Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Altar of Incense

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (Ja. 5.16).

As I read passages on prayer, I recognize what great power we have therein. Yet I find it quite difficult to get to the place of fervent prayer. It makes so much sense (difficulty in prayer). Prayer deals utter defeat to the devil. If he can keep us from effectual, fervent prayer, we are diminished in damaging his efforts. When I pray diligently in secret, those seasons of prayer shared with such mundane activities as jogging, walking the dog, processing firewood, making breakfast, etc. are so much more meaningful. Quite simply, also, diligent, fervent prayer in private is underscored by the most powerful prayer I have with Linda.

Prayer in a believer's life is offered on a heavenly altar. That prayer ascends as incense to our Lord. Shouldn't we keep much incense continually ascending before Him?

And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.

4And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand.

5And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake (Re. 8.3-5).

I would like to be responsible for an appreciable amount of incense in that golden censer.

I've noticed a few things about most houses of worship, lately. There are neither altar nor encouragement to pray. I believe the altar is symbolic of the furniture in the holy place where our prayers are offered as incense, a sweet smelling savor to our Lord. Prayer is not effectively encouraged nor taught by those whose lives are not immersed therein. Should time with our Lord be not compromised, indeed, recognized and practiced as the most important activity in life? Sadly, I find few who share that belief. Truly, what better thing can there be than an audience with the Most High God? Hence, we no longer see the altar existent in many churches. Neither do we hear messages burning from the heart concerning prayer.

There is, however, an altar our Lord put in your heart. That altar is in the holiest place and in heaven too.

Beloved, walk in the Spirit (stay on the mercy seat, underneath the protection of His wings) and ye will not do the deeds of the flesh.

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