Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!Psalm 141:2(ESV)
The thought of our prayers ascending to the Lord in heaven in the cool of the evening, as a sweet-smelling fragrance to our heavenly Father, is most beautiful to contemplate. As a child calls out to his attentive father for help or as a mother strains to hear and respond to the cries of her nursing child, so the ear of the Lord is ever open to the feeble cries of His children.
The psalmist desires that his prayers are well-pleasing to the Father - and that his humble petitions and heart-felt praise rise up to into heaven as a sacrifice of praise and a sweet-smelling savour to our God, as hands are lifted up in worship, thanksgiving and pleading supplications.
Although it was David that penned the words of this Psalm, there is no more beautiful example of a life that was a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto the Lord that the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Throughout His earthly life Jesus was set forth as incense-offering to the Lord. His entire life exuded a beautiful fragrance that pleased the Father - a sweet-smelling perfume that delighted His God.
His was a life of faith, a life of prayer, a life of praise, a life of worship. His was a life that from the rising of the sun to the setting of the same demonstrated a holy life that was set forth as incense before the Lord and Jesus set us the perfect example of how such a life was to be lived. Christ demonstrated that God's children are to live in the spirit and walk in the spirit - to pray and to praise and to worship in spirit and in truth.
As incarnate God, Jesus laid aside His glory and power to live His entire life in the way that God desires every man and woman born from above to conduct their lives. The Lord Jesus demonstrated that we too can be set forth as incense before Him, if we too live, work, worship and pray into the will the will of the Father, through the power of the indwelling Spirit of God - in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Loving Father, thank You for the example of the Lord Jesus Who lived a life that was set forth as incense before You. In the power of Your Spirit I pray I may cease from my own efforts to follow the perfect example of Jesus, Who only did what He heard from You, through the indwelling Holy Spirit. Help me to live a life that is a sweet-smelling perfume before You. All praise and worship be to You forever and ever, in His name I pray, AMEN.