Faith Bible Church Greenfield Illinois

Powerful Prayer

In Revelation 8 we read that the seventh seal is broken on the scroll which represents God’s contract with humankind. With the seventh seal broken the contract has been fully opened and we see preparation being made for the final execution of God’s judgment on the unrighteous. In that moment something happens that gives us insight into the power of the prayers of all believers. I. What happens in heaven when the seventh seal is broken? A. There is a half hour of silence (Revelation 8:1) B. There are seven angels before God (Revelation 8:2) 1. They are standing – Gabriel may be one (Luke 1:19) 2. They each are given a trumpet C. There is another angel that John sees (Revelation 8:3) 1. He has a golden censer and stands at the heavenly altar 2. He was given a lot of incense to offer up with the prayers of the saints 3. He offered it at the golden altar before the throne D. This is easily understood by those familiar with the temple 1. Location of the altar a. Altar of incense right in front of the holy of holies (Exodus 30:6) b. Incense was offered on the altar morning and night (Exodus 30:7, 8) 2. Incense symbolic of the prayers of the people a. David says this (Psalm 141:2) b. We are told in this letter these are the prayers of the saints (Revelation 5:8, 8:4a) II. Where did the smoke/prayers go? A. In heaven (Revelation 8:4b) 1. The smoke of the incense, the prayers of the saints 2. Ascend before God 3. Our prayers are sweet, pleasing and satisfying to God a. God is pleased with prayers of the upright (Prov. 15:8, 29) b. They are a sweet aroma to Him c. Humility, thankfulness, repentance key to offering up prayer pleasing to God 1. Repentance – Psalm 51:17 2. Humility – Luke 18:13, 14 3. Thanksgiving – Philippians 4:6 B. To the earth - The angel took the censer filled with fire (Revelation 8:5) 1. He took it from the altar and threw it to the earth 2. There were noises, thunderings, lightnings and earthquakes 3. Our prayers have an impact on the earth a. Here in Revelation 8:5 to bring about justice and judgment b. Now pray for leaders (I Timothy 2:1, 2) – kings heart in God’s hand (Prov. 21:1) c. James writes about the power of prayer on the earth now (James 5:13-18) Revelation 8 gives us a graphic picture of the power of prayer. We neglect prayer to our own peril. Our prayers are pleasing and powerful in heaven. To think that I can sit in my living room or anywhere and pray things that are at that moment pleasing to God is astounding. To think that I can lift up a prayer from anywhere before God and make an impact on the world around me is astounding, but in this vision we see that all that is true.
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