Incense, Prayers, and Loneliness

Have You Stolen Heaven’s Incense?

Is there anything more touching than the following story? She sits alone in one of the finest houses to be found. Her husband is dead. He had been so successful and provided for her and her needs after his death. Her phone is by her side, but it rarely rings. Her children never call. She would give anything to hear from them. She sits there waiting, but it never rings. Is there a scene more tragic? Consider the following spiritual parallel to this situation of loneliness.

Are you feeling lonely? Have you isolated yourself from God? Pray. Pray. Pray.

Are you feeling lonely? Have you isolated yourself from God? Pray. Pray. Pray.

The God of heaven and earth sits in heaven waiting to hear from His children. He would give anything to just hear from them. He knows they have needs, even though they may not realize it. He is ready to help, but they do not call. He made an amazing promise to them, “If we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know we have the petitions that we ask of Him” (1 John 5:15). Yet, they do not call. Beloved in Christ, is God’s heart heavy because you do not call?

There is an amazing picture in the figurative language of the book of Revelation. God sits on His throne. When the Lamb of God comes before our awesome God, heaven explodes with worship of the Lamb. There are those twenty-four elders who have harps in their hands, but they also have bowls filled with incense. Immediately, heaven is filled with the aroma of that incense as the elders fall down before the Lamb, and golden bowls filled with incense become part of the heavenly joy and adoration of Jesus (Rev. 5:8-9).

That incense is mentioned again in this book. In chapter six, the saints of God are calling out to God to respond and bring His judgment on those who are persecuting the church. They are told God will respond very soon. In chapter eight, He does. An angel comes to God with incense in a censer. He adds fire from heaven’s altar, and the wrath of God is poured out on the earth. The saints of God have called out for God to act, and He responded.

What does that have to do with the church? Take a look at God’s description of that heavenly incense of the praise of Jesus. Look at what is part of the incense which caused God to come to the rescue of those suffering saints. The bowls in the hands of the elders are full of incense. The Bible tells us exactly what the incense is—it is “….the prayers of the saints” (Rev. 5:8).

What does that have to do with you individually? Imagine those elders about to praise the Lord, and there is no incense because you are not praying! Our lack of praying to heaven robs it of the praise that is around the throne.

God sits in heaven longing for you to call out to Him. He sits there awaiting your incense to fill heaven with its aroma, but there is none! Is there anything more tragic?

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