‘May my prayer be set before you like incense;’ Psalm 141.2
We can sometimes feel as if our prayers dribble out of our mouths and achieve nothing! At other times it can feel as if we are trying to get through a brick wall and we wonder why we bother. The concept that our prayers are like incense to God seems a far cry from how we feel!
The image of incense being burnt in the temple signifies something pleasing and
attractive to God, and this can be applied to our prayers which also attract him and bring him pleasure. The reason our prayers are attractive to God is because he loves us so deeply; it brings him great pleasure when our thoughts and hearts turn to him. To believe this, you have to begin to accept the pleasure that you, God’s beloved child, bring to him.
Let these words that the Father spoke to Jesus be his words to you: “You are my child, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” Hear him speak these same words over you. No wonder your prayers are as incense to him, because he delights in you.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission