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“The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand.” (Revelation 8:4 NIV)

God hears everything.

Recently, our pastor taught us about the word “censar.”  The term, in its original Greek, means bowl, something to fill up.  John uses the word twice in Revelation:

“Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people.” (Revelation 5:8 NIV))


“Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne.” (Revelation 8:3 NIV)

God hears our prayers.  He has them in a golden censer, and they are part of the final victory:

“Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.” (Revelation 8:5 NIV)

Your prayers matter.

What these scriptures are telling us, your prayers do come back to earth.  God hears what you pray; He pours out His answers to us. Some prayers have immediate responses; some take longer; some may not happen while you’re on this side of heaven.  But all prayers will return to earth, the victory God’s. 

Sometimes, the moment you utter the prayer, God answers.  When Daniel prayed, God sent Gabrielle immediately with an answer (Daniel 9:11-27 NIV).  Instantly, God answered Daniel’s prayer. He sent His response by special messenger. 

Other times the answer is sent to earth before you pray.  When my mother had emergency surgery to remove pancreatic cancer, God answered the prayer ten years earlier.  My prayer was for God not to take her from me yet.  In a prior surgery, she had scar tissue form.  Cancer grows towards scar tissue.  As a result, the tumor grew into her colon instead of up through the body, which is typical for pancreatic cancer.  Surgeons removed a mass that filled a bucket, along with most of her colon.  She lived another four and ½ years.  God gave me time to say goodbye. The answer sent before I prayed.

And sometimes, the answers aren’t on earth yet.  For over a decade,  I prayed healing for my nephew, who lived with Type 1 Diabetes.  He is entirely whole now; God answered my prayer.  But Cody lives in heaven, not here on earth.  One day, I will see him again, but not until heaven meets earth for all of us.

God hears every word you utter to Him. He will respond, in His time, in His way.

Question of the Day:

What prayer did God answer for you before you ever prayed it?

Further Reading: Nahum 1:1-3:19 NIV, Revelation 8:1-13 NIV, Psalm 136 NIV, Proverbs 30:7-9 NIV

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