God Waits For His People To Pray
“When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 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. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.” (Revelation 8:1-5)
Since Jesus took the mighty scroll from the hand of God the Father in Revelation 5, everything has been leading up to the breaking of the seventh seal.
Seals one through six have gotten increasingly terrible in the judgments they’ve unleashed. But when this much anticipated seventh seal is broken, there’s – nothing but silence!
“What is God waiting for? This suspense is killing me. Is God’s plan on hold?” Maybe it is on hold, awaiting the prayers of God’s people to be the catalyst for Him to take action. In Chapter Six of Revelation, when Christ broke the fifth seal, John saw the souls beneath the altar of God. They cried out to God, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Well, although they were told to wait a little longer, they didn’t have to wait long. With the breaking of the very next seal – and in response to their prayers – God unleashed a frightful judgment.
Too many Christian believers have this notion, whether expressed or not, that, “I don’t need to pray for God to intervene in the world. God has already determined what He’s going to do and He doesn’t need my prayers to make Him do anything.” This reasoning is often born out of pure laziness and apathy over the fate of humanity. Christ commands us to keep asking, to keep seeking, and to keep knocking (Luke 11:5-10). God calls us to share the same love and care for humanity that He feels (Jonah 4:1-11). We know it is God’s will that all people be saved (Ezekiel 33:11; 1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9) and for His kingdom to and come and for His will to be done (Matthew 6:10). But it is His plan that He use the prayers of His people to execute His purposes.
And, sure enough, only after the prayers of the saints are offered up to God does He answer with flashes of lightning, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and the seven angelic trumpet blasts (Revelation 8:5-13).
God waits for His people to pray. Yes, He can act without us. But God yearns for our friendship and fellowship. And prayer is the avenue through which these take place. He also chooses to use our prayers to execute His purpose.
PRAYER: Dear Father in Heaven, please stir my heart and put a sense of urgency in me to pray for Your Church, for our Nation, and for the salvation of humanity. Your word tells me that I do not know how to pray as I should, so I ask for the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit to help me pray. Please help me to see that You intend to rule the world and unfold Your divine purposes through my prayers. May my prayers reach out to You as the roots of a tree reach deep into the soil and draw life and strength. Grant that prayer will become the biggest part of my life and my first response to every challenge that confronts me. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen.