“Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” Revelation 5:8
(Suggested reading: Revelation 5:1-14)
Psalm 56:8 tells us that God holds every tear we’ve shed in a Divine bottle. He hears every sob; He takes into account every painful moment we’ve experienced. We’re also told in Revelation that God has another Divine container—a bowl. This bowl preserves every prayer uttered by every saint from Adam to the end of time.
When we praise Him in worship, when we thank Him for our meal, when we cry out in anguish over our sin—every single utterance is preserved for a culminating moment in history.
Just imagine, all the host of heaven is gathered around the throne of the Father. Jesus, at the right hand of the Father, holds the Scroll sealed with seven seals. He alone stands worthy to reveal its contents. This knowledge causes all of heaven to bow in worship,
“You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
and with your blood you purchased men for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation.
You have made them to be a kingdom
and priests serve our God,
and they will reign on the earth.”
As this proclamation thunders throughout heaven, the four living creatures and twenty-four elders fall before the Lamb, pouring out a sweet smelling sacrifice of incense. This sweet smell, this glorious offering is poured out at the feet of Jesus. Your prayers, my prayers, our ancestor’s prayers, the prayers of every martyr, and the prayers of every biblical “hero” now becomes a sacrifice of worship. Not one of them is wasted. No, not one.
Every prayer uttered is an offering–an offering now and an offering to come.
Worthy is the Lamb both now and forever, Amen.