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The Fragrance of Prayer

woman sitting at table with hands folded in prayer over her bible.

What a privilege to be commissioned as priests. (1 Peter 2:9) We are anointed to offer sacrifices before our Heavenly Father. A sacrifice of praise, our bodies a living sacrifice, our service, our gifts and our prayers a fragrant aroma. Our prayers, our praise our songs of worship, rise up to the Throne of Grace like incense.  As Thelma shared last month about her time of worshipping and playing the piano, just being with Him was so precious to her as she enjoyed His presence.  As she worshipped, she blessed God with a pleasing aroma.

As we study fragrance this month, let your mind open to God’s word as we see how His love, His grace and His mercy toward us has created in us an aroma that is pleasing to Him. ( 2 Corinthians  2:15 ) His love for us is way beyond our comprehension but it is experienced in so many extraordinary ways. We are engulfed in His presence and our lives are hid in Him. Sometimes in the harshness, busyness and daily demands of life we lose, for a moment, that deep knowing that God loves us. So as we focus on fragrance this month I want to try and shine my light on the extraordinary relationship that God has lovingly, generously drawn us into. Or perhaps He is still drawing you in. But the wonderful truth is that God loves you and He loves me, we are the masterpiece of His creation, and He passionately longs to be together with us. To speak to us as we speak to Him.

Oh, my when I read Song of Songs I catch a glimpse of that love that God has for us...

Song of Songs 1:2-3

“May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!” [Solomon arrives, she turns to him, saying,

“For your love is better than wine. “The aroma of your oils is fragrant and pleasing; Your name is perfume poured out; Therefore the maidens love you."

Song of Songs (also referred to as Song of Solomon) is a love story. It's not one that I always understand, but one that reveals such a deep, beautiful, authentic love. It is a little like a beautiful fragrance that you smell, it lingers but you can’t quite describe it, but you want more. These scriptures capture that love that speaks passionately of an unquenchable yearning and desire expressed between two lovers. A mutual longing to be together and can be seen as God revealing His love for us while at the same time stirring a love for Him in our hearts. Often these scriptures from Song of Songs are recited by the Jewish people on Shabbat as it serves as a renewal of loving vows between God and His people, remember God spoke of His being married to Israel. (Isaiah 54:5)

God clearly reveals this love and longing to be with His creation in the first books of the Bible. In Exodus, we read in detailed description of the Tabernacle, or the Tent of Meeting, as it was known. It was the place where God would meet with the Israelites. His Presence was to be found there. He is the architect of His temple and  if we study it, we will soon see a clear image of Jesus Christ as God built into the Old Testament what would be revealed in the New. The animal sacrifices, the washing and the incense, reveal a picture of Jesus Whose sacrifice secured our forgiveness, washed us in His blood and reconciled us to Himself.  Here in the temple directly in front of the Ark of the Covenant stood a beautiful square table overlayed with gold, the Table of Incense.  On it the Priests burned incense continually as a offering to the Lord. It was a mixture of specified fragrant spices (Exodus 30) and was for God’s pleasure only. A priest would place the incense on the burning coals every day creating a permanent fragrance, an aroma that was a sweet smelling and a pleasing to God.  King David, a man after God’s own heart, described his prayers as like that incense rising up before the Lord, a sacrifice offered up.

Psalm 141:2

May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.

Let us see our prayers like that too, a fragrant offering rising up to fill golden bowls in heaven. (Revelation 5:8) They are never wasted but are received into beautiful bowls until the time is right and the angels tip them up, pouring out God’s response to earth. As Kings and Priests today we are called to offer up a that daily sacrifice of prayer, praise and worship to our God, a never ending fragrant aroma before God.

1 Peter 2:9

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a[special] people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies [the wonderful deeds and virtues and perfections] of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

And so like incense our prayers are offered up to God, not out of duty but out of  love for God.  A love that is birthed in us when we are born again and baptized in the Holy Spirit. It is not a natural love; we don’t work it up or try to love – it is the supernatural love of God described in the Song of Songs which is given to us. We love because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19) 

Our intimacy with the Lord leads us into that deep place of intercession. It is here in the fragrant secret place that we enter into a place of hearing the Lord, of reigning with Him as we pray….Thy will be done on earth…..Thy Kingdom come. The Holy Spirit leads us to pray the will of God. He teaches us to prevail in prayer, to pray until the answer comes. I get very excited when I begin to explore the wonder of prayer and I learn from those who have known a life of dedication to prayer. One of those is Wesley Deuwel who says: “Intensified prevailing prayer is God’s ordained law and method for implementing His redemptive plan in this age till Jesus returns.” It is God’s chosen way to bring action on earth.

Our prayers are not only a pleasing aroma that comes before the Lord, but they are the essence of our relationship with Him. We speak to Him, praise and worship Him and discern what He requires of us here on earth. We ask for those things that He wills and in the place of communicating, experiencing His presence we learn what we are to do.  So often we get stuck because we think we don’t know how to pray. Or we go before the Lord with a list, an agenda. Things to pray for, people, places, nations etc….you know what I am talking about. And a list can be boring, it can feel dry and mechanical.

So how can we pray? I can only share with you what works for me, each of us will find our own way but we must encourage each other to pray…to learn to pray. Jesus prayed much and if He prayed how much more do we need to pray. He is our example.

Personally, my best is to be alone with my Bible, a notepad and a pen. I ask the Holy Spirit to help me and I begin to write to the Lord. I write what’s on my heart…. sometimes I just tell Him how much I love to be with Him, other times I praise Him. At times I am worried, angry or just really feeling off and I tell Him. Many times, I am dry and I can feel I am praying “in the flesh” but as I press in the Holy Spirit touches my thoughts and I find myself going into a different place. The Holy Spirit will often drop scriptures into my heart, and I pray them, or I look them up and see what is the Lord saying to me? I try to let go of my own desire to go a certain direction and allow the Holy Spirit to lead.  Are my prayer times always "WOW?" No, but many times they are so special and deep, and I find myself writing to God and writing what I think He is saying to me. Sometimes it doesn’t make too much sense but when I read it later, I suddenly understand. The emphasis here is on relaxing in Him and trusting that He will teach you….He will. 

Don’t be afraid…..experiment and trust. The Holy Spirit will teach you and as you yield to Him you will find your place of intimacy, of hearing, of asking and knowing that it is here in this hidden place that God is equipping you. He wants to equip you…He wants you to speak to Him and consult Him. Nothing is too small or too big. Just yesterday I asked Him to give someone wisdom and the ability to make a wise, Godly decision. Oh, my goodness…He did just that! I was amazed and thrilled and so grateful. God wants to be a part of our daily lives, part of everything so that we learn to live flowing in His Holy Spirit. We are no longer of this world but of His heavenly world, His Kingdom in which He reigns. So easy to write but not always so easy to live. It is something I believe we learn as we yield to His will and let go of our own desires. It is a journey. But what a journey!

I am not good at giving you action steps but I know that as you ask, the Holy Spirit will teach you. May you rest in Him, flow in Him as He prays in and through you creating a beautiful, heavenly fragrance that fills your heart and rises up like incense. He will teach you to pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. (Ephesians 6:18) Praying with the mind of Christ. A pleasing aroma that touches God’s heart.

Let's Pray:

Father God, teach us to pray. Teach us to please You, that our hearts are pure and our desires are always to do your Will. We love you and want to bless You.

In Jesus' Name, Amen.

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3 comentários

Membro desconhecido
15 de jul.

What a beautiful reminder that our prayers matter because they are a pleasing fragrance to the Lord. 👑


Membro desconhecido
10 de jul.

I loved how you wrote about the “Holy Spirit touched my thoughts” . We truly are not alone. He is with me. So amazing.


Membro desconhecido
10 de jul.

This is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing your heart and how you pray. I never realized that prayer was a fragrance to the Lord. It is our honor to pray with love to our Father.

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