On Sunday pastor Jeremy continued our series, “For Me And My House” and taught us about the power of our prayers. We have the ability to change any atmosphere with our praise. David knew that his words had the power to change his environment. In Psalm 141:1-3 he prays, “I call to you, Lord, come quickly to me; hear me when I call to you.2 May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.3 Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.”
He asks the Lord to set a guard over his mouth and keep watch over his lips. Why? Because whatever you say directly affects your situation. The enemy doesn’t rule from a throne he rules through a throne. He knows that God has invited us to sit with Him upon His throne so the devil whispers thoughts of inadequacy in our ear hoping we will say them and eventually believe them. The thoughts of being a nobody and never amounting to anything. The thoughts of never being able to outrun your past or that you have disqualified yourself. You have the power to fight off those thoughts by not allowing your mouth to come into agreement with them.
David also prayed that his prayers would be like incense and that the lifting of his hands would be like the evening sacrifice. Before Jesus died for the sins of the world the priest would have to go into the Holy of Holies (the place that God designed for the people to pray) with the blood of a sacrificed animal and ask God’s forgiveness for the sins of the community. This task was not something to be taken lightly. Before the priest went in they would have to tie a rope around his ankle with a bell on it to ensure that he was still alive under the holiness of God. Occasionally they would have to pull the priest out by his feet because the sin in his own life couldn’t handle the Holiness of God not because God was mean but because by nature God’s holiness destroys sin. Thankfully we don’t have to worry about that anymore thanks to Jesus. After the rope was tied and the priest approached the Holy of Holies there was an altar of incense in front. When the priest would take the blood of the sacrifice into the Holy of Holies he would mix the coals where the sacrifice burned with incense and put it at the door. The majority of the time it would be one sacrifice but once a year their would be a community sacrifice where the head of every house hold would bring an animal to be sacrificed. With that many sacrifices the smell must have been unbearable but the smell of incense coved the smell of sin.
When we pray it doesn’t necessarily take what we are going through away but it makes it bearable to get through. When David asked that his prayers be like incense he was asking that his prayers would change the atmosphere. He understood the symbolism of incense and the power of prayer. He understood sacrifice. He didn’t want to take his prayers lightly. He wanted to see transformation come through his words. Be encouraged today to pray the same prayer and see the atmosphere change around you. Thanks to Jesus God’s presence is no longer contained in one place. It goes with us wherever we go. May every prayer we pray saturate the atmosphere revealing to people that there sins have been covered by the sacrifice of Jesus and that they have unlimited access to God’s presence!