Incense or Invoice

The only mail I receive is from companies asking for my business or invoices charging me for the services I have already used. 

Psalm 141:1-10

Reference: May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice. (Psalm 141:2 TNIV)

Explore: I never look forward to going to the mailbox any more. As a child I always hoped for a special letter or a card to be sent to me.

Birthdays were always the jackpot when I would receive cards, and sometimes even money, in the mail. However, now the best I can hope for is receiving a bill that is lower than I originally expected!

Sure, I still receive a few friendly text messages or people will write me a note on Facebook, but the communication of letters has pretty much disappeared from my social scene. The only mail I receive is from companies asking for my business or invoices charging me for the services I have already used.

Application: When the writer of Psalm 141 called on the Lord, his desire was to be pleasing to God. His communication was to be pleasant and pleasing – just like a loving letter sent in the mail.

But, too often my prayers to God are just like a whole list of bills. I would like this, that, and if you have time, I’ll have the other too.

God has more power than my bank balance so fulfilling my requests is not a matter of resources, it’s a matter of relationship. Instead of always putting my hands out for more blessings, Psalm 141 has reminded me to put my hands up in praise and sacrifice.

If I would appreciate a kind letter in the mail, instead of just the onslaught of bills, then God – in whose image we were made – would also appreciate a loving word instead of just a barrage of requests. Let’s not treat God like a customer who owes us, but let’s remind ourselves that He is our ultimate advocate who loves and cares for us like no other.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for your mercies that are new to us each and every day. May our prayers be as pleasing to You as the sweetest scent and our lives show our adoration for all that You are. Amen.

Would you say that your prayers are like incense or an invoice?

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This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.