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Prayers Like Incense Drift Up To Heaven

Most of us have said at least a prayer or two in our lives. Maybe a cry for help to the Lord or a praise for something good. Maybe you’ve whispered words on behalf of another soul going through a hard time.

In Christianity, prayer is a huge part of what we do. We say the Lord’s Prayer. We recite prayers with others at church. We pray for those who are afflicted. We pray before a meal or at bed time.

But, if you’re like me, you haven’t really given the act and the concept of prayer too much thought. We’re having a conversation with God — and that’s that.

But what a versatile thing prayer is. We can use it to lament. We can use it to ask for help. We can offer prayers of joy. We can talk to God like an old friend, pouring out our hearts in the darkness or at dawn. It’s possibly more available than our breath at times.

When I was a kid, I used to think the prayers we all recited at church were boring. They were just words we all said together and we most likely did the real praying at home. However, lately, I’ve come to recognize the beauty of possibly hundreds or thousands of lips offering up words of praise and thanksgiving to the Lord all at once. I wonder what that sounds like to the Lord? A chorus of his people coming together, offering prayers in fellowship that drift all the way up to heaven and are heard by God.

What a beautiful thing to think of.

And, yet, even when we are praying alone — are we really praying alone? Or are many others joining us in our prayers, as varied as they may be, sending our pain, our joy, our deepest thoughts and feelings up to the heavens in yet another chorus.

We often think of our actions on a solitary level, forgetting the multitudes of others who live and breath on this planet. We forget that the Bible, at times, describes prayers as incense raising up before the Lord.

In Psalm 141, David describes his prayers in this way:

“Let my prayer be counted as incense before you,

and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!”

In Revelation 8:4, prayers are also described this way: “And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel.”

Maybe we can take comfort in this — that if our prayers join in that same chorus of prayer that David once described, we are truly not alone in our walk. We are in good company, speaking to the Lord together and over the ages, sending our words up to the heavens in the pleasant scent of incense — all the way up to heaven. May your prayers be blessed and come to the Lord with great speed this week, my friends. Be blessed, and pray without ceasing!

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