Thursday, September 18, 2008

Potent Prayer

I am often confused by time zones. It happens all the time where I will read something followed by the distinct time zone code and then I spend the rest of my thought time on trying to figure out what time the writer meant and what time it is for me. This problem is the main reason I once called my friend at 1 am in the mid west and woke her whole household up. (So sorry Skeldons. I think I have it figured out now).

This very thing happened when I opened my email this morning at 8:55 am. A good friend who lives in Georgia said, "I need your prayer at noon today," and in parenthesis she put, "that is 9 am for all of you west coasters." Seeing the time was near, I felt humbled that I had the opportunity to pray for this request and that I didn't have to waste any time trying to figure out what time zone she is in and what time that really makes it here.

I say all this to only point out that time zones don't mean diddly to God. But my prayers mean everything. He hears my prayers at any time I choose to speak to Him. We are studying Revelation, teaching it to our Jr. Highers at church. There are some really random symbolisms in that book and it has always been tricky to me, but my husband pointed out something cool to me that has really stuck with me. It is in verse 8 of chapter 5, ".... the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints." The prayers are like incense. When it is burning, it permeates every corner of the room, as I recall from my suite-mates who burned it in our college dorm room and then tried to lie about it. The cent of incense is powerful and potent. I love the thought that my prayers fill the place where God is (without breaking any college codes of conduct).

I am in awe that my prayers are like incense to God and that I was able to pray this morning, not distracted by time zones. 

(Please tell me I am not the only one who has trouble figuring out what time it is other parts of the world, ok, United States in general).


Grace said...

What a good reminder. We can always stand to be reminded how important our prayers really are. Don't worry, I'm hopeless with time zones as well!

Andee said...

Are we three hours ahead or are they? What's 8 plus three? If arizona doesn't do daylight savings time are they one or two hours ahead/behind? My parents were ungrateful when I waited to call them at 5am (it was 8!!) to tell them there was a tropical storm blowing through campus. I guess since it wasn't a hurricane anymore, they didn't feel the need to be impressed/concerned.

Kari Wright said...

Incense...sometimes I light a stick simply as a reminder that our prayers do that...fill the empty spaces.

Lindsay said...

I love that picture of our prayers rising and filling space like incense. I'm going to "picture" that more often when I pray. Thanks for sharing.

Dan & Hillary and little Russell said...

At least you don't have to worry about knowing anyone in Labrador (Newfoundland, Canada). They have an extra 1/2 time zone;-)

Grandma Sherri said...

You know what I find comforting is that God is timelss, therefore we can pray after the fact and since he knew we were going to it still counts in that bowl of incense- "before a word was on my tongue you knew it completely O Lord" (ps 139)
(Sorry, Andee I don't even remember! See the nxt post about babies waking you in the night, It never really ends and we don't really mind...thats what parents are for right?)