I’ve done more than my share of talking during the course of my life. Some words pleased God. Others grieved Him. I have built people up with words that healed and blessed. I’ve torn them down with words that wounded and condemned.
I’ve been longwinded at times when I should have listened, have voiced my opinion when things were better left unsaid. I have shared words that were timely, have spouted words that were ill timed, insensitive, and out of turn.
A number of my words fell to the ground because no one listened. Some returned to haunt me. Still others were lost in the gale-force winds of other voices.
But at least I have a voice and my voice matters to heaven. So does yours. Especially when we pray.
Revelation chapter four begins with a door opened in heaven. A voice like a trumpet invites John to come up and see what must take place in the future. He is then lifted in spirit to where he sees our glorious God seated upon His throne.
There’s a halo like an emerald rainbow that encircles Him. From His majestic throne proceeds brilliant flashes of lightning. Foundations tremble with rumbles and peals of His thunderous power. The seven Spirits of God blaze like torches before Him. Light shimmers like crystals across a vast sea of glass.
Angels are in attendance, ten thousand times ten thousand in number. They, along with the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders are caught up in wave after wave of perpetual worship and devotion to God.
John’s attention shifts in Revelation five, to a scroll in God’s right hand. It is the “title deed of the earth and the battle plan necessary to cleanse it and prepare it for Jesus’ rule over all the earth”. [i] But the scroll is sealed with seven seals and no man is found worthy to open it, much less read it.
Overcome with grief, John weeps bitterly. What hope is there now for mankind? Who will save the earth from evil’s ravaging clutches?
A Lamb takes center stage. It appears to have been slaughtered. The Lamb of God, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David stands in the midst of this holy and hushed gathering. He has overcome and conquered. He is worthy to accept responsibility to cleanse and rule the earth. [ii]
When He takes the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders, each holding a harp and golden bowls of incense filled with the prayers of God’s people, fall face down before Him. A new wave of worship breaks out. A new song sweeps throughout heaven. Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power, and riches and wisdom and might and honor and majesty and blessing! [iii]
There, in the midst of heaven’s symphony of praise to the Lamb, are the many prayers I prayed—the prayers you prayed—for God’s great end-time revival. We thought our voices didn’t really matter. We figured our prayers had a shelf life, that they had reached their expiration date and thus failed to move God’s heart in time to salvage lives from the wreckage. [iv] But they’ve been there all along in those golden bowls, waiting for their appointed time of activation.
God is storing up all those tearful supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings we make for all people. [v] He hears our cries for justice to prevail over evil, for righteousness to be forever established. [vi] And when those heavenly prayer bowls are finally filled, there our voices will be found partnering “with Jesus as He cleanses our planet of evil and ushers in the Kingdom of God”. [vii]
Our voices do matter to heaven.
[i] Book of Revelation Study Guide, Notes by Mike Bickle, page 23–24 [ii] John 1:29; Isaiah 53:7; Revelation 5:5; Isaiah 11:1–2; John 16:33 [iii] Revelation 5:8–14 [iv] Tony Kemp quote – “Prayer has no shelf life.” [v] 1 Timothy 2:1–4 [vi] 2 Thessalonians 1:4–10; Amos 6:24; Isaiah 45:2–3 [vii] Revelation 5:8; Book of Revelation Study Guide, Notes by Mike Bickle