I’d never experienced incense in worship prior to my years at seminary, but it grew on me. Watching it waft upwards in the evening light gave me pause to consider this scripture verse. If my prayers were like incense, what could that mean?
Incense was part of the morning and evening sacrifices made in the Temple. Prayer, morning and evening, invites us to give of ourselves, sacrificially, wholly to God.
Imagine the prayers of your life as an offering to God. A new relationship that eases loneliness? A prayer of thankfulness to God who blesses life with love. An argument and grudge between you and a co-worker? Prayer acknowledging your role and seeking courage to make amends, knowing God is merciful and loving.
Serving food in a school breakfast program, packing quilts for Canadian Lutheran World Relief, sorting food at the food bank, visiting the homebound and sick, making eye contact with the homeless person asking for change, all these are prayers whereby we offer our lives to God-the stitching, the packing, the caressing, the lifting up of our hands and lives to God.
O God, may the actions of my life and the words that flow from my heart speak of my love for you, of my thankfulness for your mercy and grace. Amen. — LG