Followers of ‘the Way’ (Part 5) – The Altar of Incense
The ministry of Jesus Christ for His church is daily, constant and vigilant. Jesus has inscribed us on the palms of His hands (Isa 49:16) at the cross and He bears our names over his heart (Ex 28:29) before His Father. He will not allow our foot to be moved and He who keeps us will not slumber (Ps 121:3-4), for He ever lives to make intercession for us (Heb 7:25).
In Revelation 8:3-4, our Great High Priest is depicted as standing before the altar of incense with a golden censor in His hands. The prayers of God’s people are symbolized by this sweet incense rising before God (Ps 141:2). Christ is interceding in our behalf and God draws near to listen to our prayers and petitions. In times of trouble and in our great need we have the assurance that if our sins are confessed and cleansed (1 Jn 1:9; Isa 59:1-2) and if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us and we know that we have the petitions we have asked of Him (1 Jn 5:14-15).
Jonah prayed to God from the depths of the sea, from the belly of the great fish, and his testimony was ‘When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the LORD; And my prayer went up to You, Into Your holy temple’ (Jonah 2:7) and the Lord delivered Him. And the book of Job declares, ‘You will make your prayer to Him’ and ‘He will hear you’ (Job 22:27).
We must not neglect to be watchful and pray (Mt 26:41). Even when we don’t know how to pray as we should, the Holy Spirit Himself makes intercession for us! (Rom 8:26). Some of Jesus’ parting words to His disciples and us were, ‘I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full (Jn 16:23-24).