Pray before you begin today. Stand before God and offer up a sacrifice of praise to Him as we continue our walk through the Tabernacle.
Read Exodus 30:1-10 & 34-38
- The Altar of Incense was in the Holy Place in front of the veil that separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place. It was made of pure gold just as all of the articles in the Holy Place. The priest was to burn a special incense on the altar in the morning and in the evening. It was to burn continually just as the fire on the Brazen Altar was to burn continually. Incense is symbolic of prayer in the Bible. The priest would spend a lot of time before the Altar of Incense, praying as He performed his priestly duties. His prayers would rise gently up to God as a pleasing aroma just as the incense was a fragrant offering to Him.
Read Hebrews 7:25 & Romans 8:34 below.
Therefore He is able also to save forever (completely, perfectly, for eternity) those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to intercede and intervene on their behalf [with God]. – Hebrews 7:25 (Amplified)
Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. – Romans 8:34
The Altar of Incense is a picture of our Intercessor, Jesus. Jesus is our High Priest. He is in Heaven sitting at the right hand of God the Father making intercession for those who belong to Him.
During Jesus’ ministry on Earth, He fervently prayed for believers. In fact, prayer was one of Jesus’ top priorities. Read the High Priestly prayer in John 17:1-26 and listen to the way Christ prayed for those He loved.
We can experience Jesus’ abiding presence as we spend time praying. Prayer takes us to the throne room of God. It is in prayer that we enter into the very presence of the Father. Because the veil is now gone, the Altar of Incense sits in the Holy of Holies right in front of the Ark of the Covenant where God’s presence was known to dwell. Isn’t that a beautiful picture of the intimate relationship we now have with the Father through Jesus Christ? Wherever we go, whatever we do, we abide in the presence of the One who is most holy. And when we pray our voices are like the fragrant aromas that drifted up to Heaven from the special incense that was set apart as holy to the Lord.
What happens when we pray is true connection and communion with the Father and true ministry for Him. It is in prayer that we are changed, perfected and made more like Christ.
I imagine the more the priest stood before the Altar of Incense, the more he began to smell like the fragrant incense that burned on the altar. I wonder today how you smell to the Father? Are you spending quality time communicating with Him, so much so that you smell like the rich, aroma of prayer?
Experience … Jesus’ presence as you spend time with Him at the Altar of Incense. Dedicate a full hour for prayer sometime during this week. Use the tools below to help you spend quality time with Christ.
Exclaim … with great joy the wonder of our great God.
Suggestions for your prayer time:
- Meditate on these names and attributes of God.
- Alpha and Omega
- Everlasting and Eternal God
- Gracious & Good
- Healer & Helper
- King of Kings
- Lord of Lords
- Omnipotent, Omniscient, & Omni-present
- Savior, Sovereign, & Sufficient
- Trustworthy & True
- Be still and quiet. Take time to listen as God responds to you in prayer.
- Pray and ask the Lord to reveal any unconfessed sin in your life.
- Meditate on a few verses of Scripture.
- Thank God for His provisions
- Sing to the Lord.
- Intercede for those you know and love and experience the joy of Jesus’ presence!
- End with more praise!
Director of Women’s Ministry, Prayer, and Resource Specialist
This devotion was written in 2014 by Jacqueline Heider and was first published on her blog at jacquelineheider.com.