This morning while reading my devotional, I was struck with emotion. Revelation 5:8 reads:
And when he took the scroll, the four living beings and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp, and they held gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. (My emphasis added)
The magnitude of that one phrase overwhelms my heart today. The prayers of God’s people. My prayers. Every praise to my Father. Every plea of anguish. Every whisper of gratitude. Every scream of anger and confusion. Every petition lifted on behalf of my family, my friends, my church, this world. The prayers of God’s people are there at the end as incense. Incense is defined as “a gum, spice, or other substance that is burned for the sweet smell it produces”. Our prayers are a sweet smell in the nostrils of God. Today. Tomorrow. Til the very end times.
We hear about the importance and power of prayer. In Luke 11:1-13, Jesus teaches us the specifics of prayer. Yet most people – including believers – will admit to wondering “why bother?” at times. For today, this isn’t about a deep theological discussion. Just for today, the comfort of my prayers touching God in such a personal way touches my soul. The knowledge that the prayers of His people play a part in even the end times draws me closer to Him. In this moment, I am thankful that my communication with Almighty God is personal and powerful, intimate and important, and according to Revelation 5:8, everlasting.