It has been said that prayer is the gateway to God’s heart. Prayer is the foundation of your walk with God, but not all foundations are made equal. If any verse defines sincere, passionate, and devoted prayer, this verse does. How does prayer become like incense? Your prayers become like incense to the Lord when they have such Godliness in intent, purpose, sincerity, and passion that you are literally drawn closer to God in presence and emotion. Your prayers hit a pitch not in volume and tone, but in depth of sincerity that moves from words to sacrifice. Your communion with God moves to a greater sensing of His presence, compassion, and love.
How do these prayers happen? I would suggest four things that might feed this type of prayer: 1) A life that is not only committed to righteousness, but also pursues it. Proverbs 15:8 shows how God views the upright, “The LORD detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases Him.” (NIV) 2) An intimate, passionate relationship with Christ that is experiencing Him in increasing depth. Psalm 90:14 shows such a heart, “Satisfy us in the morning with Your unfailing love that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.” (NIV), while Psalm 63:3 shows the effects of intimacy with Christ, “Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You.” (NIV) 3) You pray believing in God with the expectation of not only meeting Him, but also receiving from Him. Psalm 5:3 shows such an expectation, “In the morning, O LORD, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait in expectation.” (NIV) 4) Your prayers move from wanting to being a poured out offering for the Lord. There is nothing in it for you but the pure joy and desire for God. Philippians 2:17a says, “But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith.” (NIV) These four positions will kindle a fire within you in which your prayers will not only be like fragrant incense, but also like a sacrifice to the Lord – the pure joy of being with Him, knowing Him, and coming into His presence.
Colossians 4:2 “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” (NIV)