The Incense of Thanks

"O Lord, I call to you; come quickly to me. Hear my voice when I call to you. May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice."—Psalm 141: 1-2 One way I know I am moving closer to God and an intimate relationship with Him is the presence of increasing gratitude in my life. We are being wooed and won over to the heart of God when we experience a deep sense of thankfulness for all the benefits and blessings in our lives.

The Psalmist describes the act of calling upon the Lord as incense.

Revelation 5:8 depicts the "prayers of the saints" as "golden bowls full of incense." Incense is a pungent and overpowering scent, searing your sense of smell and invading your sense of taste. The aroma of incense is meant to bring beauty and awareness to the atmosphere. Our prayers bring God great pleasure and fill the heavens with a powerful sense of beauty.

"May the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice," wrote the psalmist, David.

Lifting our hands before the Lord is the sweet release of surrender.

All of us wrestle with the weight and worries of cares and anxieties—until we realize we are carrying a burden we are not meant to bear. If we "cast our cares upon Him," we can transfer the weight and responsibility of fixing them by ourselves to the place they belong.

From our shoulders to the broad shoulders of our Savior and God. Oh, what burdens are lifted, stress relieved, and hearts lightened when we learn to give our cares to the Lord.

For that, we can give thanks and praise Him!

Whatever your interpretation of America's history, remember, there was a moment in time when warring factors, when men of different persuasions, when Native Americans and pilgrims, both struggling to survive in this land, found moments of camaraderie, of desiring to live together in peace.

On October 3, 1789, our first president, George Washington, issued a proclamation designating November 26 as a national day of thanks to “Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.”

There have been moments when we declared, it is time to give thanks. When it is time to send prayers like incense to the heavens, and thank God who loves us, for all our blessings.

 

DEVOTIONALSRay Bentley