Last night at Hunter Hills Church, we began a new Wednesday night experience we are calling “Unplugged”. We came together to hit pause in the midst of a busy week, and what has already become a busy Christmas season. We wanted to begin this season of Christmas focused firmly on Christ. For me, and I pray for others, this was a brief moment of sabbath rest to breathe in deeply the Spirit of God.
As a part of this evening, we read through Mark 10:46-52 and the story of Blind Bartimaeus. I love this story, particularly toward the end when Jesus says to Bartimaeus, “What do you want me to do for you?” We used our imaginations and put ourselves in his shoes. In our minds, we stood before the Son of God and heard him say, “What do you want me to do for you?” Then, we wrote these requests down, and placed them at his feet.
This morning, as I went to throw away the secret requests as I promised I would, I was reminded of Revelation 5:8. There, the twenty-four elders have a harp in one hand, and a golden bowl in the other that is full of incense. But the incense is not what you would first think. It is not incense in the literal way we think of it. Rather, it is the prayers of God’s people. So, what sits on my desk is a bowl of incense, sweet smelling incense offered to God.
To my friends who gathered last night, here are your prayers offered before God. Not a God who is far away and absent, nor a God who is upset with you and angry. Rather, he is a God who is present, who is near, who asks you, “What do you want me to do for you?” A God who looks on you with love today, and a God who cherishes your precious prayers as sweet smelling incense.
I pray for each of you today, that you feel the love and presence of God in your life. I pray for the prayers you wrote last night, and that you would have faith and hope in Christ who says, “Go, your faith has healed you.” May you find peace, hope, joy, and purpose in pursuing his kingdom in the world today, and partnering with him in his mission of restoring all things.