Posted by: Terry | August 25, 2009

A Reflection on prayer and incense

May my prayer be set before you like incense; (Psalms 141:2 NIV)

Now there is something to consider, what would make my prayer like incense? What is it about incense that would guide me in my prayer? Of course there are the inferences to the incense that burned in the temple, yet is there an invitation here to reflect on prayer and how I go about it?

The art and practice of reflection, or meditation, is smothered in multitasking, iPods, Blackberries and instant gratification. The ancients perceived that to really understand the message of God one must be still and allow the words of Scripture to permeate and simmer in your mind and emotion. The migration of an idea in the mind to understanding in the heart is the product of reflection and time; the result is well worth the effort.

Think with me about prayer and incense. Visualize a long dark stick of incense with brown smoke curling up from the glowing tip, the intense sweet savory fragrance filling the room.

The smoke floats gracefully upward, almost meandering. May my prayer be set before you free from impatience or demand, simply reaching in your direction.

The incense burns slowly. May my prayer not be rushed against the clock.

The fragrance fills the room and my senses, relaxing and calming. May my prayer be set before you in a way that makes them permeate all that I am, may they be the source of peace and comfort when all around is in chaos.

The tip of the incense glows orange-red in the dimly lit room, from its heat the fragrance is released upward. May my prayer be set before you by the energizing flame of the Spirit and rise to you in Spirit filled thoughts and words.

It is an amazing thing when we reflect on the words of The Word, when we hide it in our heart it changes our lives and brings us to the feet of our Savior and Lord.



  1. A beautiful way to see prayer reaching God from us.

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