Aroma of Prayer

Journal Entry // December 17, 2021

And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

Revelation 5:8 ESV

This picture in Revelation 5 of the throne of God and the description of worship has always fascinated me. I think it’s fascinated me because this picture seems so foreign to my everyday life. The lamb, Jesus, is the only one who can open the scroll. And when he stands to take the scroll, everyone in heaven worships him. They fall down on their face and worship. But what I focused on this morning was the 24 elders. Each holding a harp and a golden bowl full of incense – our prayers, my prayers.

This image got me thinking how inadequate my prayers really are for this occasion. In my prayers I do try to give attention to Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication but I must admit that the order does not normally run ACTS and the emphasis is never that strong on each. Probably more like Stac. In my prayers I am typically more focused on myself than I should be. There’s nothing wrong with asking God to work in my life and bring about personal life related requests. These are good and proper. I guess I’m just wondering how often do I really truly worship in my prayer life.

I wonder if my prayers of adoration and thanksgiving and confession are filling up that golden bowl of incense. When everyone is falling down on their face in worship before the lamb, do I have prayers of incense that give the aroma of praise.

Are my prayers only focused on me? That’s my question. I don’t think so but it’s a good question to ponder. Especially at this point in my life, where I am prone to be hyper focused and sensitive to my struggles. This bowl of incense is a good reminder that my personal situation is secondary to the praise and worship of Christ. How did Paul stay content in any and every situation? He was singularly focused on the worship of Jesus.

So what’s my takeaway… My prayers to the Lord are important and not to be taken lightly. It is good to bring my daily cares and requests before the Father. He loves me and wants to be in the midst of life with me. Worship is primary – adoration – confession – thanksgiving. These must be at the forefront of my prayers. My personal requests should be measured in light of the majesty and beauty of Jesus. I should start by gazing into this throne room picture and let it inform my prayers. It should humble me. It should encourage me. It should energize my faith. It should focus my eyes to linger on Christ all the time.

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