THE PRAYERS OF THE SAINTS
THURSDAY 28 OCTOBER 2021
Today, we are going to talk about the prayers of the saints. In the past few days, I shared about the assurance of praying and receiving answers to our prayers. However our prayers are alive to God, even to this moment and moment yet to come, and they have a destination. The idea of this destination specially appointed for our prayers is evident in the Scripture.
Reference: 1 John 5:14-15 New International Version (NIV) "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us."
God assures that He hears us because He delights in the prayers of His righteous ones. But how does this happen? The Bible says that round about the throne are four and twenty seats: and upon the seats are four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they have on their heads crowns of gold (Revelation 4:4). The reason I'm introducing you to these twenty four elders is that they have a role to play in regard to our prayers, when it goes up as an incense.
Revelation 5:8 (NIV) says, "And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God's people." Now I want to bring your attention to the golden bowls full of incense. This is exactly the destination of the prayers of the saints.
Why are the 24 Elders the Ones holding the golden bowls of incense, which are the prayers of the saints? Before I answer this question, the very number "Twenty-four" is the number of the Priestly courses recorded in 1 Chronicles 24:1-19 and were executed by the families of Eleazar and Ithamar. So David distributed them, both Zadok of the sons of Eleazar, and Ahimelech of the sons of Ithamar, according to their offices in their service. When David distributed the Priests from both families, there were exactly 24 heads of the priestly families, and he made these 24 heads the representative of all-encompassing priesthood.
Now the "Elders" are priestly representative of both the Old and New testament saints. The Old testament saints are represented by the twelve tribes of Israel, while the New testament saints are represented by the twelve disciples of Christ, which equally make up 24 representative characters. Now watch this: The Bible says in Revelation 1:6 that Christ has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father..." (NLT). The priestly ministry or activity of a Christian is mainly a function of prayer and worship. In other words, they are main part of our priestly activity. Just as the Old testament priests offered incense offerings to God, our prayers are incense offerings. As incense, they rise towards heaven, and ascends the throne of grace.
Coming back to my question: Why are the 24 Elders the ones holding the golden bowls of incense, which are the prayers of the saints? Here's the answer: As priests unto God on earth, when our prayers locate the throne room like the sweet smell of incense, or a fragrant aroma, the twenty-four elders host them in golden bowls because at the throne room, they actually represent the priestly offices I explained above. This is the reason they hold the golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God's people according to Revelation 5:8 (NIV), bearing in mind that all things are done decently and in order.
Beloved, the presentation of the prayers of the saints is also an eternal memorial to God. This can be found in Revelation 8:2-4 (ESV) which reads, "And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God's people, on the golden altar in front of the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God's people, went up before God from the angel's hand."
Notice that the angel was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of the saints - on the golden altar in front of the throne. I believe the incense was supplied by the 24 elders who hold the golden bowls. However we know in part; when we get to heaven we shall know in full (1 Corinthians 13:9 NLT). As a Christian, with a humble approach to the throne room, take your prayer life seriously, for the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, eager to answer them (1 Peter 3:12 AMP). Shalom!
Scripture Reading - Psalm 141:2; Job 22:27; Matthew 7:11; John 14:13-14; James 5:16; John 16:23.
Exuberant Declaration: I thank God today and declare His glory for the kingship and priesthood of His children, of which I am one. By living the life of consecration and observing prayer and worship as important part of my priestly activity, I enjoy the manifold glory and dominion of Christ in my world. Hallelujah!