"...there was silence in heaven for about half an hour...the prayers of the saints...rose before God..." Revelation 8:1,4 (ESV)
My devotional reading yesterday morning (this morning as I journal this) was in the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Chapter Eight. This is a very moving and awe inspiring portion of Scripture. Among many the things that are seen and gleaned in this chapter we see the prayers of the Tribulation Saints. We get an idea of what they are praying for and what encompasses their attention. I began to think about what encompasses my attention and what for what am I praying?
I think I am praying for the normal things that most people would pray if they were in my circumstances. I am praying for:
- a job, especially since my unemployment benefits are ending at the end of this month
- the Bank of America loan modification to be approved in order to keep our home
- the salvation of my third daughter
- the salvation of my four grandchildren
- God's blessings as we begin the steps to plant a church for His glory
- For the needs of friends, family, our church
- The four living creatures had not ceased from saying, "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come
- The twenty-four elders sang praises to God continually
- Innumerable hosts of angels sang and praised God
- There had been tremendous sounds of praise, worship, and adoration on going
I don't know if I could be silent for thirty minutes before I prayed. Do you? Have you ever sat for thirty or more minutes simply listening for God?
John talks about the altar and the incense. The incense represents the prayers of certain saints.
"And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne, and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel." Revelation 8:3 (ESV)
There are three things that I discovered as I meditated and prayer through his passage:
The saints are probably the believers who are being persecuted and are exposed to the blasphemy against God during the time of the Tribulation Period. (This means that those who are offering to pray, with incense from some golden altar for a fee are making their offer to soon, shame on you TBN crowd.) These prayers are not from the church age, but more than likely will be the prayers prayed by God's people during this awful time of judgment.
The saints are probably praying for God to end the persecution and blasphemy against God. The content of the prayers revolve around judgment and restoration. These prayers seem to include petitions for:
- Satan to be destroyed
- Sin to be defeated
- Saints (Martyrs) deaths during this period to be avenged by God
- Savior to be deployed. They want Christ to return to the earth and set up His kingdom
So, there is a sense of anticipation as these prayers come up to God from these dear persecuted and molested saints during the tribulation. Their prayers will shortly and certainly be answered. It seems that there is a connection between the prayers of God's people and God's wrath.
Which brings me to my question, what are you praying for? Among the much needed requests that you and I are making to our God, is judgment, wrath, and vengeance among our requests? Are we praying regularly for Satan to be destroyed in the Lake of Fire? Are we praying that the blaspheming of our God would be put to an end? Are we praying that God would avenge the deaths of those who have been persecuted, molested, and killed for the name of Jesus Christ? Are we praying regularly for the return of Christ? Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!