The Garden in Delight blog leads you deeper into prayer this holy season: As the garden wakes up in spring to the work of overturning soil, pulling up dead plants, and digging spots for new ones, so let us put those shovels, spades, and trowels to work as metaphor and Dig into Prayer. At its simplest, prayer is our conversation with God—everything from quiet pillow talk to heaving cry—conversations that will grow more deeply intimate as we get to know and cherish His Words. Let A Lenten Dig into Prayer bring you close to Him and prepare your heart over 7 weeks for a meaningful celebration of Christ’s resurrection.
The moment he took the scroll, the Four Animals and Twenty-four Elders fell down and worshiped the Lamb.
Each had a harp and each had a bowl, a gold bowl filled with incense, the prayers of God’s holy people.
Revelation 5:7-8 The Message
This marvelous image captures our imagination and highlights the value of our prayers. As God’s people, our conversations and communications with God are presented on a golden altar amid the fragrant aroma of incense before his heavenly throne.
Isn’t it amazing that our often quick and artless prayers are, in this verse’s imagery, offered to God in such majesty! We may be scrambling in our haste, hoping for divine help in some harrowing circumstance, and yet this passage pictures our prayers ascending to God like incense, a garden-infused reverie, a sweet floral aroma that accompanies our whispers to God!
Another angel came with a gold censer and stood at the altar. He was given a large quantity of incense to offer on the gold altar before the throne, along with the prayers of all the saints. The smoke from the incense and the prayers of the saints went up from the angel’s hand to God.
Revelation 8:3–4 ISV
In this imagery, there seems to be no sorting of which requests are worthy and which are not; no preference for the eloquent, no turning away for the inarticulate; instead, from their presentation comes resounding praises and worship for the Lamb who is worthy (Revelation 5:12) and rumblings of the earth (Revelation 8:5)!
You did not choose me; I chose you. And I gave you this work: to go and produce fruit, fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you anything you ask for in my name.
John 15:16 NCV
John’s vision, as obscure as it sometimes may be to our understanding, comforts us when our prayers seem to go unanswered. God does listen; he does hear. The one who knows us better than we know ourselves, who knows our words before we even speak (Psalm 139:4) listens to our prayers.
For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.
Psalm 139:4 KJV
Prayer: Heavenly Father, holy is your name; how eye-opening to picture my words to you in golden bowls, accompanied by saturating smells from the gardens that you love so well (Song of Songs 4:13). Merciful God, in response, may I treasure your words all the more. Help me to believe, with the reverence in which you receive them, that my prayers are indeed heard (John 15:16).
The devotional essays of A Lenten Dig into Prayer were originally published in the “Garden Tools” section of God’s Word for Gardeners Bible under Prayer, ©2014 Shelley S. Cramm. See pages a-37 & a-38 to study by the Book.
©2014-2019 Shelley S. Cramm