Your prayers move heaven and earth. Yes, your prayers!
Consider listening to or singing with Leeland’s Lion and the Lamb as we open Revelations 5 and 8 today.
Revelation 5:8; 8:1-5 – The Lamb opens the Scroll to unfold God’s redemptive plan
5:8 And when The Lamb had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints…
8:1 When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2 Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. 3 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, 4 and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel. 5 Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth, and there were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.
Note: Revelation is an image-rich genre which communicates great truths, almost like contemporary Sci-Fi. In this scene above, Christ, the Lamb of God, takes the Scroll from God the King, and starts unfolding the events that brings God’s plan for His creation to fulfillment. The 24 elders represent the totality of God’s covenant people.
- Where do the prayers of the saints reach?
- What do the prayers of the saints ultimately accomplish? In other words,
- for what purpose are the prayers of the saints stored up?
- what are the effects of the prayers of the saints?
- What do you note about the the prayers of the saints and its impact over (a) TIME and (b) GEOGRAPHY?
Personal Reflection and Application
One gets easily intimidated to pray for big things like climate challenges, famine, wars, really sick people, the persecuted church or government. When things don’t change – or get worse! – one is tempted to give up praying. But the Revelation of John encourages us to pray, because it is indeed the prayers of the saints which move heaven and earth, affecting climate, governments, wars and ultimately ushering in the Kingdom of God. So pray on – Christ is in charge and invites you into partnership!
Be bold – choose one or two BIG things in your community, country and the world that touches your heart, and pray for that. Let’s follow the Lord’s Prayer as guideline
- Pray to OUR FATHER who loves all his children.
- Praise Him as HOLY – tell Him why there is NO ONE like Him (All-mighty, All-knowing, Just yet Merciful…)
- Pray LET YOUR KINGDOM COME, YOUR WILL BE DONE. Invite his reign into this crisis/ problem situation – that God’s reign be known and done in, and because of, this situation. Take your time here.
- Now pray for the needs – be specific: provision, peace, against seduction. Temptation, deliverance of oppression.
- Declare God’s KINGDOM, POWER, and GLORY. What will it look like if God was reigning in that situation? Speak it into being!
If this way of praying for the situation feels forced, pray in any way you want. Your prayers reaches the All-mighty God who rules heaven and earth!