The aroma of Heaven
Sany J Abraham
Rev 5 : 8 Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
Did you know that your prayer is the aroma of heaven? Have we realised that our prayers in the golden bowl continually pours out aroma in the heavenly realms where the King of Kings is worshipped in all holiness and reverence !
Now, Have we thought... Is our prayer worthy of this honour? My answer would be a No.
Dear brethren it is not any natural excellence or merit our prayers possess in themselves and by themselves. Far from it! In the best prayer that was ever offered by the holiest man that ever lived, there was enough sin in it to render it a polluted thing if the Lord had looked upon it by itself. When we approach nearest to the Throne of Grace, we still fall very far short of being where and what we ought to be. The sins of our holiest thoughts are, alone, enough to condemn us! We often come before God in prayer unfit to pray, and spoil the action in the very outset by having an unprepared heart.
At other times, when we are in the midst of devotion—when we are being borne up upon the wings of zeal, pride will intrude—and we congratulate ourselves upon the excellence of our worship. Alas, one dash of that spirit mars it all—it is the Pharisaic spirit, and is the bane of devotion. At other times, just as our supplication is closing, we are assailed with suspicions as to the faithfulness of God—doubts as to the success of our pleas—or else some other unhallowed thought pollutes the sacrifice. Alas, how hard it is to begin, continue, and end a prayer in the Spirit! If any one of our prayers were put into the scales of the sanctuary, alone and of itself, the only verdict upon it must be it is weighed in the balances and found wanting.
The prayers of the saints, of themselves considered, would rather be offences unto Divine holiness than a sweet savour unto God. Our consolation lies in this—that our beloved Intercessor who stands before God for us, even Christ Jesus—He makes our intercessions to be, through His merit, what they could not have been without it—acceptable before the Majesty of Heaven.
A believer has at some instance used a very pretty figure concerning Believers’ prayers. He says we are like little children who run into the garden to gather flowers to please their father, but we are so ignorant and childish that we pluck as many weeds as flowers—and some of them very noxious! And then we carry this strange mixture in our hands, thinking that such base weeds would be acceptable to Him!
The mother meets the child at the door, and she says to it, “Little One, you know not what you have gathered.” She unbinds this mixture and takes from it all the weeds and leaves only the sweet flowers. And then she takes other flowers sweeter than those which the child has plucked and inserts them instead of the weeds. And then she puts back the perfect bouquet into the child’s hand, and it runs with it to its father.
Jesus Christ, in more than motherly tenderness, thus deals with our supplications. If we could see one of our prayers after Christ Jesus has amended it, we should scarcely know it again! He has such skill that even our good flowers grow fairer in His hands. We clumsily tied them into a bundle but He arranges them into a fair bouquet, where each beauty enhances the charm of its neighbour.
Exodus 30:34 reads of the ingredients of the incense to be burned on the altar of incense.
These incenses should not only be mixed according to the perfume maker's art but had to be burned to produce the sweet aroma.
A believer's prayer should be a perfect mix of faith, love, repentance and humility mixed to a proportion. The mix in each prayer would vary known only by the Perfumer - God the Holy Spirit.
Now mixing them alone wouldn't render them aromatic but burning coals of charcoal were always necessary!! Many a saints prayers are well combined, but yet they remain cold and hence useless!! Our prayers must be touched by Holy Fire that God the Holy Spirit alone can provide. Without fervour, the prayers are correct yet COLD, perfect but LIFELESS!!
Let us bless God that the Holy Spirit is the Believer’s Perfumer!
The sweetness of the incense lies not in anything perceptible to the outward senses, but in secret qualities, comparable to the essence and aroma of sweet spices. In the incense there lies a subtle and almost spiritual essence which is fetched forth from it by the burning coals which causes the latent sweetness to spread itself abroad till all around confesses its power.
There is no acceptable prayer in the world but that which the Spirit of God has inspired and Our Intercessor the Lord Jesus Christ has interceded for. The Holy Spirit knows what the mind of God is, and He writes it upon the minds of God’s people, “making intercession in the saints according to the will of God.” And The Lord Jesus in the abundance of precious merit that He possesses puts fragrance into our supplications and imparts a delicious aroma to our prayers!
This is the aroma of heaven, a tribute to the Eternal King from His Loyal Mortal Subjects.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sany J Abraham has recently moved from Dubai to Toronto and is in fellowship with Bethany Chapel with her husband and daughter. She is involved in the Children's ministry.