From Incense to Prayer

The passage in Exodus 30.34-38 is about incense, so it connects with Revelation 5.8, where incense refers to prayers. So the extract can point out something about our prayers.

1. Each spice must be of equal amounts
2. These spices form a compound
3. The compound are made according to the art of the perfumer
4. With the spices, salt is added
5. Compound is beaten until very fine
6. Some of it is to be placed before the ark
7. The incense is to be holy and pure.

From 7, once the compound is made up according to God’s instructions, it must be regarded as holy, i.e. it is not to be used for anything else except in accordance to God’s directives. The person making up the compound must be sure that it is pure, i.e. free from other elements.

James sheds light on how prayers may be impure: “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures” (Jas 4.3).

When we ask amiss, it means we ask wrongly or inappropriately; this highlights the importance of pure motive in prayers.

“Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God” (Col 4:12)

Therefore, let’s daily join those faithful priests in God’s Holy Temple, wherever we are, to intercede for others like Epaphras’ intercession, with pure incense, motivated purely by love for God and love for brethren so that together we may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. Amen.

Questions for Reflection:

Not what you know; but do you believe…
1. in the necessity to prepare correct motivation in prayer?
2. that such intercessions for others pleases and touches God’s heart?
3. prayer is a ministry where each moment spent counts?

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