Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Good Smelling Prayers

Many bloggers have written posts about prayer and I'm about to have my say too.

It is easy to go through dry patches in our prayer life simply because God is on such a different dimension to humans. While friends and family will smile and respond to the words we say, I'm sure we've all had moments when we wonder how we can be certain that God even hears us. How can we keep our prayer-drive going or encourage others to when we are faced with nothing measurable by the 5 senses? It seems no wonder that in busy schedules, prayer is often the first thing to be sacrificed in a daily planner.

I came across a provocative passage about the mechanics of prayer and how it actually works. What if there is some sort of real, measurable energy that radiates from our souls to God when we pray - that humans simply have not learned to measure? Something real, tangible and perceptive to Him. It's easy to understand when we remember that dogs and other animals perceive extremely subtle sounds and scents which humans are simply not tuned into. Yet it clearly doesn't mean that these sounds and scents don't exist because we can't hear and smell them.

We cannot detect ultrasound waves with our natural senses either. I can remember lying there watching my babies wriggle around in my pregnant belly but I certainly couldn't feel the waves that were pouring through my flesh, allowing the images to appear on the computer monitor. It is the same with radio waves, which have always existed long before humans figured out how to tap into them.

It makes perfect sense to believe that a powerful spiritual energy rises from us to God when we pray. Scripture claims that in heaven there are "golden bowls full of incense which are the prayers of the saints." (Revelation 5:8) What if that is literal and our prayers can, in fact, be captured by God and placed into actual bowls? Imagine that image the next time you wonder whether it's even worth bothering to pray.

In Scripture, Paul calls believers, "the aroma of Christ" and "fragrance of life" (2 Corinthians 2: 15-16) In the realm of the eternal, this also may be literally true. Imagine that God smells us, and we smell good. And also we have no way of measuring such things now, what if there may be a possibility in the future?

When we are told, "the prayers of a righteous man (or woman) avails much" we'd do well to believe it. It's not just a nice thought that people say based on wishful thinking. Sometimes we may get warm fuzzies when we pray - Christian biographies and novels tell us this - but we shouldn't fall into the trap of feeling frustrated and disappointed when we don't. It doesn't mean that results aren't happening. Often the most amazing spiritual breakthroughs take place far beyond the realm of what we detect with our physical feelings. That's enough to keep me excited about persevering. How about you?


  1. What a beautiful post Paula! Our prayers truly are aromatic to God. I remember reading Smith Wigglesworth saying that he would often pray for many many hours before he heard anything from the Lord. It is truly all about faith and not always feeling :)

  2. yes yes yes!
    I am so looking forward to God playing my life back and showing me all the answered prayers ..
    well that's what I hope may happen when I get there ... xx

  3. I love the way you think. :o)
    I've always felt that God answers every prayer, just not always the way we think we would like. I try to be mindful of that when I pray, and I also try to remember to always be thankful for all I've been blessed with in my life.

    Peace and Laughter,

  4. Not having a sense of smell, I never think about aromas. Interesting concept, though. Prayer to me is like obedience. I just do it. Sometimes those prayers are quickly and, perhaps, automatically spoken. Other times, my prayers come out with tears and heartfelt emotion. I also think patience is key to understanding prayer. I love it when I feel moved to pray, knowing that it was not my idea but God's. I also try to look for how God has answered a prayer, no matter how small, and point it out to my kids. I'm thankful God's perspective is different from ours, and He knows just how to answer our prayers.
    Enjoy your weekend!

  5. Hi Paula
    I've nominated your blog for the One Lovely Blog award. I don't mind if you pass it on to others or not I just wanted to give you the award!!

    And I loved reading this blog post too, you've given me lots to think about!!
    Kylie :-)

  6. Yes, I agree with you no wonder that in busy schedules, prayer is often the first thing to be sacrificed in a daily planner. I love the way you think with prayer. I have great devotion with God and I love praying. Thanks for sharing something on God..