Here, every month a different contributor will give a distinct perspective on faith
Thought for the month of July
about prayer, there is a sentence in Revelation 8v1 which mentions that
"there was silence in heaven for about half an hour".
minutes doesn't seem long in terms of eternity, but in the context of this
vision it suggests to me an astonishing thought. The impression given in
chapters 4 and 5 is one of ceaseless worship being offered to God by the
inhabitants of heaven: "Day and night they never stop saying; 'Holy,
holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty..." (4v8)
But then, for half an hour,
God calls for silence, and we read that an angel offered much incense, with the
prayers of the saints, on the golden altar, and they "went up before God
from the angel's hand". (8v3-4)
confronted with the intriguing thought that God called a halt to the outpouring
of adoration and praise so that he could listen to the prayers of God's people
and respond to them.
In the powerful symbolism of this extraordinary book, I come away with the reassurance that, however faltering and inadequate my
prayers may be, God is listening to what I have to say, that He might somehow
incorporate it in the action He graciously and wisely takes to bring His
kingdom in. This encourages me greatly, and I hope that it might
encourage others too."