PWTE Daily Devotion

Prayer: A Sweet Smell in God’s Nostrils

December 10, 2017
by Rev Douglas Brauner

Our prayers are a pleasing aroma to God.

You can listen to today’s devotion by clicking on this SoundCloud link.

“May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.”
Psalm 141:2 New International Version

Holy Cross Lutheran Church, the Christian community that I’ve been privileged to serve as pastor for eighteen years, uses an evening prayer service that sings a portion of Psalm 141 during the Advent season. We sing it as a round, and repeat verse two as the chorus. It’s not unusual for me to sing this song in my head hours after worship is over.

In fact, the tune is running through my head as I write this devotion.

We live in a sterile world. Many of us bathe every day, we brush our teeth, and we regularly wash our clothes. Not to mention that you can find hand sanitizer everywhere. The smell of dirty laundry, bad breath, and body odor isn’t as prevalent today as it was when the psalmist first wrote these words. The smell of incense would be a pleasant diversion from the everyday, putrid smells. It would be a refreshing aroma in a stinky, smelly, world.

The psalmist reminds us that our prayers rise up to God as we live in a stinky, smelly, world. We might effectively deal with sweat, halitosis, and grimy clothes, but the stench of sin remains. However, because of the love of our Father, who sent his Son to sacrifice himself on a cross, the most pleasing aroma, our prayers spoken through Christ, smell wonderful to God.

We can be assured that our prayers do rise up to God as a pleasing odor in his nostrils. Your prayers please God. He loves to hear your voice.

Copyright Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Colorado Springs, Colorado

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