Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God's people. Revelation 5:8, NIV
It was nearing Christmas as I began to make my night time rounds of a huge food warehouse. I expected the pleasant aroma of fresh strawberries, and I even enjoyed the odors of a gigantic section of pet food. I thought of all the happy chompers, dogs and cats, that these boxes and bags would make happy.
I had to check fire systems, pump them up if necessary, and I was doing this as I came onto a deserted truck loading dock. At once I was struck by the aroma of masses of Christmas trees. They were all spiral cord wrapped and had been delivered just that day.
Now, understand, by this time of my life I had given up on Christmas years ago. But the scent of the trees brought back such powerful memories--my sister and I in the early dark morning, plugging in the tree lights and seeing our array of gifts--came to mind. I realized how deeply our lives are influenced by sweet aromas.
From Exodus to Revelation there are references to incense. There is a special incense reserved only to be offered by the priests, to God. Now, under the New Covenant, we are all priests, and through our prayers we continue to offer sweet incense to God. It is so comforting to know that the least of us can do this. The infirm, even the paralyzed, can please Him with the aroma of our prayers.