Monday, August 31, 2015

How Full is Your Prayer Bowl?


Prayer is...like sitting down at a table that God has prepared for us. He says, "I have everything you need today - all the grace, all the wisdom, all the provision that you need - but sit down at the table and eat. Don't be so rushed and so busy and try to live without My supply." Jim Cymbala

Prayers in Golden Bowls 



Imagine your prayers, rising from bent knees and bowed head, ascending to the throne of God. He holds out a golden bowl and the prayers gracefully settle into it, leaving a sweet fragrance from earth to heaven. That's what happens when we talk to our Father. My prayers mingle with the prayers of my father, pastor and friends. The collective fragrance doesn't come close to the exquisite perfumes we splurge on today. Nothing could prepare us for the glory of its scent.



Prayer. It is that magnificent, that important and yes, that necessary. So many of us get hung up on prayer. We don't practice it consistently, our words stumble over each other and embarrass us, we wonder, Is prayer important? Won't bad things happen even if we pray?

Communion with God

Prayer is communion. Communion with the Creator, God the Father through Jesus, the Son. We can come boldly before His throne with all the things we wish to share with Him. It doesn't need to be profound. We just have to be aware, authentic and full of assured faith. Just like with our friends -- we share all our most intimate secrets, our dreams, our plans. That's what God wants to share with us. He doesn't want the stench of hurried, demanding prayers. He wants our love for Him to show in our praises, our faith in Him to sit perched on top of requests and our silence to whisper "tell me more" in our listening.



Children of God who sit in rose gardens, prison cells or in a hut in India add to my own prayers --scented prayers, each as fragrant as the other. Saints gather in stained glass cathedrals, in humble chapels or hidden rooms in third world countries, and all churches in between the three, offering collective voices. It makes me wonder how sweet Heaven smells on the Sabbath with each congregation sending prayers heavenward. Do the bowls overflow?


We are flawed and sometimes fail, but God still accepts the prayers as they leave our lips. Our prayers pass through the nail printed hand of Jesus as He pleads--intercedes--for us. "For," the Bible tells us, "there is only one God, and one mediator, also between God and Man, the man Christ Jesus" (1Timothy2:5). God delights in the sweet smell. He whispers, "I delight to grant your wish," when our request will bring glory to Him. Sometimes God whispers, "Not now, my daughter, it's not the right time." Then there are those hard times when the soft words are heard clearly in our soul, "No, this is not my will."



God Knows Our Hurts

It is in the "no" times that God sends the Holy Spirit to minister to us. Our tears may still flow, but the comfort of the Spirit soothes, embraces and helps us to understand the "no" in light of the Father's will.

When we rise from our closet place we have the assurance our prayers were pleasing to God. And in the depths of our hearts we know it is time to face life again. We gained our strength from the Father who revels in our scented prayers -- yes, even preserving them in golden bowls -- from Jesus the Son, sitting at the right hand of the Father pleading our case, and from the Holy Spirit who gave us comfort. The beautiful heavenly Trinity taking part in our human prayers.

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18 comments:

Denise said...

I love this.

Patsy Paterno said...

Beautiful! I love the idea of our prayers passing through Jesus' wounded hands! God bless you! Patsy

Jedidja said...

Thank you for this great post. I agree with Patsy, I also love that idea.

Lisa Morris said...

Stopping by today from Intentional Tuesday! A beatiful post on prayer. Thank you for sharing. Have a blessed day:)

Jaylin Palacio said...

What a great picture of how our prayers intermingle with the prayers of others as a fragrant offering to the Lord!

Ashley Swavel said...

Beautiful post! Our prayer life is so important to our walk with Christ. Thanks for the reminder!

Horace Williams Jr said...

Pamela,
What a beautiful post! since I suffered my stroke, I have definitely understood the importance of prayer! what a beautiful thought and reminder of everyone praying together. I want my prayers to be a sweet aroma to Him and not just selfish requests. Thank you so much for sharing on Intentional Tuesday. I am thrilled to have found your site! May God bless you and yours in all your endeavors!

Sharon said...

This was truly beautiful, Pamela. I so enjoyed all you had to share, and the lovely images, too. I especially liked the word picture that came to mind as I imagined a prayer bowl, full of fragrant incense as it slowly wafts its way to heaven. Simply beautiful.

This line meant a lot to me: "...the comfort of the Spirit soothes, embraces and helps us to understand the "no" in light of the Father's will."

I have known that comfort lately as I continue to wait upon the Lord for some situations that weigh heavy on my heart.

GOD BLESS!

Heaven Smiling said...

What a beautiful analogy! I love the picture of a bowl overflowing with goodwill. Stopping by from Intentional Tuesday. Thank you!

Crystal said...

Pamela, beautiful word picture of what our prayers look and smell like as they rise to Heaven. I love the thought that our stillness whispers "tell me more" because it inspires me to linger in my prayers. Thank you, Pamela, for sharing your heart at #IntentionalTuesday on Intentionally Pursuing. : )

HungryForGod (Andi) said...

i never looked at prayer that way before :D

Jelli B. said...

What a great picture using our senses to describe what prayer is like for God.

Cathy McInnes said...

What a great image of what our prayers are like! I love the picture of the bowl of rice, powerful!
Cathy

Melanie B. said...

You put this so beautifully. I love the image of the bowl.

Denise said...

You have such a way with words that paint such a lovely picture. So beautiful!

Marie said...

Love spending time just talking with the Lord.

Jonathan Key said...

Prayer is such a vital part of our walk with God. What a really great idea!

Laura Hicks said...

Beautiful!