Incense Sweet

Monday’s Breaking Bread

Welcome to our very first Monday’s Breaking Bread, where we gather around Scripture and ask the Lord to speak to and encourage us. Are you new here? Find out more about Beloved Prodigal here:

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Psalm 145: 18 ESV

The Lord is near to all who call on him,

    to all who call on him in truth.

In the midst of trying circumstances, it can be so hard to cling to the truth of God’s Promises. When we see those we love fleeing the One who is their only true Answer. When we long to live together in faith, but feel a wall surrounding their hearts that we cannot break through. But our God – He sees this, He knows our pain and He does not stand by aloof. He carried not only our sins, but also our pain and suffering to that cross, crying: “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.”

All He asks of us is that we come as we are. That we don’t pretend everything is A-okay, but that we “call on him in truth”. But how do we do that when we are empty? When we have no words or even tears left for all the grief, the pain, the anger, the hurt?


Holy Ground So Pure

By Anna Louise Smit

What if we saw
Each tear
Each ache
Each unutterable cry
As gifts You ask us bring?

What if our offering
Is all that shame
And all that fear
Would have us hide and turn away?

What if incense sweet
Is not of human strength
But of broken heart
Contrite and bowed here low?

What if depths of me
Met depths of You
In alabaster broken
Poured here at Your Mighty feet?

What if clothed in shame
I stretched to touch
Your garment pure
And Power filled me here?

What if all You’ve ever asked
Is that I come
Just as I am
Broken, in need of my True Friend?

What if Dove descends
And Eagle soars
In all that’s broken

LORD, here I am
Broken, weak, in desperate need
These gifts I bring to you
My offering, pleasing sweet.

“Child,” I hear your Voice
In cloud now raised
My knees here bowed
On Holy ground so pure.

“Stand now, here arise in Me
Come let Me lift your face on high
For Beloved, You are Mine
The One in whom My soul delights.”

This is where our Friend, the Spirit of Truth comes in. He is capable of searching and knowing us, of reaching beneath the protective layer we naturally lean toward wrapping around our aching hearts and pressing us back into the arms of our Savior.

I was again in that place of trying to soldier on with grief mounting just this past week, but I felt Him press me into His arms. It is astounding how near our Heavenly Father draws, when we begin to pour out what lies within us, isn’t it? In my case, in less than an hour He had answered my heart’s cry in the most beautiful and unexpected of ways. He truly cares and we are never ever alone on this journey with our loved ones. He longs to lead us into deeper intimacy – the deeper our grief, the deeper His love goes:

Our Friend is capable of returning our hearts to rest. Into the arms of our Heavenly Father.

And from that place of rest rise the most sacred of Spirit prayers. Prayers that sometimes don’t even make sense, until weeks, months, even years later, when we see these prayers reap the fruit for which they were sent by our God into our minds and onto our lips.

Ephesians 6: 18 NIV

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

I can testify to the answer of such prayers in my own Prodigal life – prayers prayed by my parents and my best friend of now 25 years – and some VERY specific ones. And I know my turning away broke their hearts. But now, they can see (my Mum from heaven) that all those prayers they prayed, with tears streaming, were not in vain, for we truly serve a faithful God!

Isaiah 43: 13 NLT

“From eternity to eternity I am God. No one can snatch anyone out of my hand. No one can undo what I have done.”

May I pray for you today?

Dear LORD,

I ask that You wrap all those visiting here today in Your beautiful truth. Thank You, LORD, that You have promised to uphold all who are falling and raise up all who are bowed down low (Psalm 145: 14 ESV). LORD, cause our hearts to once again rejoice in this truth. For LORD, You truly are our helper and this alone gives us reason to sing for joy here in the shadow of Your wings. Work this truth into our hearts to open them in trust. Help us to pour out what resides deep within us, both to You and to those You have placed around us to love and encourage us. Help us not to hide away in shame, or to soldier on, but to lean our weakness into Your strength.

LORD, teach us to keep clinging to You, for we know that Your strong right hand upholds not only us, but also our beloved Prodigals (Psalm 63: 7 – 8). Thank You that You are a faithful God, waiting with Your strong, safe outstretched arms to welcome all Your beloved children Home. Thank You, LORD, that You are good, You are just and You are true. We know and trust that we will yet see Your goodness in the land of the living. We bless Your holy Name. In Jesus’ Mighty Name, Amen.

We would love to support you as you love and pray for your Prodigal/s. Please do send us a note if you would like us to come alongside you via our Contact page. It would truly be an honor to do so. Know that you do not need to walk this alone. Also feel free to share prayer requests and stories of praise in the comments below. We would love to hear from you.

4 thoughts on “Incense Sweet

Add yours

  1. Thank you so much for encouraging me, Bettie. HIS heart is filled with so much love for all His children, isn’t it? Sweet prayers from His heart reach so much deeper, don’t they? He sees what we do not and cannot with our human eyes. Hugs and love to you too.


  2. Dear Anna,
    Thank you for such precious reminders that those prayers lifted before Christ on behalf of our prodigals are indeed eternal! I loved this thought: “And from that place of rest rise the most sacred of Spirit prayers.” When we lay our worries for our prodigals at the feet of Jesus, and let Him bring us into His rest, then HE births within us such sweet prayers straight from HIS heart! I am resting in His promises even today. Hugs and Love to you!


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