Revelation 8:3 "Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, so that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel’s hand. 5 Then the angel took the censer and filled it with the fire of the altar, and threw it to the earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake."
Lessons learned in the silence of the eye of a hurricane
4. Revelation 8:6-13 The seven trumpets begin to sound well into the second half of the tribulation period. A parallel appears to exist between God having the seal judgments begin with four seals, with the remaining three having their own distinct grouping to that of the trumpet judgments having four trumpets and then the last three being also distinctive.
5. Revelation 9-11 The seven trumpets signal the intensity of judgment in the latter part of the tribulation period, culminating in the conquering of the earth by Jesus Christ. The latter three trumpet blasts, also called the "three woes", will increase the intensity and speed of judgment on the earth at the tail end of the tribulation period. Like a hurricane, the tribulation period will be far worse in the latter half than the first half.
-Psalm 62:1 "My soul waits in silence for God only; from Him is my salvation."
God's power is granted to live for Him through prayer Rev 8:2-4
The place given to prayer in the Christian life cannot be overestimated. The imagery John uses of the prayers of God's people functioning like incense before the throne of God is taken from the prayer lives of God's people. For instance, Psalm 141:2 "May my prayer be counted as incense before You;The lifting up of my hands as the evening offering."
Undoubtedly connecting prayer to the incense that was burned by the priests in the temple was first revealed by God. Passages such as Exodus 30:1,3; Leviticus 16:12 and Hebrews 9:4 all refer to the priests burning incense upon the golden altar that was in the holy place of the tabernacle or temple, and that place being designated as the place of prayer. Anytime incense was offered in conjunction with the sacrifices in the courtyard of the tabernacle or temple, the work of prayer would had been made known to the senses. The worshippers could not see the priest once he disappeared into the holy place to perform his duties on their behalf. However whenever that priest placed incense upon the golden altar, the worshipper in the courtyard knew that he had an intercessor working on his behalf. To the Lord incense and aroma meant that satisfaction for sin had been rendered by the sacrifice of an innocent sin bearer on behalf of the sinning person.
Now why do we mention these details? Because prayer and its function was part fo the everyday lives of God's people in the Bible. By the days of the early church, this idea of incense and prayer as daily realities signaled how God's church continued to view prayer as God's power source for the Christian. Ephesians 5:2 reminds us: "and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma." Peter writes in 1 Peter 2:4-5 "And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, 5 you also, as living stones,are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." It is through us that the Lord works forth the knowledge of Himself as indicated by 2 Corinthians 2:14.
Sacrificial language is used to describe God's desire for a life of prayer as found in 1 Timothy 2:1-3 First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior
God powerfully affect things here on earth through prayer. Rev 8:5
Revelation 8:5 states "Then the angel took the censer and filled it with the fire of the altar, and threw it to the earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake." Note how there was silence in heaven for about 30 minutes. God had John watch in silence as all the angels got in their places, all the vials or bowls were handed out and the prayers in those bowls were to be poured out. Prayer and silence must be a part of the daily life of God's people. Prayer is one of the means ordained by God to accomplish His greater purposes here on earth. What did Jesus teach His disciples in Matthew 6:9-10 “Pray, then, in this way:
‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven." Certainly the final prayer of the Bible emphasizes the hastening of Christ's return here to earth in Revelation 22:20 "He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus."
As we have considered God's power in prayer & life's storms, we have interacted with Revelation 8:1-5 in understanding how it fits in the midst of Jesus' extraordinary revelations to the Apostle John. John's vision of Revelation 4-11 has in it this incredible series of verses that show how Jesus will include God's final answers to every believer's prayer in His conquering of the world. Here is what we have learned:
1. God's power is perceived through prayer. Revelation 8:1
2. God's power is granted to live for Him through prayer Revelation 8:2-4
3. God powerfully affect things here on earth through prayer. Revelation 8:5