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Prayers of God's People

Prayers of God's People

03 September 2011

Reading: Ezekiel 20-21, Psalm 111; Revelation 8

Scripture:

3 Then another angel with a gold incense burner came and stood at the altar. And a great amount of incense was given to him to mix with the prayers of God’s people as an offering on the gold altar before the throne. 4 The smoke of the incense, mixed with the prayers of God’s holy people, ascended up to God from the altar where the angel had poured them out. (Revelation 8:3-4 NLT)

This is a solemn and profound moment in John’s Revelation. The Lamb has just broken the seventh seal of the book and all heaven falls silent for about a half an hour. Then out of the silence and stillness, an angel approaches the sacred golden altar that stands before God’s throne. He’s carrying precious offering for God—the prayers of God’s people—which he mixes with holy incense. As the incense burns, the prayers of God’s holy people mix with the smoke of the incense and become a sweet smell that fills the throne room and pleases God himself.

David the shepherd-king was a worshipper who understood how pleasing our prayers are to God. He wrote “Accept my prayer as incense offered to you, and my upraised hands as an evening offering.” (Psalm 141:2 NLT)

The prayers of God’s people are precious to him. When I pray, it’s more than asking for things I need. It’s more than seeking direction and receiving instruction. It’s more than rituals I perform before meals and in church services. It’s more than a spiritual discipline. It’s much more than I commonly recognize it to be. My prayers are like an offering of sweet-smelling incense to God. He not only hears my prayers, he’s pleased with them.

Prayer:

Father, Please help me keep the sense I have today of how precious the prayers of your people are to you. May my friends and I remember that it pleases you when we pray. Help us to really understand that you are pleased that we pray, you are pleased when we pray, and you are pleased at what we pray. I want to please you with my prayers. “Be pleased to accept my prayer as incense offered to you, and my upraised hands as an evening offering.” (Psalm 141:2 NLT). Amen.

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