The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand. Revelation 8:4
Incense is something that can bring a sweet smell to an area. It can push out bad smells of other things. The smell of the incense will overpower a negative smell.
Sometimes certain chemicals are used for incense that can also brings a calming to the body, peace or comfort. These can sometimes be mind-altering drugs, changing how a person feels, covering up a bad situation in one’s life.
John describes a picture of an angel in heaven bringing before God some incense with the prayers of God’s people.
Everyday people around the world are worshipping God and praying to God. With all of the negative things happening in life on this earth, those words of worship and prayer can often appear to be worthless sounds in this noisy world. It can feel as if the prayers are only reaching the ceiling and bouncing back down, useless.
The world wants a believer to think that his worship and prayers are worthless, but God thinks differently. That worship is rising before God as an incense, a sweet smell coming out of a dark and dying world, full of sin.
The prayers of believers brings God great comfort and peace. Those prayers are showing God that His people are believing in and trusting Him to meet their every need. It gives God the ability to work in the lives of His people to meet their every need.
God hears every prayer that a person makes. He is not so far away that He cannot hear them. In the end, if not sooner, God will remember all of those prayers and get His vengeance upon the wicked for the wrongs that they did to His people.
You may wonder about the value of your prayers or if God even hears those prayers. Know that your every prayer is brought up before God as a sweet smelling incense before Him.
Do not withhold your prayers and worship from God. They enable God to do things that will be for your benefit. God is collecting those prayers to be used at the right time, in the right way to build you up and to build His kingdom up.
Do not get discouraged when your prayers appear to not be answered, God is already working on it.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will pray daily to God; that you will trust God as you pray; that you will know God hears your prayers of faith; and that God will smell the sweet incense from your life of worship and prayer.
The smoke of the incense together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand. Revelation 8:4
People make requests of those in high level authority, but often wonder if they were heard or if anything will be done with the request. Most often many of those requests are completely ignored, they are not important enough to deal with.
Those in authority will usually hear the requests of certain very important people. When they speak, the authorities listen. These are usually the big donors or supporters, not just everyone.
In John’s vision of what is occurring in heaven, he sees angels come before God with seven trumpets. With those angels is one who brings the prayers of the people before God. The trumpets release some of God’s judgement and wrath upon the people of the earth.
Just as it is with asking authorities on earth for something and not getting an immediate answer, so it often occurs with believers praying to God. Believers go through persecution from those in the world and they pray to God for strength and relief. Sometimes that relief is immediately provided, but many times there does not ever appear to be an end in sight.
For the praying believer, this can be frustrating to pray and not be heard. Yet, God does hear every prayer. Every prayer is being collected and stored for a time for God to deal with it.
Ultimately in end times, God will answer those prayers with His judgement upon the earth. He will destroy a third of the earth and everything in it as He answers those prayers.
God will never leave a prayer completely unanswered. It may take some time to answer, but He will answer it. In the end the world will be judged for the persecution against His people that was and is being done.
As you are going through struggles and hardships, do not stop praying to God. Know that God hears every prayer that you have prayed and going to answer them at the perfect time. These prayers may be answered immediately, or they may be answered in the end during the final days of judgement.
Either way or time that God answers your prayers, rest in the peace of knowing that God hears you, is in control and will answer. God will take vengeance upon those who have attempted to harm you.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will bring to God your every need; that you will know God hears your prayers; that you will know God will answer your prayers; and that God will give you strength to endure until the end.
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil. 1 Peter 3:12
Everyone likes to be seen and heard by other people. This is especially true of being seen and heard by those in authority.
No one likes to be ignored or brushed aside. To keep this from occurring, people will do nearly anything they can to be heard. Instead of doing the right thing, often, some people will cause trouble and do harm in order to be heard.
After talking about having to suffer, Peter points out where God’s eyes and ears are. He sees and hears those who are doing what is right, but is set against those who do evil.
On a regular basis people are confronted with the conflict of whether to do the right thing and suffer or to do what is wrong and appear to get away with no suffering. Choosing to do what is right will often go against the common thought of the day and will cause suffering.
Very few people like to suffer, so they will often choose to do wrong to avoid any unnecessary suffering. Believers are often found to compromise their stand for God, to avoid suffering and ridicule.
The believer who has chosen to do wrong will often wonder why God does not answer their prayers. Instead of choosing to repent and do correct, they live with their choice and justify it, making God turn against them and refuse to hear their cries. Many will have to learn to live with their bad choices, because of their refusal to do what was right the first time.
Just as Jesus chose to do right, even when it cost Him His life, so should the believer always choose to do the right thing before God and man.
If you are feeling as though God is ignoring your prayers and is against you, check yourself for about whether you are doing what is right or wrong.
Get yourself into God’s word and be led by His Holy Spirit to guide you in making the right choices every time. Do what God wants you to do, so that He will be able to see and hear your prayers.
God wants to be for you, not against you, but you must also be for Him and not against Him.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will choose to do what God wants you to do; that God will give you strength to do what is right; that God will sustain you in times of suffering; and that God will see and hear your prayers.
You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. James 5:8
Being patient is not something that most people are. Everyone wants things faster and faster, regardless of how fast it already is or how much faster it is now, than it was.
Along with being impatient, many people will not stand firm on anything. They will go with the flow that everyone else is flowing in. They want what everyone else has or wants.
As a result many people complain or grumble about everything not being fast enough. They jump from one thing to another trying to seek something better or faster.
James points to the people directly and tells them to be patient and firm. The reason is because the Lord’s coming is near.
It is very common for a believer to pray about some difficult situation in his life, then to suddenly take things into his own hands and make a mess of it, because God didn’t answer fast enough.
Believers are often just like the world at being impatient with God in situations. They want everything right now and grumble as the Israelites did in the wilderness when they don’t get it fast enough.
The Lord is on His way, both in the return to take every believer to heaven and in answering prayers. He will never do anything early or late, but in His perfect timing.
At the moment a believer is impatient with God and grumbles about it, he shows that he is not trusting God, His promises or timing. Instead of being anxious and complaining about it, the believer must trust in God’s timing and His promises to provide all that one needs.
God is always on His way to meet every need of every believer.
You will always have some struggles in life that you are seeking God’s help in. As you are praying and waiting for God to answer your prayers, do not allow yourself to become impatient and begin grumbling.
Instead of impatience and grumbling, praise God that He heard your prayers. Keep moving forward, knowing that God will answer your prayers in the perfect timing and the perfect way.
In doing this, you will have His supernatural peace over your life and you will see God do great and mighty things in your life until the day that Jesus returns or calls you home in eternity.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know God hears your prayers; that you will know God answers all prayers; that you will have God’s patience; and that you will not grumble against God’s timing.