"Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice." (Psalm 141:2) You may not realize it but when you pray, it is like offering incense before the Lord as was done by the priests in the Old Testament. In fact, it was while performing this duty that Zacharias was visited by an angel and informed that his wife, Elizabeth was to have a child even in her old age. This child was to be special and would fulfill prophecy as given in Malachi 4:4-5. (Read Luke 1:8-17). The prayers of the saints are and will be poured on the golden alter as incense in heaven as we read in Revelation 8:3-4. "And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand." It may also be noted that this incense will be poured upon the earth as a form of judgment as we further read in Revelation 8:5, "And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake." No wonder Satan hates it when we pray. Yet, when we offer prayers and praise to the Most High God, it is pleasing to him and it shows our thankfulness for his blessings even though there are times of trials and hardships. Backsliding comes when we begin to leave off praising Him. "Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools," (Romans 1:20-21) In Psalm 136, this is repeated twenty-six times, once for each verse. The pattern is, "O give thanks unto the LORD; ........ for his mercy endureth for ever." This just scratches the surface when it comes to praise and prayer but there is much, much more in God's Word regarding this. Nevertheless, the message is clear in that we are to give thanks and praise to our Lord and Christ as it is like incense to him and even the lifting up of hands when the evening sacrifice was offered by the high priest when ended the day. Let's begin the day with Him, and end the day with Him, and walk with Him between the two and we can enjoy sweet fellowship with the Master!