‘May my prayer be set before you like incense;’ Psalm 141.2
Likening our prayers to incense before God encourages us to think about the way we pray. The point of incense is that it continually rises to God and affects the whole atmosphere within the place where it is being burnt. So it follows then, that in the same way our prayers should be woven into the atmosphere of our lives and flow naturally from us. This is not just about saying prayers, but about an attentiveness to God in everything we do.
This might seem completely unachievable, but a practice adopted by many is to try to link the phrase, ‘Lord Jesus’ - or simply the name ‘Jesus’ - with their breathing pattern. It doesn’t really matter how it’s done, but doing this is an attempt to bring Jesus into all that we do.
Begin by sitting down and trying it for 5 minutes, and you will find that it spontaneously happens at other times during the day as well. As you do this, the atmosphere around you changes as your very breathing becomes as incense to God.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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