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A Response to Prayer

Revelation 8:5

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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 8:5 NIV

The first 5 verses of chapter 8 seem to mark a turning point in John’s vision. It starts with a brief time of quiet anticipation in the normally praise-filled heaven. Following this is the introduction of seven angels with trumpets who will occupy the next portion of the vision. An eighth angel then comes before the altar first seen in Revelation 6:9. This was the altar over the souls of the martyrs who were asking about judgment. This eighth angel offered incense at the altar, mixed with the prayers of the saints (Rev. 5:8), and the smoke rose up before God. Following this, the 8th angel took fire from the altar and threw it onto the earth, resulting in fireworks and the sounding of the seven trumpets.

So what does all this mean? Like much of Revelation, there are many answers to that question. But it seems to me like a response to the prayer of the saints. In particular, to those under the altar asking about the coming judgment of their killers. After the prayers of the saints are offered to God, fire is poured out on the earth, and judgment begins.

Does God answer prayer? Yes, he does; in his time. The martyrs had earlier been told that the judgment would come in the right time (Rev. 6:11), and that time had now come. Don’t be discouraged if your prayer is not answered when you think it should. Be content in knowing that if you pray according to his will (1 John 5:14), his response will come at the appropriate time.

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Ed Jarrett

Just an old clay jar that God continues to see fit to use in his kingdom's work. I am retired, married with 2 children, and 4 grandchildren. I have followed Jesus for many years. And I love to share what He has given me from His word.

A Note to Readers

The views expressed here are solely mine and do not necessarily reflect those of any other person, group, or organization. While I believe they reflect the teachings of the Bible, I am a fallible human and subject to misunderstanding. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions about this post in the comments section below. I am always interested in your feedback.

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