“Spicing your prayers”
Submitted by: Gord Gooderham
The apocalyptic principle is simple and straightforward, says PH Reardon, “more is happening than appears to be happening.” This reality is constant through the Revelation. ( Greek – apocalypso) From an earthly perspective the Church appears in desperate trouble. The writer, John, is an exiled Roman prisoner. The churches, for the most part, are small, poor, and considered enemies of the state. Persecution is a common experience. (Rev. 2,3)
The plight of the churches on earth must be viewed against the majesty of the living Christ. (Rev 1). The vision of Jesus so overwhelmed John that he fell at his feet as though dead. Standing before him was the One who, sixty years earlier he saw hanging before him, killed by evil men, now alive, enthroned in the heavenlies, Lord of heaven and earth.
Into those heavenly realms John is taken by the Spirit (Rev. 4:1,2) and immediately sees a throne, with someone sitting on it. “From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder, an indication of violent, but directed, activity. All of this is hidden to the earth dweller, and not taken into account by rulers, elite and executives.
The storms of this scene are repeated three times in the Revelation, each time increasing in severity, showing God’s response in the unseen world to the wickedness of man.
Rev. 8:1-5. The 7th seal. Added to the fireworks is an earthquake. This outburst is the result of the Church praying, and an angel adding “much incense to the prayers.” Be encouraged, our prayers are not unheard, nor in vain. God spices them with the intercessions of Jesus to accomplish His eternal purposes.
Rev. 11:19. The 7th trumpet. Divine action increases, as does divine judgment, strengthened by “a great hailstorm”.
Rev. 16:17,18. The 7th bowl. A voice from the throne proclaiming “It is done”, with thunder, rumbling, lightning, an earthquake unlike any previous, and a plague of hail, each stone weighing about 100 lbs, judgment falls. Such is the description of the progressive workings of God from the unseen to bring to pass the ultimate victory of Christ and His people by revelation, redemption and regeneration. The Church of Christ – glorious and victorious!
Look up. Hang in. Pray on.