The Kingdom is Coming (Revelation 8:1–5) - Radical

The Kingdom is Coming (Revelation 8:1–5)

When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne, and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel. Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth, and there were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.
– Revelation 8:1–5

Did you catch what just happened? This scene that John sees in Revelation 8 of the coming of God’s kingdom and God’s justice and God’s righteousness on the earth, peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and earthquake. And it all comes about in response to the prayers of the saints being lifted up like the smoke of incense rising before God.

Revelation 8:1–5 Reminds Us Prayer Matters

Oh, do you ever wonder if your prayers matter? Do you ever wonder if it’s worth it what you’re praying? Are you just saying words? Are you just speaking into nowhere? No, no. Don’t underestimate for a second the power of prayer before all almighty God, the importance of every single prayer. This picture of the prayers of the saints being stored in heaven, rising up like incense before God, in ways that lead to the coming of his kingdom. Just think about that. What did Jesus taught us to pray?

Our father in heaven, hallowed would be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Not one prayer, not one time you have prayed that prayer, I have prayed that prayer is in vain. All those prayers are being stored up before the father in heaven. And one day the last prayer is going to be cried out by the last saint who cries it. Our father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, and just like that, it’s going to be done. His kingdom’s going to come.

This Verse Tells Us God’s Will Shall Be Accomplished

His will is going to be done on earth as it is in heaven. We can debate as followers of Jesus how to interpret when or how exactly that’s going to play out, but we know it’s going to play out and it’s going to play out Revelation 8 in response to the prayers of God’s people. God, we praise you for this privilege of prayer before you right now, even this podcast.

What a privilege, God, for me personally and for us as we unite our hearts together in prayer before you and to know that we’re not just talking right now and this is not some vain, meaningless, monotonous religious activity. That this is communion with you and that our prayers are being stored up before your throne. We say together.

Revelation 8:1–5 Leads Us to Pray for the People of Nepal

Yes, our father in heaven, hallowed be your name, cause your name to be made known as holy in and through our lives, in and through our families and our churches, cause your name to be known as holy in our cities, in our country, countries. God, we pray that you would cause your name to be known as holy among all the nations, among the Yakthumba, Limbu of Nepal and hundreds of thousands of people who are unreached by the gospel. God, we pray for the Yakthumba, Limbu.

Please, cause your name to be hallowed among them, cause your kingdom to come, we pray, cause your will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. God, we ask for this with confidence that you are hearing our prayers. One day, Jesus, you’re going to return. That one day, there’s going to be loud peals of thunder and rumblings and flashes of lightning and an earthquake. Our prayer right now and our prayers day in and day out are going to be by your grace and your sovereign design, what brings that about.

This Verse Leads Us to Pray with Confidence

God, help us. Help us To pray then with confidence, with humble confidence before you, that you are hearing us, as we ask for all kinds of things in our lives, as we intercede for unreached people groups around the world, as we pray for so many different people in so many different ways, including our own lives. God, help us to realize the wonder, the significance, the beauty, and the necessity by your design of our prayers before you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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