The third, and last, remaining article of furniture in the ‘Holy Place’, stands directly in front of the veil on the western side. It is 18 inches square at the base and 36 inches high and has rings for its two staves and a crown-like periphery, or border, on the top. It was made of acacia wood and covered with gold. With it was a golden censer that was used to carry burning incense into the Holy of Holies once a year by the High Priest on Yom Kippur, Day of Atonement, to burn incense and sprinkle animal blood to expiate his own sins and those of the people of Israel. (Ex. 30:1-10)
Twice a day the incense was offered to God in a censer on the altar of incense. In the morning the priest would offer the incense when he trimmed the wick of the candlesticks and in the night time again when the lights were lit (vs 7). The recipe for the incense was given by God (Ex. 30:34-38). The burning incense would have been a sweet smell that filled The Holy Place while the priest prayed and conducted his daily tasks. While burning incense was a duty performed at the Altar, the main work done there was the offerings of PRAYER.
Psalm 141:2 (the Voice) David said: “Consider my prayer as an offering of incense that rises before You; when I stand with my hands outstretched pleading toward the heavens consider it as an evening offering.”
Compare the Old Testament levitical priesthood (law of Moses), with a time frame, with a beginning and an end. Compare this to the book of Hebrews 8:1-10 where we read of a better tabernacle, a heavenly sanctuary where we have a high priest, a perfect priest Jesus the Christ in the order of Melchizedek, without beginning without end. The priests in the tabernacle offered up prayers at the altar of incense.
We are to pray, declare, proclaim with thanksgiving as priests, not toward God but from our oneness with God. With authority through the Holy Spirit. Face to face with the Father, in communion with Him. Luke 6:12 where “Jesus departed into the mountain to engage in prayer. He spent the night there; entwined in a face to face mirror encounter in the prayer of God” ( Francois du Toit in the Mirror). We have now this face to face communion. John 14:20 says, “in that day you will know that we are in seamless union with one another. I am in my father, you are in me and I am in you”. You can’t get any closer than being integral with the Oneness. If you struggle to know what to pray, the Spirit intercedes in us, in our tabernacle, in our holy place, and bypasses our clumsy efforts and always hits the mark. His intercession for All is consistent with God’s purpose for All.