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Prayer Meeting - January 30, 2019

I give myself unto prayer. Psalm 109:4

OH, give yourself to prayer! Say not that your censer has nothing to offer; that
it contains no sweet spices, no fire, no incense. Repair with it, all empty and
cold as it is, to the great High Priest, and as you gaze in faith upon Him who
is the Altar, the slain Lamb, and the Priest, thus musing upon this wondrous
spectacle of Jesus' sacrifice for you, His Spirit will cast the sweet spices of
grace, and the glowing embers of love, into your dull, cold hearts, and there
will come forth a cloud of precious incense, which shall ascend with the
"much incense" of the Savior's merits, an "offering and a sacrifice to God of a
sweet-smelling savor." Nor forget that there is evening as well as morning
incense. "When Aaron lights the lamps at even, he shall burn incense." And
thus, when the day-season of your prosperity and joy is passed, and the
evening of adversity, sorrow, and loneliness draws its somber curtains around
you, then take your censer and wave it before the Lord. Ah! methinks at that
hour of solemn stillness and of mournful solitude—that hour when all human
support and sympathy fails—that then the sweetest incense of prayer
ascends before God. Yes, there is no prayer so true, so powerful, so fragrant,
as that which sorrow presses from the heart. Oh, betake yourself, suffering
believer, to prayer. Bring forth your censer, sorrowful priest of the Lord!
Replenish it at the altar of Calvary, and then wave it with a strong hand before
God, until your person, your sorrows, and your guilt are all enveloped and lost
in the cloud of sweet incense as it rises before the throne, and blends with the
ascending cloud of the Redeemer's precious intercession. Prayer will soothe
you—prayer will calm you—prayer will unburden your heart—prayer will
remove or mitigate your pain—prayer will heal your sickness, or make your
sickness pleasant to bear—prayer will expel the tempter—prayer will bring
Jesus sensibly near to your soul—prayer will lift your heart to heaven, and will
bring heaven down into your heart. Mourning Christian, give but yourself unto
prayer in the hour of your sorrow and loneliness, and your breathings, sent up
to heaven in tremulous accents, shall return into your own disconsolate and
desolate heart, all rich and redolent of heaven's sweet consolations. The holy
breathings which ascend from a believer's heart gather and accumulate in the
upper skies, and when most he needs the refreshing, they descend again in
covenant blessings upon his soul. That feeble desire, that faint breathing of
the soul after God, and Jesus, and holiness, and heaven, shall never perish.
It was, perhaps, so weak and tremulous, so mixed with grief and sorrow, so
burdened with complaint and sin, that you could scarcely discern it to be real
prayer, and yet, ascending from a heart inhabited by God's Holy Spirit, and
touched by God's love, it rose like the incense-cloud before the throne of the
Eternal, and blended with the fragrance of heaven.—Octavius Winslow