“And when He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, having one a harp, and golden bowls full of incense which are the prayers of the saints.” (Revelation 5:8)
“And another angel came and stood at the alter, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints upon the golden alter which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel’s hand. And the angel took the censer and he filled it with the fire of the alter and threw it to the earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightening and an earthquake.” (Revelation 8:3-5)


Love is often characterized by how committed we are to helping people. The people we help may be strangers, casual acquaintances, or our immediate family. I once heard someone say you do not need to ask God for something more than once. If you ask once, He heard you the first time. There is some element of truth to this as the Angel told Daniel that he was heard the first day he prayed. However, it did take him 21 days to receive his answer. I remember hearing a friend one day at dinner say there was no need to pray over his food as he had already asked God to cover ever meal he would ever eat. This friend of mine had never ben on a mission trip and had to eat crazy food that was often cooked in questionable sanitary conditions. Mission trips certainly make you want to reconsider the notion of skipping prayer over food.

Should we only ask God one time for a need? If we have a friend, family member, or acquaintance that desperately needs God, should our prayers cease after one attempt? I believe that answer is no. In Revelation 5:8 we are given a little glimpse into heaven and we see that our prayers literally fill bowls. Not one bowl, bowls (plural) as in many bowls. Imagine with me, a bowl gradually filling up and at some point the full bowl requires action. Revelation 8:3-5 tells us the bowl is mixed with the fire from the altar and sent back to earth with great power. I believe the prayers of the saints are the sounds of thunder and the lightening represents answered prayers headed back to earth.

When you are praying for people, just imagine that bowl filling to the tipping point. At some point that bowl cannot be ignored. Bombard heaven for those who need it the most. Don’t give up on people. I believe there is always hope as long as there is breath in their body. The mixing of fire is when the miraculous takes place. Our prayers are an earthly measure, but the fire from Heaven makes anything possible. Not sure who you are praying for, but I want to encourage you to press in and keep praying. The bowl is filling up and the answer is on the way.