"When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before The Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls of incense, which are the prayers of the saints." Revelation 5:3
One of the most amazing expressions of the unique Japanese culture is their use of gold to fill the cracks in priceless pottery. They refuse to let the priceless become worthless. When a piece of prized pottery is broken and appears beyond repair, they place it in the hands of the artisan to restore it by filling the broken places with gold. It is returned to them more valuable than ever. It is called "Kintsugi" and it means golden joinery.
In Heaven the prayers of the saints are collected in golden bowls filled with incense. I can't help but envision the prayers of people rising up to Heaven and allowing God to put all the pieces of their lives back together.
The Father receives the prayers of the saints in the name of His Son, Jesus. He takes their prayers to His heart and restores the broken places of their hearts by filling them with His peace. He places the prayers of the saints in the hands of His Son, The Lamb of God for safe-keeping.
"It is amazing what God can do with a broken heart when you give Him all the pieces." Samuel Chadwick (mentor of Leonard Ravenhill)
The prayers of the saints often arise to Heaven, billowing out broken hearts like great clouds of incense, accompanied by tears and fear. Prayers of thanksgiving and praise also ascend with glory to God for every triumph over each test and trial. Both expressions of prayer are priceless to The Father.
Great care was taken in Old Testament days to maintain the purity and the property of the incense that was offered up to God. Scripture places a very high value on incense, as a symbol of prayer. The ironic thing about incense is that the purity and the property of it is only released by going through the fire.
NOTE TO SELF: The Father intends to release the character of The Son in your life. You can expect a fire.
Prayer is not an optional devotional exercise offered to you. It reveals the content of your life. Prayer does not exempt you from every trial, and every test, but it is the key to every triumph. As you pray, come what may, through the fire of each and every one of these experiences, the incense of your life is released to Heaven. Remember the intent of incense. It is meant to be consumed.
Prayer may appear to be a fool's errand when everything around you doesn't make sense or it appears to be irrevocably consumed in a fight with evil. Appearances can be deceiving.
Your prayers are held in high esteem and considered to be priceless in the eyes of The Lamb of God. He has charged His elders with caring for each and every one of them, and collecting them in golden bowls.
"Prayers of faith are filed in Heaven; and though not presently answered are never forgotten." Matthew Henry
The next time the fog of war clouds your eyes and you can no longer see The Presence of God for the flow of tears in your eyes, keep praying. You are being heard. You are not forgotten. You are not alone. Brokenness before God in prayer brings great healing and wholeness to the broken places of your heart. Let Him fill you with His Presence. The more broken you are, the more priceless you are to The Father. TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!