The Incense Of Intercessory Prayer
by Bobby Conner
Never underestimate your prayers. Your prayer life is a sweet fragrance before the face of Almighty God! Our prayers are a vital part of the worship and adoration at the throne of God. It is important to understand what the Word of God has to say concerning what happens to our prayers in the heavenly realm.
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
This passage gives outstanding Divinely inspired insights and revelatory information concerning the value of our prayers uttered on earth. What our prayers accomplish is absolutely awesome. Your prayers have the potential to alter history! Many of the defining moments in the affairs of mankind are the result of someone’s prayers. Truly our prayers move the hand of God.
Today we discover that the Church is at a crossroads and in transition, the saints of God must spend time in God’s presence. Asking for divine wisdom and Holy Spirit guidance (see James 1:5). It is almost unbelievable to think that the cries of our soul on earth have such a place of prominence in Heaven. It is truly stunning to note what Scripture reveals is taking place in heaven’s realm because of our prayers.
A Place of Prominence Before God’s Throne
Our prayers have a place of prominence before the Lamb upon His throne in heaven. Each golden bowl is filled with the flowing fragrance of the incense of our prayers that are ever rising before the Lamb. The aroma of faith-filled prayers is scenting the throne of heaven. Our prayers, being precious and extremely valuable in heaven, are caught and kept in vessels of the purest gold.
Many times the foe of our soul, Satan himself, will seek to hinder and even stop us from praying by slandering and saying, “It’s no use! God will not hear nor heed your prayers.” We must be reminded that every time the devil speaks, he speaks a lie (see John 8:44). A lie is the direct opposite of the truth, so be encouraged when the enemy tries to lie to you in that way. If he attempts to convince and persuade you that your prayers are worthless understand the truth your prayers are powerful and priceless.
Be confident of this fact your prayers are heard in heaven and watched over by powerful, holy angels. The Word of God contains countless precious promises of God’s willingness to answer our prayers. The Spirit of God is releasing an anointing for intercession on an extremely high level. All across the nations saints are being mobilized to pray. It is awesome and thrilling to see prayer meetings are beginning to take place in many of our public schools once again. Powerful prayer gatherings are being led by some outstanding young radicals who have one goal in mind—establishing God’s Kingdom on earth.
We can clearly see from these verses that our prayers are priceless. We read in Revelation 8:3-5:
And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.
And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earth- quake.
One can clearly see that our prayers always result in action. Never forget your prayer engages heaven’s action. We would be blessed to take time to observe some of the examples of answered prayer in Scripture. One such example is the Church praying for Peter and the Lord dispatching a mighty angel to deliver Peter from certain death and prison. Observing the prayer spoken by the Church in Acts 12 on Peter’s behalf, we clearly see this was a life and death situation. James had been beheaded and the same fate was facing the Apostle Peter. However, Scripture states, “Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him” (see Acts 12:1-12). This reminds us that nothing is too hard for God (seeGenesis 18:14). Our prayers release the hand of God to move on our behalf.
Prayer Produces Results
When your prayers are spoken on earth begin to ascend before the throne of God, heaven begins to respond and things are shaken. Notice when the disciples prayed there was an earthquake, “And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spoke the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31). Never forget that prayer is a powerful force.
In Revelation 8:3-5 we see not only was there an earthquake but also, lightnings which speaks of God’s light and power being released when our prayers are released from heaven back to earth. thunderings and noises speak of the “Word of God being released.” Our prayers release an awesome response from heaven. When God’s voice speaks we will again see the entire world shaken (see Exodus 19:10-20).
Prayer moves the hand of God. God can do anything (see Job 42:2). The question is posed in Genesis 18:14, “Is any thing too hard for the LORD?
As we enter into the realm of the prayer of faith we will discover that absolutely nothing is impossible with God.
God has made us a promise that if we will ask, He will answer. We read this powerful promise in Jeremiah 33:3 which states, “Call unto me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you know not.” Prayer makes visible the things that have been concealed. The word “mighty” is literally “fenced in” with the connotation of being “cut off ” or “inaccessible.” In this we understand that God has many things to reveal to us and through us, but we will never receive them unless we call to Him in believing prayer. God is able to reveal that which has formerly been hidden and He is committed to deliver and to preserve His people.In Deuteronomy 29:29 we discover that God has some secrets that He desires to release to us, if we are willing to set our hearts to seek Him.
This truth is revealed again in Isaiah 48:6, which states, “You have heard, see all this; and will not you declare it? I have shown you new things from this time, even hidden things, and you did not know them.”
Our prayers release God to reveal the things that He desires to show us. Remember the warning, “we have not because we ask not.” It is time to claim the promises, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” Matthew 7:7.
Once, in a prophetic experience, I was caught up into heaven, into something like a large warehouse filled with arms, legs, hands, feet, and eyes. Stunned I questioned, “What are these things?” and was told, “This is what you can have restored on earth if you will pray, believing.” In that moment I was painfully aware that much more is available to us if we truly approach the throne of God with pure faith. We have not, because we ask not. It is the Father’s good pleasure to give to us the Kingdom.
Prayer was never intended to be a monologue but rather a dialogue. What is a monologue? It is when one person is doing the talking. God promised us that if we would ask, He would answer. There are two sides to true prayer, the human and the heavenly. The human is the asking; the heavenly is the answering.In Psalms 91:15 God states, “He shall call upon me, and I shall answer him…”
Jesus stated in Matthew 21:22 these encouraging words concerning the promise of answered prayer, “And all things, whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.” There is a readiness in the heart of God to answer true prayer.In Isaiah 65:24 God promises, “And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” Answered prayer will always release an overflow of joy and raise our confidence in God (see John 16:24).