Sweet hour

Sweet hour

They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold. They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb. – Psalms 19:10

Psalms 141:2 Accept my prayer as incense offered to you, and my upraised hands as an evening offering.

Revelation 5:8 Golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints (Revelation 8:3-4).

How many things in our lives are genuinely satisfying and delightful?

William Walford was blind. Called on to preach from time to time in a rural English church, he composed sermons in his head to deliver on Sundays. He memorized a huge amount of the Bible which he quoted verbatim in his sermons, and he prayed.

William Walford grasped something that few of us comprehend. He experienced something that few of us ever do. When we enter into the Father’s throne room, something wonderful can happen and certainly did for William. As he practiced talking to the Father in prayer and spent time with Him, he experienced a gentle sweetness and contentment. Prayer itself became sweet. It had a delightful fragrance of the Father’s presence.

William Walford wrote of this experience in his hymn written in 1845, “Sweet Hour of Prayer.”

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer! That calls me from a world of care,

And bids me at my Father’s throne, make all my wants and wishes known.

In seasons of distress and grief, my soul has often found relief

And oft escaped the tempter’s snare, by thy return, sweet hour of prayer!

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer! The joys I feel, the bliss I share,

Of those whose anxious spirits burn with strong desires for thy return!

With such I hasten to the place, where God my Savior shows His face,

And gladly take my station there, and wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer! Thy wings shall my petition bear

To Him whose truth and faithfulness engage the waiting soul to bless.

And since He bids me seek His face, believe His Word and trust His grace,

I’ll cast on Him my every care, and wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!

Rather than having the vague hope of finding time to pray in our busy lives, we make a personal choice to set aside time to pray (Charles Stanley).

REFLECT & PRAY

The challenge for each of us is to spend quality time talking to the Father and experience the delightful sweetness and fragrance of His presence.

Father allow me to start slowly, and then increase the quality time I spend with You in prayer. Now I know just minutes, but perhaps one day – hours.

INSIGHT

Psalms 19:10 They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold, sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.

Psalms 119:103 How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

The Psalms highlight the great value of the Word oof God. The Psalms speak of the unspeakable joy and delight of those who love the Father’s Word and take comfort and find nourishment from it.

Sweet prayer is of similar value and delight to those who enjoy and practice it. Sweet prayer can be compared to the worth of gold and the pleasure of honey.  Gold was the most precious material possession in the Ancient Near East. Sweet prayer is more valuable than gold. Honey was the sweetest substance known in the Ancient Near East. Sweet prayer is more delightful than honey.

Sweet prayer is more to be desired than gold, even fine gold, great wealth and large quantities of material riches.

In the same way that David loved and delighted in the Word oof God, William Walford delighted in sweet prayer. Why is this so? Because both bring us into a closer more intimate relationship with our Father in heaven. What can be sweeter than sweet, loving proximity with the Father. He holds our hearts close to His. He desires that we draw close to Him.

1 Peter 1:8 You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.

We do not see the Father nor the Lord Jesus Christ with our physical eyes. But we see them both with the eyes of our heart. By faith we see Them. In prayer, sweet prayer, we see Them and experience a glorious, inexpressible joy.

There are no words to adequately describe inexpressible joy. But when you’ve experienced it, you know exactly what it is. Sweet prayer is a conduit that leads the way to inexpressible joy.

But there’s more! Our Father in heaven is perfect in all regards. He lacks nothing. He is eternal, self-sufficient, unchanging, infinite. However, as a person the Father also has emotions and expresses them freely. He has chosen to be actively involved with His children and interact with them. He is well aware of what we do. The Father can be pleased or grieved by what His children do.

Psalms 141:2 Accept my prayer as incense offered to you, and my upraised hands as an evening offering.

Revelation 5:8 Golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

Our prayers are like incense, a sweet aroma offered to and received by the Father. Could it be that our prayers are pleasant to the Father? When we enter into sweet prayer with Him, do we bring Him pleasure, joy, and satisfaction? 

The Father wants us to pray. The enemy does not want us to pray. He does all he can to hinder us. The enemy knows that we can accomplish more through our prayers than through our work. He would rather have us do anything else than pray (anonymous).

¯\_()_/¯

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