Incense Prayer Quotes

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The music, the prayers, the bowing and rising, the incense--all of it was breaking down my defenses. That's what good liturgy does. It breaks your heart open and turns you toward God.
Fred Bahnson (Soil and Sacrament: Four Seasons Among the Keepers of the Earth)
And the forest perfume — trees and earth — it's like incense in a shrine. You fall into a state of... prayer.
Keiichi Sigsawa (Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful World)
Believers obey Christ as the one whom our obedience is accepted by God. Believers know all their duties are weak, imperfect, and unable to abide in God's presence. Therefore they look to Christ as the one who bears the iniquity of their holy things, who adds incense to their prayers, gathers out all the weeds from their duties and makes them acceptable to God.
John Owen (Communion with God)
The sour smell was not the smell of fungus. It was unlit incense, and cold ashes, and unsaid prayers. I
Mary Stewart (The Hollow Hills (Arthurian Saga, #2))
I nodded dejectedly. She was right. There wasn't a thing that we could do. But perhaps burn a few bunches of incense to Sekhmet. I would utter some frantic prayers to God too even though Christianity hadn't even been thought of yet. It wouldn't hurt to cover all of my bases.
Courtney Cole (Every Last Kiss (The Bloodstone Saga, #1))
Isabel took a drive alone that afternoon; she wished to be far away, under the sky, where she could descend from her carriage and tread upon the daisies. She had long before this taken old Rome into her confidence, for in a world of ruins the ruin of her happiness seemed a less unnatural catastrophe. She rested her weariness upon things that had crumbled for centuries and yet still were upright; she dropped her secret sadness into the silence of lonely places, where its very modern quality detached itself and grew objective, so that as she sat in a sun-warmed angle on a winter's day, or stood in a mouldy church to which no one came, she could almost smile at it and think of its smallness. Small it was, in the large Roman record, and her haunting sense of the continuity of the human lot easily carried her from the less to the greater. She had become deeply, tenderly acquainted with Rome; it interfused and moderated her passion. But she had grown to think of it chiefly as the place where people had suffered. This was what came to her in the starved churches, where the marble columns, transferred from pagan ruins, seemed to offer her a companionship in endurance and the musty incense to be a compound of long-unanswered prayers. There was no gentler nor less consistent heretic than Isabel; the firmest of worshippers, gazing at dark altar-pictures or clustered candles, could not have felt more intimately the suggestiveness of these objects nor have been more liable at such moments to a spiritual visitation.
Henry James (The Portrait of a Lady)
The journey through another world, beyond bad dreams beyond the memories of a murdered generation, cartographed in captivity by bare survivors makes sacristans of us all. The old ones go our bail, we oblate preachers of our tribes. Be careful, they say, don't hock the beads of kinship agonies; the moire-effect of unfamiliar hymns upon our own, a change in pitch or shrillness of the voice transforms the ways of song to words of poetry or prose and makes distinctions no one recognizes. Surrounded and absorbed, we tread like Etruscans on the edge of useless law; we pray to the giver of prayer, we give the cane whistle in ceremony, we swing the heavy silver chain of incense burners. Migration makes new citizens of Rome.
Elizabeth Cook-Lynn
Together, on his back porch, his cigarette smoke rising like incense to the heavens, we spoke to the God of grace we both are so grateful to know up close and personal. It may be the most beautiful prayer I've ever heard. Jesus, for some reason you've given us another day, and you've set us in Narnia. There are people who still think it's frozen, and there are people who are longing to be thawed but don't know it. God, I pray that what you've called us to do would be the subversive work of the kingdom, that we would help participate in the melting of Narnia, and that people would come alive and would drink and dance and sing and just celebrate life in ways that are so marvelous that the world would press its face against the glass and see the redeemed celebrate life. Amen.
Cathleen Falsani (Sin Boldly: A Field Guide for Grace)
The parishioners looked dazed, but happy. The only thing good Catholics love more than God is a short service. Keep your organ music, your choir, keep your incense and processionals. Give us a priest with one eye on the Bible and the other on the clock, and we’ll pack the place like it’s a turkey raffle the week before Thanksgiving.
Dennis Lehane (Prayers for Rain (Kenzie & Gennaro #5))
The holy and generous wish, that rises like incense from a pure heart towards heaven, often lavishes its sweet perfume on the blast of evil times.
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Again the word was a prayer, incense offered up to a high God through this new and unfathomable darkness
F. Scott Fitzgerald (Flappers and Philosophers)
This was definitely a former cellar. One the far end was a shoddy, rickety altar that cavemen might have erected to worship a fire god. Two wooden columns flanked a large stone block cut into a perfect cube on a raised platform. On the left wall was a table that looked like cheap plastic lawn furniture covered with incense and prayer beads and other generic-looking knickknacks that someone could buy at a yoga studio. "Oh my God, my cult is so low-rent," moaned Magnus. "I am deeply shamed. I am disowning my followers for being evil and having no panache." "But it's not your cult," Alec said distractedly. He walked over to the side table and ran his finger along its surface. "There's a lot of dust. This place hadn't been used in a while." "I'm joking." said Magnus.
Cassandra Clare (The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses, #1))
Power deities, for all their strength, are very much like humans, They are subjects to periods of despair and are not free from the crippling consequences of emotions, For over two decades Tibetans were forbidden from holding any religious ceremonies or prayers. No prayer flags, incense or ceremonies were offered to the deities and demi-gods of the region. This neglect broke their hearts and they became bedraggled and weak.
Tsering Wangmo Dhompa
But for now, I would be the happiest of men if I could just swallow the overflow of saliva that endlessly floods my mouth. Even before first light, I am already practicing sliding my tongue toward the rear of my palate in order to provoke a swallowing reaction. What is more, I have dedicated to my larynx the little packets of incense hanging on the wall, amulets brought back from Japan by pious globe-trotting friends. Just one of the stones in the thanksgiving monument erected by my circle of friends during their wanderings. In every corner of the world, the most diverse deities have been solicited in my name. I try to organize all this spiritual energy. If they tell me that candles have been burned for my sake in a Breton chapel, or that a mantra has been chanted in a Nepalese temple, I at once give each of the spirits invoked a precise task. A woman I know enlisted a Cameroon holy man to procure me the goodwill of Africa's gods: I have assigned him my right eye. For my hearing problems I rely on the relationship between my devout mother-in-law and the monks of a Bordeaux brotherhood. They regularly dedicate their prayers to me, and I occasionally steal into their abbey to hear their chants fly heavenward. So far the results have been unremarkable. But when seven brothers of the same order had their throats cut by Islamic fanatics, my ears hurt for several days. Yet all these lofty protections are merely clay ramparts, walls of sand, Maginot lines, compared to the small prayer my daughter, Céleste, sends up to her Lord every evening before she closes her eyes. Since we fall asleep at roughly the same hour, I set out for the kingdom of slumber with this wonderful talisman, which shields me from all harm.
Jean-Dominique Bauby (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)
I am a teacher. I am a writer. I am a poet. I am a minister. I am church. I am dance. I am the breath of the ancestors. I am the joy of God. I am my grandmother’s prayers. I am my grandfather’s dreaming. I am incense burning. I am a woman. I am the natural dread. I am a woman who loves the company of other women. I am a woman who honors the ancestors. I am sister. I am daughter. I am a daughter of Oshun. I am a person who feels deeply. I am alive. I am whole. I am a woman who believes in freedom. I am a woman who fights for freedom. I am a co-journeyer. I am a friend. I am loved by many.
Monica Coleman (Bipolar Faith: a Black Woman's Guide to Depression and Faith - A Study Guide)
Lhasa The sage blue sky awakens before the earth which slumbers a bit longer to still the chill of her bones and dream until the sun peeks hot through her cragged peaks bestirring weary monks to the swirl of their yak butter tea. Monks meditate upon this whorl which echoes the birth of galaxies, the twist of DNA, the curlicue of hair at the back of an infant’s head, eddying clockwise like Buddha’s journey, winding like a prayer wheel, in the resonance ofinterconnection. Bells tinkle, bowls sing, incense suffuses hints of heaven, rainbows of Jingfan prayer flags clap wildly in the wind, waving me to my quest, to surge forward, to trek to higher and higher ground -- to the rarefied air that is my mind.
Beryl Dov
Tibetan Dreams The sage blue sky awakens before the earth which slumbers a bit longer to still the chill of her bones and dream until the sun peeks hot through her cragged peaks bestirring weary monks to the swirl of their yak butter tea. Monks meditate upon this whorl which echoes the birth of galaxies, the twist of DNA, the curlicue of hair at the back of an infant’s head, eddying clockwise like Buddha’s journey, winding like a prayer wheel, in the resonance ofinterconnection. Bells tinkle, bowls sing, incense suffuses hints of heaven, rainbows of Jingfan prayer flags clap wildly in the wind, waving me to my quest, to surge forward, to trek to higher and higher ground -- to the rarefied air that is my mind.
Beryl Dov
We often fail to realize the depth of evil, terrifying as it is. I am not speaking only of the selfishness of the wealthy, heaping up riches for themselves, or of those who sacrifice to achieve their self-selected goals. Or of the dictator who breathes in the incense due only to God. I am speaking of the selfishness of good people, devout people, those who have succeeded through spiritual exercises and self-denial in being able to make the proud profession before the altar of the Most High, “Lord, I am not like the rest of men.” Yes, we have had the audacity at certain times of our lives to believe we are different from other men. And here is the deepest form of self-deception, dictated by self-centeredness at its worst: spiritual egotism. This most insidious form of egotism even uses piety and prayer for its own gain.
Carlo Carretto (Letters from the Desert (Anniversary Edition))
Death is a stage. A transience. A passage to a later life. If Kanya meditates on this idea long enough, she imagines that she will be able to assimilate it, but the truth is that Jaidee is dead and they will never meet again and whatever Jaidee earned for his next life, whatever incense and prayers Kanya offers, Jaidee will never be Jaidee, his wife will never be returned, and his two fighting sons can only see that loss and suffering are everywhere. Suffering. Pain is the only truth. But it is better for young ones to laugh a while and feel the softness, and if this desire to coddle a child ties a parent to the wheel of existence so be it. A child should be indulged. This is what Kanya thinks as she rides her bicycle across the city toward the Ministry and the housing that Jaidee's descendants have been placed in: a child should be indulged.
Paolo Bacigalupi (The Windup Girl)
In the land of Uz, there lived a man, righteous and God-fearing, and he had great wealth, so many camels, so many sheep and asses, and his children feasted, and he loved them very much and prayed for them. 'It may be that my sons have sinned in their feasting.' Now the devil came before the Lord together with the sons of God, and said to the Lord that he had gone up and down the earth and under the earth. 'And hast thou considered my servant Job?' God asked of him. And God boasted to the devil, pointing to his great and holy servant. And the devil laughed at God's words. 'Give him over to me and Thou wilt see that Thy servant will murmur against Thee and curse Thy name.' And God gave up the just man He loved so, to the devil. And the devil smote his children and his cattle and scattered his wealth, all of a sudden like a thunderbolt from heaven. And Job rent his mantel and fell down upon the ground and cried aloud, 'Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return into the earth; the Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord for ever and ever.' Fathers and teachers, forgive my tears now, for all my childhood rises up again before me, and I breathe now as I breathed then, with the breast of a little child of eight, and I feel as I did then, awe and wonder and gladness. The camels at that time caught my imagination, and Satan, who talked like that with God, and God who gave His servant up to destruction, and His servant crying out: 'Blessed be Thy name although Thou dost punish me,' and then the soft and sweet singing in the church: 'Let my prayer rise up before Thee,' and again incense from the priest's censer and the kneeling and the prayer. Ever since then - only yesterday I took it up - I've never been able to read that sacred tale without tears. And how much that is great, mysterious and unfathomable there is in it! Afterwards I heard the words of mockery and blame, proud words, 'How could God give up the most loved of His saints for the diversion of the devil, take from him his children, smite him with sore boils so that he cleansed the corruption from his sores with a pot-sherd - and for no object except to board to the devil! 'See what My saint can suffer for My Sake.' ' But the greatness of it lies just in the fact that it is a mystery - that the passing earthly show and the eternal verity are brought together in it. In the face of the earthly truth, the eternal truth is accomplished. The Creator, just as on the first days of creation He ended each day with praise: 'That is good that I have created,' looks upon Job and again praises His creation. And Job, praising the Lord, serves not only Him but all His creation for generations and generations, and for ever and ever, since for that he was ordained. Good heavens, what a book it is, and what lessons there are in it! What a book the Bible is, what a miracle, what strength is given with it to man! It is like a mold cast of the world and man and human nature, everything is there, and a law for everything for all the ages. And what mysteries are solved and revealed! God raises Job again, gives him wealth again. Many years pass by, and he has other children and loves them. But how could he love those new ones when those first children are no more, when he has lost them? Remembering them, how could he be fully happy with those new ones, however dear the new ones might be? But he could, he could. It's the great mystery of human life that old grief passes gradually into quiet, tender joy. The mild serenity of age takes the place of the riotous blood of youth. I bless the rising such each day, and, as before, my heart sings to meet it, but now I love even more its setting, its long slanting rays and the soft, tender, gentle memories that come with them, the dear images from the whole of my long, happy life - and over all the Divine Truth, softening, reconciling, forgiving!
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
It had had a fragrant element, reminding him of a regular childhood experience, a memory that reverberated like the chimes of a prayer bell inside his head. For a few moments, he pictured the old Orthodox church that had dominated his remote Russian village. The bearded priest was swinging the elaborate incense-burner, suspended from gold-plated chains. It had been the same odour. Hadn’t it? He blinked, shook his head. He couldn’t make sense of that. He decided, with an odd lack of enthusiasm, that he’d imagined it. The effects of the war played tricks of the mind, of the senses. Looking over his shoulder, he counted all seven of his men as they emerged from the remnants of the four-storey civic office building. A few muddied documents were scattered on the ground, stamped with the official Nazi Party eagle, its head turned to the left, and an emblem he failed to recognize, but which looked to him like a decorative wheel, with a geometrical design of squares at its centre. Even a blackened flag had survived the bomb damage. Hanging beneath a crumbling windowsill, the swastika flapped against the bullet-ridden façade, the movement both panicky and defiant, Pavel thought. His men were conscripts. A few still wore their padded khaki jackets and mustard-yellow blouses. Most, their green field tunics and forage caps. All the clothing was lice-ridden and smeared with soft ash. Months of exposure to frozen winds had darkened their skins and narrowed their eyes. They’d been engaged in hazardous reconnaissance missions. They’d slept rough and had existed on a diet of raw husks and dried horsemeat. Haggard and weary now, he reckoned they’d aged well beyond their years.
Gary Haynes (The Blameless Dead)
Let them talk more munitions and airplanes and battleships and tanks and gases why of course we’ve got to have them we can’t get along without them how in the world could we protect the peace if we didn’t have them? Let them form blocs and alliances and mutual assistance pacts and guarantees of neutrality. Let them draft notes and ultimatums and protests and accusations. But before they vote on them before they give the order for all the little guys to start killing each other let the main guy rap his gavel on my case and point down at me and say here gentlemen is the only issue before this house and that is are you for this thing here or are you against it. And if they are against it why goddam them let them stand up like men and vote. And if they are for it let them be hanged and drawn and quartered and paraded through the streets in small chopped up little bits and thrown out into the fields where no clean animal will touch them and let their chunks rot there and may no green thing ever grow where they rot. Take me into your churches your great towering cathedrals that have to be rebuilt every fifty years because they are destroyed by war. Carry me in my glass box down the aisles where kings and priests and brides and children at their confirmation have gone so many times before to kiss a splinter of wood from a true cross on which was nailed the body of a man who was lucky enough to die. Set me high on your altars and call on god to look down upon his murderous little children his dearly beloved little children. Wave over me the incense I can’t smell. Swill down the sacramental wine I can’t taste. Drone out the prayers I can’t hear. Go through the old holy gestures for which I have no legs and no arms. Chorus out the hallelujas I can’t sing. Bring them out loud and strong for me your hallelujas all of them for me because I know the truth and you don’t you fools. You fools you fools you fools…
Dalton Trumbo (Johnny Got His Gun)
And she knew her defiance in escaping his grasp, even temporarily, had shown Jasu the depth of her strength. In the months afterward, though he behaved awkwardly, he had allowed her the time and space she needed. It was the first genuine show of respect he had made toward her in their four years of marriage. Jasu’s parents made no such concession, their latent disappointment growing into relentless criticism of her for failing to bear a son.Kavita walks outside and spreads her mat on the rough stone steps, where she sits facing the rising sun in the east She lights the small ghee-soaked diya and thin stick of incense, and then closes her eyes in prayer. The wisp of fragrant smoke slowly circles its way up into the air and around her. She breathes deeply and thinks, as always, of the baby girls she has lost. She rings the small silver bell and chants softly. She sees their faces and their small bodies, she hears their cries and feels their tiny fingers wrap around hers. And always, she hears the sound of Usha’s desperate cry echoing behind the closed doors of the orphanage. She allows herself to get lost in the depths of her grief. After she has chanted and sung and wept for some time, she tries to envision the babies at peace, wherever they are. She pictures Usha as a little girl, her hair wound in two braids, each tied with a white ribbon. The image of the girl in her mind is perfectly clear: smiling, running, and playing with children, eating her meals and sleeping alongside the others in the orphanage.Every morning, Kavita sits in the same place outside her home with her eyes closed until the stormy feelings peak and then, very gradually, subside. She waits until she can breathe evenly again. By the time she opens her eyes, her face is wet and the incense has burned down to a small pile of soft ash. The sun is a glowing orange ball on the horizon, and the villagers are beginning to stir around her. She always ends her puja by touching her lips to the one remaining silver bangle on her wrist, reconciling herself to the only thing she has left of her daughters. These daily rituals have brought her comfort and, over time, some healing. She can carry herself through the rest of the day with these peaceful images of Usha in her mind. Each day becomes more bearable. As days turn to weeks, and weeks to months, Kavita feels her bitterness toward Jasu soften. After several months, she allows him to touch her and then, to reach for her at night.
Shilpi Somaya Gowda (Secret Daughter)
performed to the imaginary Vaastu Purusha. The place is scrupulously cleaned and a light is carried to the centre of the house where a jug of water, white flowers and burning incense have already been placed. Milk is then boiled until it overflows or food is cooked and offered to the gods. Then follows a prayer for health, wealth and happiness. Finally, holy water mixed with sandalwood oil is sprinkled into each corner of the property to purify it. The food that has been cooked is then offered to the gods and given to the guests as prasad. There are five essential items required for a puja: water or milk, incense, flowers, a light and a bell. The water or milk represents the element water, the incense is symbolic of the element air, the flower represents earth, the light symbolises fire and the sound of the bell represents space.
Rajender Menen (Benefits Of Vaastu & Feng Shui)
Before entering a new home a Vaastu puja is performed to the imaginary Vaastu Purusha. The place is scrupulously cleaned and a light is carried to the centre of the house where a jug of water, white flowers and burning incense have already been placed. Milk is then boiled until it overflows or food is cooked and offered to the gods. Then follows a prayer for health, wealth and happiness. Finally, holy water mixed with sandalwood oil is sprinkled into each corner of the property to purify it. The food that has been cooked is then offered to the gods and given to the guests as prasad. There are five essential items required for a puja: water or milk, incense, flowers, a light and a bell. The water or milk represents the element water, the incense is symbolic of the element air, the flower represents earth, the light symbolises fire and the sound of the bell represents space.
Rajender Menen (Benefits Of Vaastu & Feng Shui)
As watchmen working through the night we need to come again and again with our petitions, but always knowing that each prayer, each petition is as perfumed incense to our God, giving us every expectation of an answer from our Loving Father.
Patrick Davis (Because You Asked, 2)
And another Angel came and stood before the altar, having a golden censer: and there was given to him much incense, that he should offer of the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar, which is before the throne of God" (Apoc. viii. 3).
John J. Burke (Reasonableness of Catholic Ceremonies and Practices)
Lefty hands a coin to the old lady selling candles, lights one, stands it upright in sand. He takes a seat in a back pew. And in the same way my mother will later pray for guidance over my conception, Lefty Stephanides, my great-uncle (among other things) gazes up at the unfinished Christ Pantocrator on the ceiling. His prayer begins with words he learned as a child, Kyrie eleison, Kyrie eleison, I am not worthy to come before Thy throne, but soon it veers off, becoming personal with I don’t know why I feel this way, it’s not natural . . . and then turning a little accusatory, praying You made me this way, I didn’t ask to think things like . . . but getting abject finally with Give me strength, Christos, don’t let me be this way, if she even knew . . . eyes squeezed shut, hands bending the derby’s brim, the words drifting up with the incense toward a Christ-in-progress. He prayed for five minutes. Then came out, replaced his hat on his head, and rattled the change in his pockets.
Jeffrey Eugenides (Middlesex)
There are three stages of spiritual development,' a teacher taught. 'The carnal, the spiritual, and the divine.' 'What is the carnal stage?' the disciple asked. 'That's the stage,' the teacher said, 'when trees are seen as trees and mountains are seen as mountains.' 'And the spiritual?' the disciple asked eagerly. 'That's when we look more deeply into things. Then trees are no longer trees and mountains are no longer mountains,' the teacher answered. 'And the divine?' the disciple said breathlessly. 'Ah,' the teacher said with a smile. 'That's enlightenment - when the trees become trees again the and the mountains become mountains.' We pray to see life as it is, to understand it, and to make it better than it was. We pray so that reality can break into our souls and give us back our awareness of the Divine Presence in life. We pray to understand things as they are, not to ignore and avoid and deny them. We pray so that when the incense disappears we can still see the world as holy.
Joan D. Chittister
A noise recalled him to Saint-Sulpice; the choir was leaving; the church was about to close. "I should have tried to pray," he thought. "It would have been better than sitting here in the empty church, dreaming in my chair--but pray? I have no desire to pray. I am haunted by Catholicism, intoxicated by its atmosphere of incense and candle wax. I hover in its outskirts, moved to tears by its prayers, touched to the very marrow by its psalms and chants.
Joris-Karl Huysmans
It is the fragrance of our prayers at dawn, our communion with God, which is the fragrant garden in which he loves to walk in the morning.
Blake Penson (The Divine Prayer Clock)
Non-Christians were alternately baffled and repelled by such excess. Pliny himself describes Christianity as nothing more than a ‘degenerate sort of cult carried to extravagant lengths’. For a long time, Romans struggled to understand why Christians couldn’t simply add the worship of this new Christian god to the old ones. It was known that Christianity had sprung from Judaism and that even the Jews had offered prayer and sacrifice to Augustus and later emperors in their temple. If they had done so – and theirs was the more ancient religion – then why couldn’t the Christians? Monotheism in the rigid Christian sense was all but unthinkable to polytheists. ‘If you have recognized Christ,’ as one official put it, ‘then recognize our gods too.’ Not just unthinkable but, to many, unnecessary to the point of histrionic. As another prefect in another trial pithily put it: ‘What is so serious about offering some incense and going away?’ The emperor Marcus Aurelius disparaged martyrdom as mere ‘stage heroics’. Others saw it as simply deluded: Lucian scornfully described the Christians as those ‘poor wretches [who] have convinced themselves, first and foremost, that they are going to be immortal and live for all time, in consequence of which they despise death and even willingly give themselves into custody’.
Catherine Nixey (The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World)
When the organ peals out its melodious tones, but the heart is not in the singing, do you think that God has ears like a man, which can be tickled with sweet sounds? Why have you brought Him down to your level? He is spiritual! The music that delights Him is the love of a true heart, the prayer of an anxious spirit! He has better music than all your organs and drums can ever bring to Him! If He wanted music, He would not have asked you, for winds and wave make melodies transcendently superior to all your chief musicians can compose! Does He want candles when His torch makes the mountains to be great altars smoking with the incense of praise to the God of Creation? Oh, Brothers and Sisters, I fear that it has been true of many who externally appeared to be devout, [that] ‘when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God!’ Weep over your sins; then have you glorified Him as God! Fall on your face and be nothing before the Most High; then you have glorified Him as God! Accept His righteousness. Adore His bleeding Son. Trust in His infinite compassion. Then you have glorified Him as God, for ‘God is a Spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.’ How far, my dear hearers, have you complied with that requisition?”–1892, Sermon 2257
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Spurgeon Gems)
May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice. PSALM 141:2
Anne Graham Lotz (Fixing My Eyes on Jesus: Daily Moments in His Word)
Tibet The sage blue sky awakens before the earth which slumbers a bit longer to still the chill of her bones and dream until the sun peeks hot through her cragged peaks bestirring weary monks to the swirl of their yak butter tea. Monks meditate upon this whorl which echoes the birth of galaxies, the twist of DNA, the curlicue of hair at the back of an infant’s head, eddying clockwise like Buddha’s journey, winding like a prayer wheel, in the resonance ofinterconnection. Bells tinkle, bowls sing, incense suffuses hints of heaven, rainbows of Jingfan prayer flags clap wildly in the wind, waving me to my quest, to surge forward, to trek to higher and higher ground -- to the rarefied air that is my mind.
Beryl Dov
QUAKER: Since God maintains direct accessibility with every human life and offers instant and uncomplicated guidance, the intervention of priests and ministers is unnecessary. The intercession of saints is not required. Musical chanting and pretentious prayers fulfill no need. God is not attracted by incense or ostentation or robes or colorful garments or hierarchies. CATHOLIC: You pretty well abolish my church. QUAKER
James A. Michener (Chesapeake)
Lana started to make sounds, like the imprecations of a priestess, over the bills that the boy had given her. Whispered numerals and words floated upward from her coral lips, and, closing her eyes, she copied some figures onto a pad of paper. Her fine body, itself a profitable investment through the years, bent reverently over the Formica-top altar. Smoke, like incense, rose from the cigarette in the ashtray at her elbow, curling upward with her prayers, up above the host which she was elevating in order to study the date of its minting, the single silver dollar that lay among the offerings. Her bracelet tinkled, calling communicants to the altar, but the only one in the temple had been excommunicated from the Faith because of his parentage and continued mopping. An offering fell to the floor, the host, and Lana knelt to venerate and retrieve it.
John Kennedy Toole (A Confederacy of Dunces)
No erudition, no purity of diction, no width of mental outlook, no flowers of eloquence, no grace of person, can atone for lack of fire. Prayer ascends by fire. Flame gives prayer access as well as wings, acceptance as well as energy. There is no incense without fire; no prayer without flame.
E.M. Bounds (The Essentials of Prayer: How Christians Ought to Pray)
I had spent an entire life praying for a miracle, and none had come. And now I looked at the stuffy chapel of my ancestors and saw vanity and greed, heard the call to prayer and thought of power, smelled incense and wondered at the waste of it all.
Claire North (The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August)
Puritan GREAT GOD, In public and private, in sanctuary and home, may my life be steeped in prayer, filled with the spirit of grace and supplication, each prayer perfumed with the incense of atoning blood. Help me, defend me, until from praying ground I pass to the realm of unceasing praise. Urged by my need, invited by Thy promises, called by Thy Spirit, I enter Thy presence, worshipping Thee with godly fear, awed by Thy majesty, greatness, glory, but encouraged by Thy love. I am all poverty as well as all guilt, having nothing of my own with which to repay Thee, but I bring Jesus to Thee in the arms of faith, pleading His righteousness to offset my iniquities, rejoicing that He will weigh down the scales for me, and satisfy thy justice. I bless Thee that great sin draws out great grace, that, although the least sin deserves infinite punishment because done against an infinite God, yet there is mercy for me, for where guilt is most terrible, there Thy mercy in Christ is most free and deep. Bless me by revealing to me more of His saving merits, by causing Thy goodness to pass before me, by speaking peace to my contrite heart; strengthen me to give Thee no rest until Christ shall reign supreme within me in every thought, word, and deed, in a faith that purifies the heart, overcomes the world, works by love, fastens me to Thee, and ever clings to the cross.
Various Puritans (Puritan Prayers & Devotions)
Pray one for another.” — James 5:16 As an encouragement cheerfully to offer intercessory prayer, remember that such prayer is the sweetest God ever hears, for the prayer of Christ is of this character. In all the incense which our Great High Priest now puts into the golden censer, there is not a single grain for himself. His intercession must be the most acceptable of all supplications—and the more like our prayer is to Christ’s, the sweeter it will be; thus while petitions for ourselves will be accepted, our pleadings for others, having in them more of the fruits of the Spirit, more love, more faith, more brotherly kindness, will be, through the precious merits of Jesus, the sweetest oblation that we can offer to God, the very fat of our sacrifice. Remember, again, that intercessory prayer is exceedingly prevalent. What wonders it has wrought! The Word of God teems with its marvellous deeds. Believer, thou hast a mighty engine in thy hand, use it well, use it constantly, use it with faith, and thou shalt surely be a benefactor to thy brethren. When thou hast the King’s ear, speak to him for the suffering members of his body. When thou art favoured to draw very near to his throne, and the King saith to thee, “Ask, and I will give thee what thou wilt,” let thy petitions be, not for thyself alone, but for the many who need his aid. If thou hast grace at all, and art not an intercessor, that grace must be small as a grain of mustard seed. Thou hast just enough grace to float thy soul clear from the quicksand, but thou hast no deep floods of grace, or else thou wouldst carry in thy joyous bark a weighty cargo of the wants of others, and thou wouldst bring back from thy Lord, for them, rich blessings which but for thee they might not have obtained:— “Oh, let my hands forget their skill, My tongue be silent, cold, and still, This bounding heart forget to beat, If I forget the mercy-seat!
Anonymous
Midnight Mass was required, and at Saint Aloysius, it lasted ninety minutes. Because the church was crowded with what Mother called “one timers” who attended Mass only on Christmas Eve, we arrived at 11:00 p.m. to get a seat near the front. The church was splendidly decorated. Poinsettias bloomed everywhere, huge wreaths and sprigs of holly tied with red bows hung on every pillar, potent incense enveloped us, and six tall candles burning on the main altar lighted our way out of the long, cold darkness. Carols sung from the choir loft filled the church and evoked the sensuous beauty and mystery of this holy night. While other children chatted with friends and showed off their holiday apparel, My PareNTs, gail aNd i, Mara aNd NiCho- las; ChrisTMas, 1974; CaNToN, ohio I sat quietly, awaiting the chimes that announced the first minutes of Christmas and heralded the solemn service: the priest’s white and gold vestments, his ritualized gestures, the Latin prayers, the incense, the communion service with the transfigured bread and wine, and the priest’s blessings from the high altar that together
Michael Shurgot (Could You Be Startin' From Somewhere Else?: Sketches From Buffalo And Beyond)
The interior journey of the soul from the wilds of sin into the enjoyed Presence of God is beautifully illustrated in the Old Testament tabernacle. The returning sinner first entered the outer court where he offered a blood sacrifice on the brazen altar and washed himself in the laver that stood near it. Then through a veil he passed into the holy place where no natural light could come, but the golden candlestick which spoke of Jesus the Light of the World threw its soft glow over all. There also was the shewbread to tell of Jesus, the Bread of Life, and the altar of incense, a figure of unceasing prayer.
A.W. Tozer (The Pursuit of God)
As previously mentioned, the incense contained eleven different spices. This represented prayers of the saints. When searching the New Testament, we discover eleven different types of prayer that the believer can pray: Prayer confessing our sins (I John 1:9) Prayer confessing our faults (James 5:16) Prayer of agreement (Matt. 18:19) Prayer of faith for the sick (James 5:15) Prayer of binding (Man 16:19) Prayer of loosing (Matt. 16:19) Praying in the Spirit (Eph. 6:18) Praying in the Spirit with understanding (I Cor 14:15) Prayer of thanksgiving (Phil. 4.6) Prayer of intercession (I Tim. 2:1) Prayer for general supplications (Phil. 4:6) In the Inner Court areas (of the soul or mind) we form our prayers. We learn doctrine from the scripture, and receive inspiration and enlightenment from the Holy Spirit!
Perry Stone (Breath of the Holies)
There is a way by which any person, however sinful and unworthy, may draw near to God the Father. Jesus Christ has opened that way by the sacrifice he made for us upon the cross. The holiness and justice of God need not frighten sinners and keep them back. Only let them cry to God in the name of Jesus, and they shall find God upon the throne of grace, willing and ready to hear. The name of Jesus is a never-failing passport for our prayers. In that name, a person may draw near to God with boldness, and ask with confidence. God has engaged to hear him. Think of this. Is this not an encouragement? There is an Advocate and Intercessor always waiting to present the prayers of those who come to God through him. That advocate is Jesus Christ. He mingles our prayers with the incense of his own almighty intercession. So mingled, they go up as a sweet savor before the throne of God. Poor as they are in themselves, they are mighty and powerful in the hand of our High Priest and Elder Brother. The bank-note without a signature at the bottom is nothing but a worthless piece of paper. The stroke of a pen confers on it all its value. The prayer of a poor child of Adam is a feeble thing in itself — but once endorsed by the hand of the Lord Jesus, it avails much. There was an officer in the city of Rome who appointed to have his doors always open, in order to receive any Roman citizen who applied to him for help. Just so the ear of the Lord Jesus is ever open to the cry of all who need mercy and grace. It is his office to help them. Their prayer is his delight! Think of this. Is this not and encouragement? There
J.C. Ryle (A Call to Prayer)
Were the words his, or did they belong to Kos? What was he, anyway, but a piece of this burning web spun from a city’s dreams? He joined to Him by faith, by the burning of incense, by prayer, by kneeling before a fire. Where did Abelard end and God begin? They grew from each other.
Max Gladstone (Four Roads Cross (Craft Sequence, #5))
using incense you can release prayers to the heavens (celestial realms) offering upward all cares or strife..
Leland Lewis (Random Molecular Mirroring)
Before the holy of holies, the most holy place, is the altar of incense, a gold-laden structure whose rising smoke represents the perpetual need of intercessory prayer on behalf of the people.” This was yet another need for the people that no human high priest could attain to. Eleazer brought his censer from the sacrifice, whose smoke mixed with the altar of incense to protect him from what he was about to do next: enter the holy of holies, the very presence of Yahweh. This was the only time each year that this could be done. If approached on any other day by the high priest or anyone else, Yahweh would strike them dead.
Brian Godawa (Joshua Valiant (Chronicles of the Nephilim Book 5))
Our prayers, offered in utter weakness, are represented before God Himself with the tangible scent and form of incense filling real, physical bowls. How we radically undervalue our prayers.
Anna Blanc (Growing as a Prophetic Singer)
The ceremonial law was given by Christ. Even after it was no longer to be observed, Paul presented it before the Jews in its true position and value, showing its place in the plan of redemption and its relation to the work of Christ; and the great apostle pronounces this law glorious, worthy of its divine Originator. The solemn service of the sanctuary typified the grand truths that were to be revealed through successive generations. The cloud of incense ascending with the prayers of Israel represents his righteousness that alone can make the sinner’s prayer acceptable to God; the bleeding victim on the altar of sacrifice testified of a Redeemer to come; and from the holy of holies the visible token of the divine Presence shone forth. Thus through age after age of darkness and apostasy faith was kept alive in the hearts of men until the time came for the advent of the promised Messiah.
Ellen G. White (Patriarchs And Prophets)
HINDU TEMPLE In this spiritual abode the smell of incense, the sight of lighted diya (clay oil lamp), the ring of temple bell, the singing of prayers, the reciting and hum of mantras, all create an environment of divine feel and resonance to have moments with the divinity. The sanctity of the place is defined.
Promod Puri (Hinduism: Beyond Rituals, Customs and Traditions)
In the offering of incense the priest was brought more directly into the presence of God than in any other act of the daily ministration. As the inner veil of the sanctuary did not extend to the top of the building, the glory of God, which was manifested above the mercy seat, was partially visible from the first apartment. When the priest offered incense before the Lord, he looked toward the ark; and as the cloud of incense arose, the divine glory descended upon the mercy seat and filled the most holy place, and often so filled both apartments that the priest was obliged to retire to the door of the tabernacle. As in that typical service the priest looked by faith to the mercy seat which he could not see, so the people of God are now to direct their prayers to Christ, their great High Priest, who, unseen by human vision, is pleading in their behalf in the sanctuary above.
Ellen G. White (Patriarchs And Prophets)
The incense, ascending with the prayers of Israel, represents the merits and intercession of Christ, his perfect righteousness, which through faith is imputed to his people, and which can alone make the worship of sinful beings acceptable to God. Before the veil of the most holy place was an altar of perpetual intercession, before the holy, an altar of continual atonement. By blood and by incense God was to be approached—symbols pointing to the great Mediator, through whom sinners may approach Jehovah, and through whom alone mercy and salvation can be granted to the repentant, believing soul.
Ellen G. White (Patriarchs And Prophets)
As the priests morning and evening entered the holy place at the time of incense, the daily sacrifice was ready to be offered upon the altar in the court without. This was a time of intense interest to the worshipers who assembled at the tabernacle. Before entering into the presence of God through the ministration of the priest, they were to engage in earnest searching of heart and confession of sin. They united in silent prayer, with their faces toward the holy place. Thus their petitions ascended with the cloud of incense, while faith laid hold upon the merits of the promised Saviour prefigured by the atoning sacrifice. The hours appointed for the morning and the evening sacrifice [354] were regarded as sacred, and they came to be observed as the set time for worship throughout the Jewish nation. And when in later times the Jews were scattered as captives in distant lands, they still at the appointed hour turned their faces toward Jerusalem and offered up their petitions to the God of Israel. In this custom Christians have an example for morning and evening prayer. While God condemns a mere round of ceremonies, without the spirit of worship, he looks with great pleasure upon those who love him, bowing morning and evening to seek pardon for sins committed and to present their requests for needed blessings.
Ellen G. White (Patriarchs And Prophets)
worship of gods. Buddhism told people that they should aim for the ultimate goal of complete liberation from suffering, rather than for stops along the way such as economic prosperity and political power. However, 99 per cent of Buddhists did not attain nirvana, and even if they hoped to do so in some future lifetime, they devoted most of their present lives to the pursuit of mundane achievements. So they continued to worship various gods, such as the Hindu gods in India, the Bon gods in Tibet, and the Shinto gods in Japan. Moreover, as time went by several Buddhist sects developed pantheons of Buddhas and bodhisattvas. These are human and non-human beings with the capacity to achieve full liberation from suffering but who forego this liberation out of compassion, in order to help the countless beings still trapped in the cycle of misery. Instead of worshipping gods, many Buddhists began worshipping these enlightened beings, asking them for help not only in attaining nirvana, but also in dealing with mundane problems. Thus we find many Buddhas and bodhisattvas throughout East Asia who spend their time bringing rain, stopping plagues, and even winning bloody wars – in exchange for prayers, colourful flowers, fragrant incense and gifts of rice and candy.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
Because there are many levels in this gigantic video game, people pray to the beings on the lower and intermediate levels, as they are often easier to contact than the more exalted beings (for example, these lower and intermediate beings often respond to human and animal blood sacrifice, offerings of large amounts of gold or money, flagellation, fasting and other offerings of material goods such as flowers, food and incense. They hope that, by petitioning the beings on the intermediate level (saints, angels and archangels), their request will be transmitted to the Supreme Reality (the ultimate controller of the game). In other words, in reality people are asking the intermediate level of programmers to change the program. When people pray for a miracle, they are really praying that the computer code of one of the levels will change to give them what they want. They are trying to contact and influence the intermediate programmers when they pray.
Laurence Galian (Alien Parasites: 40 Gnostic Truths to Defeat the Archon Invasion!)
Then I saw, standing between the throne with its four animals and the circle of the elders, a Lamb that seemed to have been sacrificed; it had seven horns, and it had seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits God has sent out all over the world. 7 The Lamb came forward to take the scroll from the right hand of the One sitting on the throne, 8 and when he took it, the four animals prostrated themselves before him and with them the twenty-four elders; each one of them was holding a harp and had a golden bowl full of incense made of the prayers of the saints.
Editions CTAD (The Jerusalem Bible New Version)
yet there walked a host of hunchbacked priests dressed in the flayed skin of their forefathers, swinging incense braziers and chanting prayers to the souls of those men and women who fought beneath the icons across the galaxy. The
Aaron Dembski-Bowden (The Master of Mankind (The Horus Heresy #41))
large quantity of incense was given to him to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar that stood in front of the throne; 4 and so from the angel's hand the smoke of the incense went up in the presence of God and with it the prayers of the saints.
Editions CTAD (The Jerusalem Bible New Version)
THE BOOK OF A MONK’S LIFE I live my life in circles that grow wide And endlessly unroll, I may not reach the last, but on I glide Strong pinioned toward my goal. About the old tower, dark against the sky, The beat of my wings hums, I circle about God, sweep far and high On through milleniums. Am I a bird that skims the clouds along, Or am I a wild storm, or a great song? Many have painted her. But there was one Who drew his radiant colours from the sun. My God is dark- like woven texture flowing, A hundred drinking roots, all intertwined; I only know that from His warmth I'm growing. More I know not: my roots lie hidden deep My branches only are swayed by the wind. Dost thou not see, before thee stands my soul In silence wrapt my Springtime's prayer to pray? But when thy glance rests on me then my whole Being quickens and blooms like trees in May. When thou art dreaming then I am thy Dream, But when thou art awake I am thy Will Potent with splendour, radiant and sublime, Expanding like far space star-lit and still Into the distant mystic realm of Time. I love my life's dark hours In which my senses quicken and grow deep, While, as from faint incense of faded flowers Or letters old, I magically steep Myself in days gone by: again I give Myself unto the past:- again I live. Out of my dark hours wisdom dawns apace, Infinite Life unrolls its boundless space ... Then I am shaken as a sweeping storm Shakes a ripe tree that grows above a grave ' Round whose cold clay the roots twine fast and warm- And Youth's fair visions that glowed bright and brave, Dreams that were closely cherished and for long, Are lost once more in sadness and in song.
Rainer Maria Rilke
The smell of incense filled the space, and monks could be heard murmuring prayers and chants throughout the store, perfecting the Feng Shui of the place.
Shayne Silvers (The Nate Temple Series Box Set 2 (The Nate Temple Series, #4-6))
A godly man is on the mount of prayer every day. He begins the day with prayer. Before he opens his shop—he opens his heart to God! We burn sweet incense in our houses; a godly man's house is "a house of incense"; he airs it with the incense of prayer. He engages in no business without seeking God. A godly man consults God in everything; he asks God's permission and his blessing.
Thomas Watson (The Godly Man's Picture (Puritan Paperbacks))
In Greece, says Suidas, "the greatest and most expensive sacrifice was the mysterious sacrifice called the Telete," a sacrifice which, according to Plato, "was offered for the living and the dead, and was supposed to free them from all the evils to which the wicked are liable when they have left this world." In Egypt the exactions of the priests for funeral dues and masses for the dead were far from being trifling. "The priests," says Wilkinson, "induced the people to expend large sums on the celebration of funeral rites; and many who had barely sufficient to obtain the necessaries of life were anxious to save something for the expenses of their death. For, beside the embalming process, which sometimes cost a talent of silver, or about 250 [pounds] English money, the tomb itself was purchased at an immense expense; and numerous demands were made upon the estate of the deceased, for the celebration of prayer and other services for the soul." "The ceremonies," we find him elsewhere saying, "consisted of a sacrifice similar to those offered in the temples, vowed for the deceased to one or more gods (as Osiris, Anubis, and others connected with Amenti); incense and libation were also presented; and a prayer was sometimes read, the relations and friends being present as mourners. They even joined their prayers to those of the priest. The priest who officiated at the burial service was selected from the grade of Pontiffs, who wore the leopard skin; but various other rites were performed by one of the minor priests to the mummies, previous to their being lowered into the pit of the tomb after that ceremony. Indeed, they continued to be administered at intervals, as long as the family paid for their performance." Such was the operation of the doctrine of purgatory and prayers for the dead among avowed and acknowledged Pagans; and in what essential respect does it differ from the operation of the same doctrine in Papal Rome?
Alexander Hislop (The Two Babylons)