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We’ve been thinking lately, about the need for answers to prayers. I’ve brought some thoughts already along this line, but I want to share some further thoughts about those ways, that God has burdened our heart with. I trust it will be a help. The title of this morning’s message is, “The Fire Underneath Your Prayer Incense.”
TEXT: PSALMS 141:1-2
1 (a Psalm of David.) LORD, I cry unto thee: make haste unto me; give ear unto my voice, when I cry unto thee.
2 Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
1 “LORD, I cry unto thee: make haste unto me; give ear unto my voice, when I cry unto thee. Have you ever felt that earnest in your prayer? I’ve felt that very personally, recently, and God heard and helped! That’s the kind of thing we’re talking about this morning. A need for answers! So David was in need for answers; 2 ” Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. Some of us might not be familiar with what David is hear speaking to. He is talking about a particular order of prayer. An order he was familiar with, because he was there when it happened. It was a regular practice among the Israelites in the old testament, and actually ordained of the law, that they would have the morning and evening sacrifice. That’s why he said, “the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.” This was a very special time of prayer! We need to “get that.” We get too much in the habit sometimes. This was a very careful way of doing prayer. That’s why he said “Let my prayer be set forth.” He’s talking about “let it be set in order.” if he wanted his prayer to be answered. There are times when we really need an urgent answer to prayer! His prayer was very urgent, because he was going through a time of the most difficult in his life! This is a time when King Saul was setting the nation against David, to hunt him down to kill him! And he had other enemies, from where he “flew” to different places to get away. He was scrambling for his life, ..he felt an urgency! So understand where he’s coming from, “I need an answer to prayer!” It isn’t/wasn’t a casual prayer,” Lord I need this, or that,” that we often might pray routinely. Instead, this was an urgent need! So he’s saying, since it was urgent, “I need it to be set in order!” Like an incense. The morning and evening sacrifice was set up this way. The law was that the Israelites would bring every morning and every evening a lamb, the best, without spot. This was not a sacrifice for sin. So they would bring a lamb, to kill, and burn that whole sacrifice. From that sacrifice the high priest would take coals from that altar. Then he would take those coals to the golden altar and on it, he would offer incense. With that fire, the incense would go up to Almighty God. The incense represents prayer. This was all ordained of the law, although there was something going on that had nothing to do with the law. It has to do with people, and their hearts desire to have prayers answered. it wasn’t convenient, but much more difficult than we have it, to gather together. The temple was in Shiloh, and if they wanted to go, they had to get up early in the morning, without the help of our modern transportation privileges. And at the evening time, they did the same thing! It broke up their day, was inconvenient, but they made the effort! They would gather, between the porch, the opening, and where the altar was, and gather to pray. And agree in prayer while the sacrifice was being sacrificed, and while the high priest was taking the coals from the altar and set it in order before the throne, and the incense would go up. They were there because their hearts drew them to it, there was no command that said you had to. Nobody checked on their attendance or participation, because it wasn’t required! But it was critical to those who gathered, because they needed an answer!
I believe we need answers today, because there’s a lot going on! We know of right here, and other places, those who need help in difficult situations, and healing! We have an election coming up, and it will not be pretty no matter which way it goes. We have the most divided country since the civil war, that we ever experienced as far as in this country! We need prayer!! We need the Lords’ help, and be able to go before Him to have our prayers answered. This is what this is about this morning. David put his prayer in a very special order before the Lord to have them answered! This prayer and offering was not for sin. Sin was supposed to be taken care of this before they took part in this. So if you want to go before the Father, and get answers to prayers, sin must be taken care of first! John 9:31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. This was quoted from a discussion between Jesus and a young man, and was a known fact that is not disputed. If you want to have your prayers answered you need to take care of the sin! Because sin gets in the way! Sin cannot be brought before God. You cannot set sin in order, and offer a prayer before God. You need to have your sins forgiven by Jesus Christ! Jesus can not be used as a trash can, but this needs to be for a full cleansing and deliverance from your sins. Why? Because you need your prayers answered in your life! Everyone needs to be able to individually have prayers answered, because there are things going on, have gone on, and will go on that are way beyond what you or I can handle! Especially in this day and age, and in this country which is so sin riddled! We need prayers answered! 1John 2:1-4 1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. 3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. Verse 1; The whole gospel, is written so that we would sin not. But so many are getting an “old watered down message” where they go to church. And their not getting any prayers answered. A watered down message that basically says, “Sin you will, sin you must.” And that’s the only way they think they can live, in this old fleshly life down here. But God has a spiritual life for you that’s much better than living the old fleshly life. It’s so much better to be able to walk with God! It says in Genesis that “Enoch walked with God!” Genesis 5:24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him. Enoch lived a long time, hundreds of years, ..and yet he still walked with God! He walked with God, and God took him! They had that close of a relationship! We need that close of a relationship! Here’s why; “that ye sin not.” And if we sin, we have an advocate, who is the propitiation for ours, and the whole world’s sins! “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.” We can even have a way to know that we’re okay! If we keep His commandments! If we’ve been doing our best to do right, and live right…we can still have that place where we know that we’re walking with God! We can know that we can go to that prayer altar, and have our prayers answered by The Father! 3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. Liars don’t get their prayers answered! There’s a lot of lying going on in a lot of pulpits today, because their not telling you this simple truth that we are reading this morning! Jesus came to save and deliver us because we have needs for real help, and needs for deliverance! Not just for ourselves, but for the purpose of Almighty God in the earth, and the salvation of souls! Incense represents our prayers. Prayers that are offered on the golden altar.
The Fire Underneath Your Prayer Incense