Listen to this devotional:
Revelation 8:3-4 – 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. (ESV)
I have been very ill recently, and there is no doubt that God has been, and is, with me through this experience, traumatic though it has been.
I had become jaundiced and infected, very ill, and was admitted to hospital. The upshot was that as I got sicker, my mental faculties left me, until eventually all was stripped away — except God. There was no room for anything else because I was so ill. For a big baby like me who avoids hospitals, pricks, needles, and endless blood-sampling, it was great. I had no space for fear or apprehension. There was just God and I together.
Now one could put all this down to a kind of euphoria from the state I was in. However, I had a picture given to me whilst in this state to explain what was happening. This is the picture:
As I looked into darkness I could see something like an assembly line of a tinned product. This was a single line of tins encaged by four open sides of bright metal. Rather than going horizontally, this assembly line came up from the darkness and then turned at an angle into a horizontal fixed point on a transparent wall where light was shining. As the many "tins" rolled up and entered into the light of the expanse, they immediately burst forth into a shimmering gold dust that spread out and drifted gently downwards into the darkness towards me.
I understood these were the many prayers of the saints being sent up from earth into the heavenly realms. As they reached into heaven, they were blessed by God, and returned to earth to accomplish their mission. It was these very prayers, as an act of God's grace shown towards me, which I believe took away all my fears and anxieties.
Prayer: Lord, thank You so much for Your peace which passes all understanding and for the fellowship of prayer. Your desire for us is that we be intimately involved in Your purposes for us here on earth, through prayer and action. We thank You for the faithfulness of the saints and Your desire to answer prayers. Please forgive us when we doubt that You hear our prayers, and enable us to trust in Your love for us, even when we cannot see it, to know that it is there. For this we rejoice and give You thanks and praise in Jesus' name. Amen.