8:3-4 Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand.
Revelation 8: 1-6: One-half an hour of silence follows the opening of the seventh seal. Seven angels appear having seven trumpets. Another angel burns incense mixed with the prayers of God’s people before God, then fills the incense burner with fire from God’s altar and casts it down to earth causing lightning, thunder, and a terrible earthquake. Four of the angels blow their trumpets causing the following to happen:
Trumpet 1: v7: A mixture of hail, fire, and blood are thrown down. One third of the earth is set on fire, one third of the trees and all green grass is burned.
Trumpet 2: vv8-9: A great mountain of fire is thrown into the sea: 1/3 of the water is turned to blood; 1/3 of living sea creatures die; 1/3 of all ships are destroyed.
Trumpet 3: 10-11: A great flaming star, named “Bitterness (or wormwood)” falls on 1/3 of the rivers and springs and people die because 1/3 of all water becomes bitter.
Trumpet 4: v12: 1/3 of the sun, moon, and stars become dark. 1/3 of the day and night are darkened.
Many commentators see the prayers of the saints being mingled with the incense to be the saints praying on earth and (the incense mixed) the prayer of Jesus in heaven for the saints.
I am so thankful for several truths from these verses:
- My prayers rise before God like incense and are pleasing to Him.
- My prayers are mixed with the prayers of Jesus for me.
- God will avenge the suffering of His people one day. The ending of this chapter speaks to that judgment that will fall and is related to the suffering endured by the church.
I will pray today with the awareness that Jesus is mixing His prayer with my prayer.