‘And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.’ — Revelation 8:4
As God prepared to pour out more judgment on the earth during the coming time of tribulation, there is a pause. In the midst of that pause, an angel stands at the altar with a golden censer and incense. Like in the tabernacle and the temple in the Old Testament, the coals and fire and incense were place on the altar of incense and the aroma of that incense would ascend up to God.
Here in Revelation 8, we notice that this incense is offered ‘with the prayers of all saints’. The incense and the prayers are offered together before God. They ascend up before God. This emphasis on the prayers of the saints is similar to Revelation 5:8 which means ‘golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of stains’.
This shows us that God takes the prayers of His people seriously. He loves to hear from us. He savours our prayers and keeps them as a precious aroma. Some have suggested that this ‘angel’ in Revelation 8:3-5 might be the Lord Jesus who is often described as ‘The Angel of the Lord’ in the Old Testament. The intercessory work of the angel before God certainly fits the role of Christ as our great High Priest.
What a blessing to know that God hears. God is going to answer our prayers. And especially for those prayers of deliverance and for justice, there is coming a day when God will bring justice to this world. Notice the coals from off the altar are cast into the earth in Revelation 8:5.
So let us pray and cry out to God. He is listening. He wants to hear from us.