Prayer moves heaven but not hardened hearts!
Scripture reading for December 26th: Revelation 8-9
Revelation chapter 8 begins with the Lamb opening the seventh seal. ( I heard a questionable story where a person said that we can know for sure that no women will be saved because there was silence in heaven for half an hour!) This seal reveals seven angels who had seven trumpets. Another angel stood at the golden altar in front of the throne and was given incense to offer. We are told this incense was the prayers of the saints. Our cries, worship, adoration and thanksgiving have a special place close to the seat of all power in the universe!
The response to these prayers is instructive! The angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the golden altar and then hurled it to the earth. This act produced thunder, lightning and an earthquake. Prayers have the power to move God to shake the earth! We must never take the privilege of prayer lightly!
Then the angels with the trumpets began to sound them one by one. With each trumpet blast, there was a corresponding reaction on earth that brought judgment and destruction. As John watched the first four angels, an eagle that was flying in midair spoke in a loud voice. “Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the last three angels.” (Revelation 8:13)
The fifth trumpet sounded and John saw a star that had fallen from the sky. This star was an angel who was given the key to the Abyss. When he opened it smoke rose and darkened the sky. Out of this smoke, creatures like locusts were instructed to sting only those without the seal of God. Their sting brought horrible suffering but not death!
The sixth trumpet released four angels of death who were bound by the river Euphrates and brought death to a third of mankind through an army of two hundred million mounted troops. These troops killed the third of mankind with plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur. Even this display of mighty power did not cause the unsaved to repent of their idolatry, murder or sexual immorality!
As God’s wrath is poured out, saints are praying! Their prayers cause action from heaven upon the earth. What amazing power is released by praying saints! However, wrath does not produce repentance in the last days!