Thursday, November 19, 2015

Jehovah Remembers

The smoke ascends from the incense kindled by Altar fire. It drifts into the Holy of Holies, which represents the very throne of God. Sweet fragrance fills the Temple. 

“The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel’s hand.” Revelation 8:4

Zechariah the priest stood before the Altar of incense to intercede for God’s people. The people gather outside in the courtyard to pray. He prays for the salvation of his people. For the Messiah to come. 

Yet there is a deeper yearning within his heart. A prayer that rises up with the smoke from the Altar. He and his wife Elizabeth are childless and well along in years. Has God forgotten them, does He see the ache of their hearts? 

In this most holy moment in God’s most holy meeting place, he hears from Almighty God. Ironically the name Zechariah means “Jehovah remembers.” 

Truly He does. Jehovah told Solomon when the Temple was dedicated, “Now My eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.”  2 Chronicles 8:15. 

Beloved, He is attentive to your prayers. He is aware of your heart’s desires. He sees the ache of your heart.  He has not forgotten you. He did not forget Zechariah. 

An angel appears at Zechariah’s side and tells him that his prayers have been heard. His wife Elizabeth will bear a son, which is joyful enough, but intertwined is another answered prayer. His son John “will make ready a people prepared for the Lord”, i.e. the anticipated Messiah. 

Your prayers are powerful and they are heard. The Altar of incense is a powerful visual of prayer. Every morning and evening the Priest burned the incense. He would intercede for the people. Once a year on the day of atonement, he applied the blood to the horns of the Altar, signifying the power of the blood in prayer. 

“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16

Consider this about your prayers: We have the grace of the Spirit who helps us when we know not how to pray, Jesus who intercedes for us, and His precious blood which makes our prayers powerful. Add to this His promises which are “yea and amen in Christ.” 

Let me encourage you today to keep praying. Your prayers ascend into the very throne of God. Your Heavenly Father is attentive to your prayers. 

“I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live. The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came upon me; I was overcome by trouble and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the LORD: "O LORD, save me!" The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The LORD protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me. Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you.” Psalm 116:1-7

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