Thought for the Week
Revelation – The Saints at Prayer
Revelation 8v1 “Then there was silence in heaven for half an hour … .”
Unusually for Revelation here there is silence – what does this silence imply?
– A reverent worship of God as all stands in awe of him?
– A sense that everything is under control and there is no need for busying around?
– A sense of anticipation of what might be coming next?
– A willingness to listen?
It may be a mix of all of these, but it is noteworthy that there are two actions attached to the silence.
Firstly, the prayers of the saints are being offered to God with incense (i.e. being made sweet). John is being shown that God is listening to your prayers. Yes, your prayers are acceptable and pleasing to God and heaven is even stopping to listen … do I stop to pray?
Secondly, maybe we naturally think of the trumpets, fire, thunder, lightning and earthquakes as representing judgments. But this is not necessarily the case in prophetic symbolism. When God appears to Moses and Israel on Mount Sinai (see Exodus 19v16-19), all these “effects” are mentioned, but it is not about judgment: it is about the presence, power and awe of God as he comes to make a covenant with his people; it is the Almighty God visiting earth. Additionally, in Revelation, John has recorded these “thunders and lightnings” also being in heaven, right at the throne of God (see Rev 4v5). In other words, in answer to the prayers of the saints, God comes.
So at the start of chapter 8 as the 7th seal is opened, we have: silence – prayer – God visits!!
Is it time to imitate heaven? Be still. Be silent. Pray. And expect God to visit!
With love and blessing,