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.
I do not have children of my own, but I have many nieces and nephews by blood and by spirit. I have been blessed to see my friends’ children grow from infancy into awesome little people of God. One of those little people in particular is my first goddaughter. Kids can drive you crazy and run you ragged, but they can also warm your heart in an instant. She went through a phase during which all she wanted to do was sit and have books read to her. Her attention span was nonexistent, so she would get up and grab a new book about every three pages. That did not matter to her uncle because the important thing was spending quality time with that child, the times upon which I can look now whenever those warm memories are necessary to lift my spirit.
Those times of interaction and the memories they created are a picture of the pleasing aroma God experiences when we burn the incense of our prayers. As the saints call upon him and fellowship with him in those quiet times, his heart is warmed as any father’s heart would be for his child. It pleases God that we rely on him. It pleases God that we call forth his will through prayer. It pleases God that we would be united in spirit as his Church and agree in our prayers to him. The same way we can be calmed and soothed when we burn a scent we find pleasurable, God feels and moves in response to our prayers. Those prayers indeed have an impact on our heavenly Father. So great is his pleasure that He has stored them up in a vessel made of gold. It is a picture of how precious our prayers are to him.
It is quite an incredible thing to think that God looks forward to and remembers fondly my time in prayer with him. This is a treasure to him which is not spent or wasted but is saved and admired with a glad heart. That golden bowl full of the saints’ prayers is like a photo album or scrap book of his time with us. None of these moments are fleeting or common to him. Each is valuable in its own unique way. If we truly desire to please our Father, let us make it our mission to fill that golden bowl to overflowing. Let us have the aim of sending up so much of that sweetest aroma that we would bring him joy unceasingly. Father, give us a greater understanding of how it pleases You to hear our prayers and a greater desire to give You that pleasure.