“Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand” Revelation 8: 3-4
Powerful imagery, our prayers burn before the Lord in bowls of incense… God so cares about our prayers that they are ever before HIM! When you think your prayers are meaningless or not being answered, please know that they never leave the Lord’s presence. HE hears every single one. HE cares about each petition, no matter how small or repetitive it seems to us. HE always answers, sometimes it’s yes, other times it’s no and often it’s wait. But it is NEVER, “I am not listening”.
One of my main gifting from the Lord is, Perceiver, intercessor, this inclines me to deep prayer… most often for others. It’s a strange thing, but throughout my life people have sensed the Perceiver in me and asked me to pray for them or to add a situation to my prayer list. I can’t remember a time when my prayer list wasn’t long. My understanding of this about myself didn’t come clear until several years ago after studying The Gifts and doing a Gifts Test. It has profoundly changed the way I approach prayer.
Keeping a prayer journal has been helpful both in keeping track of the people and situations that I am praying for and in showing me how God answers many of those prayers. Time of solitude and introspection each day allows me to hear HIS still small voice and clarifies how I should be praying. Listening to God’s Word through Christian music brings me to a worshipful place before my King. During these times of worship God reveals so much to me, I believe it has a lot to do with the fact that in those moments I let go of everything else that can cloud my thoughts, giving HIM the clearance to my soul. It’s like the difference of landing a plane in the clarity of a sunny day verses a cloudy one…
Another vital lesson that is important is to pray immediately when the thought, person or situation comes to mind, don’t put it off! Obedience in the call to pray can be the life-changing moment in a situation. Often times I awake in the middle of the night feeling compelled to prayer for something/someone specific. Those are times when I know the Holy Spirit is leading me to pray. There are countless stories of saints who have been obedient to the call to pray to find out later how powerful that exact moment was in the life of the person they were praying for…. See it as a blessing rather than an interruption in your life. God always redeems the time in my life when I am willing to take the time to listen and follow HIS lead rather than my own way!
I encourage you to make a Prayer List, whether you are gifted as a Perceiver or not. We are all called to pray in all things. “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18