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A Fragrant Prayer

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A Fragrant Prayer @ AVirtuousWoman.org #ATimeToClutter

I have to apologize for missing Friday. I was behind on my writing all week last week. When Friday came, I had planned to spend the afternoon writing, but then our old horse, Bandit came down with a case of colic and we ended up spending hours in the freezing cold walking him until around 10:30 pm that evening. He’s doing much better now!

A Time to Clean: Day 15

You can read the rest of the posts in this series here.

So, how’s your prayer life?

I know. It’s so easy to push prayer time to the back burner. I mean, we’re so used to be being busy all. the. time. The business of busyness is just so a part of our culture today. Setting aside time for prayer means setting aside time to “be still.”

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

Be still. 

A Sweet Fragrance

Or family currently includes three dogs, three cats, and five fish. We only had two cats until my son moved back in and brought his cat with him. So now we have three. They’re a lot of fun – even if they do drive me crazy 95% of the time. And the dogs… well, Madeline, our little Schnauzer is eight years old now and she has all kinds of allergies. I mean, like, she’s allergic to everything fleas, beef, wheat, shots… she has to be on a special diet and she still spends most of the year being mostly bald. She’s an indoor dog. Oh and we have a cat, Jade who’s allergic to fleas. He’s had his hairless months, too. And then there is Lucy, our Lab/ Sharpe mix. She has a skin condition. At least she still has fur!

Believe me, I can’t for the life of me understand why we ended up with so many pets with allergies… our vet told me to just tell people our cat was a “hairless bottom” cat from Asia. He was trying to make me feel better. It’s really embarrassing sometimes!

Then there’s Jupiter – the cat who loves to push things off of table tops and dressers…. and Thomas, the cat who is butterball round but acts like he’s starving all the time.

Caroline is my special girl. She’s a black Labrador that we rescued from the pound two years ago.  Caroline and Lucy spend a lot of time outside. But in the winter when it’s so cold, we bring Lucy in at night and Caroline always sleeps on her bed in my bedroom – year round. And lest you think I love Caroline more than Lucy, it’s just not true. The thing is that Lucy is mentally challenged and not trainable. So, she can’t be housebroken. She was deprived of oxygen in the womb. Anyway,

With all of these animals in the house, I’m constantly cleaning after them, shampooing my carpets, burning cinnamon flavored candles, trying to make sure my house smells good.

I love to burn incense in the house – myrrh is my personal favorite. It fills the whole house with it’s aroma. Myrrh incense sticks are inexpensive and the fragrance lasts a long time.

It wasn’t until I recently attended a women’s retreat and we did a lesson on incense and smelled different fragrances that I even considered burning incense in my own home.

Now every time I light an incense stick, I am reminded of how our prayers are like sweet incense to God. As an incense stick burns, the smoke curls and wafts about the room, slowly rising. You can see the smoke as it moves and it smells wonderful!

Let my prayer be accepted as sweet-smelling incense in your presence. Let the lifting up of my hands in prayer be accepted as an evening sacrifice.” Psalm 141:2 {God’s Word Translation}

Why Prayer Matters

If you never had a conversation with your husband, do you think your marriage would last? God wants to have a close relationship with you, His precious daughter.  Our prayers are like a sweet incense, pleasing to God. He enjoys our prayers! Prayer is the key that unlocks the chains binding us to this world and God wants to release us from our bonds.

 

When we pray, when we talk to God, He hears our prayer. Regardless of what we talk to God about, He will listen and respond to us. Without communicating with God on a daily basis, how can we expect to receive the power over sin in our lives?

It’s so important to be setting aside time each day for prayer and Bible study time. I always encourage women to rise early while the house is still quiet to read and pray and plan. You will be blessed by the experience, I promise!

There are seasons in life where rising earlier than your family may be harder than others. For instance, if you have a baby who is not sleeping through the night – you may not be able to get up much earlier than you already are. In that case, I would encourage you to read and pray while you nurse the baby or during nap time.

But truly, for most of us, those early morning hours are the best time for devotions. Even Jesus, knowing how important it was to stay connected to His Father in heaven would rise up before dawn to spend time in prayer.

And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” Mark 1:35

If Jesus needed that time with God, how much more do you and I? Just like the precious life giving manna would disappear after the early morning hours, time has a way of getting away from us if we don’t set aside a dedicated time early in the day for prayer and devotion.

The Bible tells us not to “be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Our hearts need to be so in tuned with God that we have an attitude of prayer all day long. Our conversations with Jesus don’t have to stop when we set our Bible down and go forward with the day’s tasks. We can commune with God all day long!

Part of creating a life of self-discipline, free of clutter, and free from emotional baggage means we need to seek Him out every day! This is the most important part of this challenge! 

Today’s Goal

  • If you’ve been struggling to find time for devotions, think and pray about what time you should have your devotion time. Do you have an attitude of prayer all day long?
  • Pray about making hard decisions – about what things you should keep, preserve, or let go.
  • Pick up a journal and write down your thoughts about what He has shown you or print my free prayer journal.
  • Choose an area in your home you want to tackle. I’ll be working in my family room today.
  • Fill at least one bag or box full of stuff to give away. You can donate to our Appalachian Community Center if you’d like.
  • Take a picture of your bag. Share it on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, or Instagram – use hashtag #atimetoclean {optional}
  • Leave a comment below about what you chose to get rid of and anything else God has laid on your heart.
  • Do your best to wake up early tomorrow and spend time in prayer. Use your prayer journal. I’ll be waking up around 6:00 am.

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9 Comments

  1. I just wanted to tell you how thankful I am that I found your site. I love reading your stories, doing the De-Clutter challenge with you and sharing your information with my closest friends. Thank you so much for being enjoyable to read and with me on my daily journey to be a better servant for Christ and making sure He's involved with EVERY step in my life. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
  2. Good to know I'm not the only one with half hairless pets and constant need to clean floors! Thanks for the reminder to take that extra time. I always have the intention of staying up after my husband leaves for work but rarely do. Its something I want to get back in the habit of doing though.
  3. Thank you for sharing this wisdom about our times with the Lord. Getting up early has always been hard for me, but you're so right in saying that (if at all possible) it truly is the best time. It's so important to align our hearts with that of our Father before we get busy with the business of the day. I appreciate this encouragement, Melissa!
  4. Melissa yesterday I dumped bunch of stuff for the trash man, ok it was an extra bad rather than the 4 we are allowed every 2 weeks., I then donated , 3 grocery bags of books and at the moment I have a small box of fabric I am going to take today to a missionary that goes to Haiti on a regular basis. I am a die heart quilter and I know that there is fabric in that room I will never use so I plan to get rid of some of it before Dr Sam goes back. Again , thanks you for your encouraging words.
  5. I found your blog today while searching for scriptures that describe prayer as a " sweet smelling fragrance" to God....... It is wonderful to spend time with the Lord and share in His plan ... Thanks for your blog and may God richly bless you and yours. Madeline

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