6 Minute Read

Be Still

To the best of your ability, get rid of all distractions. Take a couple of minutes to breathe deeply, to quiet yourself in the Lord’s presence. Then, prayerfully ask the Lord to speak to you in this time and let Him know that you will be listening and will make whatever adjustments He will reveal to you.

Today’s Bible Reading:

Nahum 1:1–3:19
Revelation 8:1-13
Psalm 136:1-26
Proverbs 30:7-9

Listen to the Lord

Slowly and reflectively read the following verses and listen to what God will say to you through them. Then, consider writing down any insights He reveals to you.

Revelation 8:3-4 (NLT): “Then another angel with a gold incense burner came and stood at the altar. And a great amount of incense was given to him to mix with the prayers of God’s people as an offering on the gold altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense, mixed with the prayers of God’s holy people, ascended up to God from the altar where the angel had poured them out.”

Reflections from Scripture:

Incense has one primary purpose – to produce an aroma that creates a pleasant atmosphere.

In Revelation 8:3-4, did you notice what was mixed with the incense? The prayers of the saints!

The New Testament repeatedly encourages us (sometimes commands us) to pray. We are often motivated to pray because of the potential for answered prayer. So, prayer is commanded and can be very beneficial for us.

But, in Revelation 8:3-4, we are told (through implication) what God thinks of our prayers. They are a pleasant aroma to Him. They are mixed with incense that ascends before the very throne of God.

So when you pray, my friend, you may feel like you aren’t making much of a difference. You may even feel like God isn’t paying attention to your words and the heart from which they come. You may feel as if the words of your heart are unappealing, maybe even distasteful, to the God of Heaven.

According to Revelation 8:3-4, those sentiments are not true. Instead, your prayers are a pleasing aroma to God. He loves to hear them!

With this being the case, spend time in prayer to God today. Realize that God may be enjoying your prayer time more than you are. With that perspective, open your heart and speak with your Father in Heaven who loves you dearly.

Spend Time in Prayer

Lord Jesus, thank You for making my prayers pleasing to the Father. Since I am trusting in You for my salvation, You dwell in me in the person of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit within me assists me in my prayers, and You are standing at the right hand of the Father, interceding for me when I pray. That You so much for making my prayers so much more pleasing to the Father than I could ever possibly imagine. So, help me pray out of a heart of gratitude and happiness, not drudgery and duty. I pray this in Your Name, Amen.

Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on Facebook or Twitter.

Photo by Motunrayo Babatunde on Unsplash