“Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand.” Revelation 8:3–4
There are many times that I feel like my prayers are useless. I repeat the same thing, day after day, and see no answer from God, no results.
Other times, I treat prayer like the least and last thing, when there’s nothing else I can do: “I’ll pray for you.” I say it when I’m feeling helpless and hopeless.
When did prayer become like this for me?
Jesus prayed constantly. He would sometimes stay up all night to pray. He went away to lonely places to pray. He experienced everything we do, so I’m sure there were times He felt like God wasn’t hearing Him. In the Garden of Gethsemane, He prayed for the cup of suffering to pass from Him, and His prayer wasn’t answered.
In Revelation, the prayers of God’s people are offered with incense on the altar. Our prayers are like incense—an aroma before God, pleasing Him, moving Him. The aroma becomes stronger the more we pray or the more intensely we pray. Our prayers rise before God’s throne. Our prayers reach Him.
So even if I feel like my prayers are worthless, or I’ve become repetitive, I have to remember that they’re valuable; they can please God and move Him.
Faith step: Is your prayer life stagnant? Give it a new jolt of energy. Remember that your prayers are treasured, that they rise to God where He sits on His throne. Devote yourself to a certain amount of prayer every day this week, and make your prayers incense before God.
This devotion is excerpted from Mornings with Jesus.