What Our Prayers are to God
I love the fragrance of a bouquet of lilacs or the scent of a burning vanilla candle. God chose the sweet aroma of burning spices to speak of our prayer and praise. When we lift the desires and love of our hearts to God, He receives them as though they are a precious fragrance. It is as though He refreshes Himself with our worship.
"May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice" (Psalm 141:2). When we pray, our prayers are lovingly saved as incense to be enjoyed in Heaven.
God taught His regard for our prayers in a beautiful way in the Old Testament when He spoke of the holy incense in Exodus 30. He directed how the incense was to be made and stated that it was very valuable.
God warned against using any incense other than what He chose. Great caution was taken that the incense should be properly composed and of the right materials.
We are to take equal care with our prayers. To approach God with unworthy thoughts, to ask him for selfish advantages is to approach Him with "strange incense." Nor are we to use expressions that are no more than clichés that we say without considering carefully what to say.
Dear Lord, help us to approach our prayer time with reverence and may our prayers always be a delightful fragrance to You.
"When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures" (James 4:3).