the congregation that feel the same way, but we’re all just trying not to cry! I’d love to go to church with ALL of you!

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    December 9, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    I cry also when in church during praise and worship, and during communion also… when i was in the choir i cried all the time and it would embarrass me but i dont get embarrassed by it now..i just feel that I have a tender heart …and its funny because EVERY time i try and talk about JESUS I end up with tears running down my face….

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    December 13, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    So glad I found this. I have only been to church a few times and every time I give it a go I start crying and get really embarrassed and I then I don’t want to go back. Well last week I wine to an church where they have a Chinese woman that translates the sermon and on stage she stated crying and struggled to get the words out and I felt happy to know I’m not the only one being to impacted by scripture. ..I still don’t even understand why I cry so much, I am only starting to learn about Jesus so I don’t know/understand why Holy Spirit would effect me differently than others?

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    January 2, 2018 at 11:25 pm

    My exact thoughts…When I first began to go to my church I would always cry during worship or when a subject touched my heart during the service but over time it (worship crying) ceased. Recently I attended my partner’s church and yet again I started to cry during worship; I’m not sure why but my spirit is suddenly overwhelmed when attending a church for the first couple of times.
    I’m glad I found this post 🙂

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    Alisa McDaniel
    January 6, 2018 at 4:07 am

    Oh my goodness I need to read this before I go to church every time. The embarrassment is so intense. I feel like it’s going to take me awhile to let this sink in. I also Googled is it normal to cry in church while singing. I do not like bringing attention to myself at all but every time I just cry and cry and cry. I can’t help it! This article is bringing so much comfort to me to know I’m not alone. I just wish I could witness people around me doing the same so I don’t feel singled out while I’m doing it.

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    January 7, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    You all don’t know how encouraging this is for me to find this and read your stories. I too, have cried through worship, sermons, etc. I’ve always wondered why I get so emotional during certain songs. I’m convinced those songs are ones that have Jesus all over them!! They’ve been annointed by the Holy Spirit by whoever wrote the songs, lyrics and music. Music is very powerful. Satan himself was a musician. So because I know this, i want to be so sure that Satan isn’t using music to get to me. I ask Jesus to take away anything that wouldn’t be of Him. I had a non malignant brain tumor 4 years ago. Prior to that I was even more emotional but to this day, there are certain things about Jesus that just stirs my heart to tears like nothing else in this world. He was SO very real to me in ways that are difficult to describe. Every time I recall memories from that time of Jesus being my total peace, I get so choked up and cry. It’s an intense overwhelming emotion- I can’t help or hold back my tears no matter how hard I try. When I share with friends about how Jesus showed himself so real to me, I weep. I weep not because I’m sad but because I’m totally overwhelmed by God’s love for me. He was there with me. He still is but I saw Him in a different way. What you’ve shared about how we are being touched by the Holy Spirit as His gift to us when tears come to us, is a beautiful thought that I never considered. I just thought wow. Either I have some kind of mental instability (which I’ve never been told I have) or perhaps it’s from too much sugar…yet, I try to limit my sugar and it’s not like I’m eating it very often to cause this intense emotion when and only when I think about who Jesus is to me and while worshipping him, hearing a story of His faithfulness to others, etc. I have felt embarrassed for sure when tears just stream down my face during worship. As others have mentioned, my husband or kids have asked me what’s wrong…if I’m ok. I’m like, “Yes! I’m totally fine. I don’t really know what’s wrong…” yet I do…it’s an overwhelming presence of the Holy Spirit…whether joy of who He is and all He’s done, or sadness for what more I could do to show Him my love for Him for all He has done on the cross for me, or maybe sadness of our world and how this must hurt His heart. So yeah. This is my story and it sure does help to know I’m not alone. God bless you all and someday very soon He will wipe every tear from our eyes! Oh and one more thing. Someone mentioned about how while we are praising and worshipping Jesus, the angels are also. Prior to finding out about my meningioma brain tumor, I was in worship with my husband. As we were singing a song, “Oh how marvelous oh how wonderful is my Savior’s love for me…”, I turned to him and said, “We just sang this!” My husband said, “We are singing it right now!” I felt I had been in a different place- a beautiful and perfect place hearing the harmonies so lovely and perfect, almost tranquil. Then I came back to reality- still beautiful but what I had just heard was almost heavenly. I know this sounds so weird. I realized that I had been having right temporal lobe partial seizures from where my brain tumor was located…causing dejavu symptoms as well. Since it was in the memory and emotional part of my brain, it made sense, yet….I had never in my life heard this song sound so absolutely beautiful as I had heard it. I get very emotional when I think about this as well. I cry for God’s amazing love to us as humans. God is so good! I love him sooo much. I just wish I always felt His presence as I did during that time in my life. I know He’s the same God but He does seem to show himself in different ways at different times to us. Thanks for listening and any thoughts would be appreciated!

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    January 17, 2018 at 12:30 am

    I did cry teicdbut before this I used to go church almost every Sunday for a few years , then I stopped. I joined the army and got out and I went to a funeral that was my girlfriends uncle I didn’t even know him and the pastor started to reference things off of the Bible to a story he told about his father, that’s the first time I experienced crying and I don’t know what happened but it just came out . The second time was when I went to a service and was invited by a lady that was the daughter of mother tucker which is a well known lady for the mother tucker ministries in Oklahoma. I went to attend and to help hand out food for the poor and the needy and I went to join the service I sat down and they started singing songs and I just started crying out of nowhere and I kind of felt it was going to happen . I was a little embarrassed so I left early but after the
    Songs were done I stopped crying then the pastor ask me to come up and he said a prayer to me right when he started saying a prayer I started crying again. Now I read the Bible every night we’ll try too and will finish it within this year or year and a half and I started crying while reading these comments about others crying. I know it’s a long paragraph but I cant explain myself in dense but all I know is that I love the feeling of it after when I cry it feels like god and Jesus and the Holy Spirit is within my heart. I don’t attend church every Sunday and that was the last time I went but I do pray every night and try to read Atleast a page or two every night .

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    January 17, 2018 at 7:15 pm

    What a wonderful & blessed piece ~ Thank You! ~ And to see the conversation it opened ~ So wonderful!
    This is hands down one of the best articles I’ve read and has quickened me in the spirit. I too have searched
    many times on this topic but never read anything as good. Since becoming a Christian, I always have this
    bubbling-up of emotion. It felt wrong to stuff it down but I too felt like an anomaly and didn’t know what it
    was. Until a woman said, it’s the Holy Spirit honey 🙂 I now know that when the spirit moves, crying is highly
    cathartic ~ purging ~ purifying.

    “Remove the dross from the silver, and it will become a vessel for the smith” Proverbs 25:4

    Silver is mined from the earth with other metals and isolated by refining processes. Silver must be refined numerous times to remove all the dross – the scum or foreign matter that corrupts the purity of the metal (Pr 17:3; Ps 12:6). After all the dross has been removed, the pure silver can be formed into a beautiful vessel with the excellent traits of silver. . . Life is incredible with God ♥

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    January 22, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    Every. Single. Time!
    Thank you deeply for this article, I’ve been struggling with myself thinking that something may be wrong with me.
    Deep in my soul, though, I always feel grateful that my relationship with God still stirs me up, that my passion can still manifest and that I can be consumed with emotion because of God. He is worthy to be praised.

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