by Tammy Phillips
October 2, 2021
“Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and GOLDEN BOWLS FULL OF INCENSE, WHICH ARE THE PRAYERS OF THE SAINTS.” (Revelation 5:8 NKJV)
If I had to pick one phrase to summarize Revelation 5, I would say, “Worthy is the Lamb.” However, as I meditated on the chapter, I could not get away from the twenty-four-gold bowls full of incense around the throne of God, which are the prayers of the saints. Why and what were they doing in John’s beautifully painted picture of the worthy Lamb? They seemed out of place to me in this chapter, but of course that was a wrong thought. They were perfectly placed there by our loving Father. Let’s see why.
First, the bowls were gold which seems to be one of the LORD’S choice substances and colors. Using today’s price of gold, the amount of gold the LORD inspired David to collect for Solomon to build the First temple is approximately $180 billion. We should realize this is just change in His economy. I believe God likes gold. I don’t just have gold bowls laying around my house, but God does. And our prayers are collected in the precious bowls.
Secondly, the bowls were full. They were full because they contained the prayers of Abraham, Isaiah, Jacob, David, the apostles, the persecuted, Paul, John, Charles Spurgeon, Smith Wigglesworth, Billy Graham, Kenneth Hagin, you, me, and every other saint that ever lived, but most importantly, Jesus.
Third, the bowls were full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. These bowls held their rightful place in worship of the Lamb because they provided a sweet smell to the throne.
When we bake anything whether it be bread, cookies, cakes, or my favorite key lime, we must have measured amounts of the right ingredients. The ingredients must be mixed properly and then heat added to produce a sweet smelling baked good. Picture the prayers as ingredients. Obviously, they became tangible when they reached heaven because they are contained in a bowl not just floating in the atmosphere. Our prayers become substance. They become ingredients that God can work with to accomplish His will on earth. Look at some of ingredients that could be included in the making of the sweet-smelling incense:
- The prayers of Jesus ever interceding for Us.
- Holy Spirit inspired written and spoken words by the saints.
- Prayerful reminders of not only the LORD’s promises, but also the work of Jesus, repeated back to Him.
- Declarations that the LORD is God, our complete reliance and belief in Him, all that He is and has done.
- United harmonic prayers.
- Brave, courageous, faith filled prayers.
- Living amazed at the awesomeness of God prayers.
- Prayers for the naturally impossible by the saints who “calls those things that are not, as though they were,” to the God of all possibilities.
- Not to mention, what Godly parent does not adore every word spoken by their child? God loves to hear from His kids just like we do.
Mix ALL the prayers of ALL the saints together… which really are only meaningful because of the intercession of our High Priest…add the all- important fire of Holy Spirt to cause the prayers to rise. The sweet smell of worship then surrounds the throne just like the smell of chocolate chip cookies invades our home when all ingredients are properly added, mixed and baked.
Think…Our prayers are so important to God that He collects and saves them in twenty-four golden bowls in heaven. And He calls them sweet.
I enCOURAGE you to offer up your own prayers to our Heavenly Father. Give Him something to work with. Add to the golden bowls of worship. Adore the Lamb that was slain so that we could even have access to throne of God. Ask Him for anything and believe Him for everything. Jesus is LORD overall.