David Bosworth draws on modern research on weeping to understand references to the petitioner's tears in biblical and other ancient Near Eastern prayers. Weeping reflects helplessness and being overwhelmed with emotion, and tears can motivate others to help. Similarly, people turn to prayer at times of extreme distress; therefore, weeping and prayer reinforce one another as strategies to move the deity to offer assistance. Bosworth finds that prayer that mention weeping also indicate that the deity is angry, so tears are a means of calming divine wrath. The book includes comparisons of Hebrew Psalms and Akkadian prayers with reference to modern scientific research on weeping.