27 December 2011

Reading: Revelation 5-9


8 And when he took the scroll, the four living beings and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp, and they held gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. 9 And they sang a new song with these words: “You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it. For you were slaughtered, and your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. 10 And you have caused them to become a Kingdom of priests for our God. And they will reign on the earth.” (Revelation 5:8-10 NLT)

In this dramatic picture, Jesus, the risen Lamb, steps forward as the only one worthy to break the seal and open the scroll of judgment. The four living beings and the twenty-four elders fall down before him to worship. Each has a harp for worship music and gold bowl filled with incense.

Music has almost always been part of worship. Music can be kind of a bridge between natural and spiritual. Incense has nearly always been part of worship. The Bible refers to incense as a “sweet aroma, pleasing to God.”

John saw powerful beings from the spirit realm and wise men from earth bowing down to worship the Lamb. Part of their equipment for worship was golden bowls full of incense. The incense in the bowls John saw was the prayers of God’s people. Thinking about this picture John describes helps me pray more, it helps me pray better. When I pray, my prayer becomes part of the incense that creates a pleasant smell, a sweet aroma, in the nostrils of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.

Prayers of praise, prayers of thanks, prayers of intercession, prayers of supplication, prayers of submission, prayers of inquiry, prayers of desperation. Loud prayers, quiet prayers, sung prayers, spoken prayers, written prayers, death-bed prayers, unspeakable prayers, children’s prayers, fathers’ prayers, mothers’ prayers. The prayers of God’s people. Prayers that please God.


Heavenly Father, Lamb of God, Holy Spirit, today I add this simple prayer of praise and thanks to the prayers of God’s people offered as incense to please you. You alone are worthy of all thanks and praise and worship! I want to please you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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