Saturday, December 28

Our prayers make a difference

Scripture: Revelation 5-9

Revelation 5:8 And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people.

Observation

There was no one worthy to open the scroll—except the Lamb (Jesus) who had been slain.  When He took the scroll, worship broke out in heaven, first among the four living creatures and the 24 elders, then millions of angels joined in, then every creature in the universe joined the song!  Wow!  

The 24 elders were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people.  John pictures our prayers as incense rising before God’s throne. 

Application

Our prayers make a difference!  They don’t just “hit the ceiling and go nowhere.”  They don’t just evaporate and disappear after we say them.  They are kept in heaven in golden bowls and like incense, they change the atmosphere.  They rise to God on His throne.  

Recently in a sermon I told a story from Pete Grieg’s book, How to Pray.  Ten years after he prayed, Pete experienced a dramatic answer to his prayer.  God spoke to him and said, “I never forget a single prayer you pray. You forget most of the things you ask me, but I never do.”

Perhaps this is what John is representing in his vision—that our prayers are never forgotten, never wasted, but are kept in heaven and rise like incense before the Father.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for this vision of the importance and power of prayer.  Help me to pray today!