Prayer Text for Today is Revelation 8:1-5
Forty days ago I downloaded Keith Roberts’ schedule of 40 Day Plan For Spiritual Power. I committed to write or invite others to write a post each day as we entered into a new year. On this last day of 2014 we reach the last post in this series. That’s a lot of writings about various aspects of prayer. I hope to have a .pdf document of them all for you sometime in the future.
The greatest challenge of prayer, as I see it, is to remember and know in our hearts that prayer is heard in heaven. No matter how excellent your prayer practices may be, if they are not heard in heaven then they are no better than positive affirmations and weary hopes.
In the last book of your New Testament there is a stunning picture painted to give us some idea of what happens in heaven. It begins with silence …
When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. Then I saw the seven angels who stand in the presence of God; seven trumpets were given to them. Another angel, with a gold incense burner, came and stood at the altar. ~ Revelation 8:1-3a
I can imagine a lot of things about heaven, but silence is not one of them. I think of heaven as a noisy and active place. Revelation tells us about some of that, but here in this moment a half hour of silence envelopes the presence of God. What is happening in this moment to bring about such reverent quiet?
[An angel] was given a large amount of incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the gold altar in front of the throne. The smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up in the presence of God from the angel’s hand. ~Revelation 8:3-4
God’s people around the globe at this moment are offering up prayers … sincere praises, requests, repentances, seeking the will of God in their lives. You and I could never hear such a noise, but God hears it all. And when you fall to your knees to pray, all heaven grows silent. Can you see how beautiful your prayers are to your Abba? Why does God continue to affirm throughout His word that He listens, hears and responds to prayer? Because we find it so hard to believe, living in a world that tears down our faith every day.
The angel took the incense burner, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it to the earth; there were rumblings of thunder, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake. ~Revelation 8:5
So listen … next time you’re struggling with prayer a bit … remember that all Heaven grows silent in honor of your prayer and the response is cast down to the earth. That answer is fire from the altar … always the signal of the presence and power of God. You may not see with your eyes the immediate response of God, but it has already been sent. Go ahead and thank Him for His answer knowing that He has, indeed, answered your prayer.
If you haven’t ordered Keith Robert’s book on prayer called Why God Waits for You to Pray … please do … the link is below. I promise you’ll be blessed.
As we close this series, let me pray for you…
God, just as I cannot always see your answers clearly, I cannot see everyone reading these posts. I don’t know what was needed through these posts, what was helpful, what was sent by You to someone who would hear and be blessed. But I believe it is so. Would You please look into the life of the one reading these words right now … see the broken places? See the heartache? See the sin? See the spark of desire to follow You with devotion and power? Fan it into flame, Father! Give them just what they need … overflow their life with Grace that is greater! Give them a new year filled with opportunities to lift up your name to the lost world. And when they pray, remind them that all Heaven grows silent when prayers arise from devoted hearts. Only through Jesus can we have this hope, and Only in Him do we pray, Amen.
Thanks again for joining me on this journey. If you subscribed to these posts only for the prayer series, I invite you to stick around. I’m honored that you spent this time with me in this way. God bless you richly.