I’m trying not to get hung up on certain things I don’t understand. My mind goes back and forth between what I was taught growing up (pre-millenial view) and what I’m starting to understand (partial preterist view). It makes me want to stop everything, go get some books to study and then do this dBrag entry. And, I plan on doing that, but I don’t want to miss my daily entry. I say these things to encourage you to do the same if you’re getting bogged down like me.
What caught my attention in this chapter was the part about the insense mixing with the prayers of the saints. I went back and re-read this many times. What spoke to me was the fact that in perilous times, the thing we need to be doing is praying. God’s people need to pray more. I believe we may limit God with puny or infrequent prayers. Have you ever read “This Present Darkness” by Frank Peretti?
The other thing that’s interesting to me is the mixing of the insense with the prayers of God’s people:
3 Then another angel with a gold incense burner came and stood at the altar. And a great quantity of incense was given to him to mix with the prayers of God’s people, to be offered on the gold altar before the throne. 4 The smoke of the incense, mixed with the prayers of the saints, ascended up to God from the altar where the angel had poured them out.
What is the insense? Our prayers need the incense and intercession of Jesus Christ to make them effective and powerful. Some have even suggested that Jesus Himself was the angel that mixed the prayers and the insense. These prayers, mixed with the incense (“a great quantity”) ascended up to God.
The encouragement for me today in this chapter is to pray more. I need to practice it. I feel like a puny prayer. I sense God urging me to embrace prayer, together with daily reading of God’s word and scripture memorization. These are the things that will help me the most, and those whom God has placed into my life for encouragement.
Lord, increase my trust in You. Help me to understand the power of the effective prayer of a righteous man. Teach me, Lord. Remove whatever it is that keeps me from praying to you at all times.