One of the most beloved hymns is entitled sweet hour of prayer. That is theme of my meditation today. I find it interesting how the words prayer and incense are found together in Scripture. The Psalmist David wrote, “Let my prayer be set forth before thee [as] incense; [and] the lifting up of my hands [as] the evening sacrifice.” David, the man after God’s own heart asked that his prayer would be as incense before his God. My tendency is to think that my prayers incense The Lord because I am all too aware of the sin that dwells in my flesh. But because of the grace and mercy of Christ, I am accepted by The Father and my prayers, in spite of the remaining corruption that is in my flesh, is like a sweet fragrance unto God.
In the book of a Revelation, we read in chapter five, “And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four [and] twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.” What David asked for in the Psalms is exactly how God receives our prayers in heaven. Just think of it beloved, when we come to The Father in Jesus’ precious Name, our prayers give off a sweet fragrance in heaven. Once again we see the prayer and incense connection in another section of Revelation. “And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer [it] with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, [which came] with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.” Here again we are told by God something that we would never know or even believe unless He has said it was so! Our prayers, be they personal or congregational, ascend up before God like a beautiful smelling cloud of incense. We read in Luke 1.10 “And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense.” There is no coincidence here. The people were praying at the time of incense.
God wants us to know that He not only hears our prayers, but because of the precious blood of Jesus Christ that has removed our sin debt, they are a sweet fragrance before Him as well. Oh that we might believe what God says about how He hears our prayers. May The Holy Spirit give us a fresh revelation of the gift of prayer, the power of prayer, and the necessity of prayer. Come boldly to the throne of grace throughout the day beloved. God is not incensed with you, He loves you, and your prayers are a sweet fragrance before Him. “O my dove, [that art] in the clefts of the rock, in the secret [places] of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet [is] thy voice, and thy countenance [is] comely.”
Psalm 141.2; Revelation 5.8; 8.3; Hebrews 4.14-16;Song of Solomon 2.14