THE THRONE OF GOD, THE TARGET OF OUR PRAYERS
The Throne Room of God is the busiest place one could ever imagine, and the most exciting too; for the simple reason that it is the venue for many divine functions –
- It is the palace of the King of the Universe
- It is the court of the Judge of the whole earth. In Daniel chapter 7, it seemed the court was rather temporarily set on earth…. the judgment was set, and the books were opened. 7:10
- It is the home of the Everlasting Father and His Son, The Lamb of God
- It is the power-base for the whole of creation because that is where the Lord Jesus lives; and all things were created by him, and for him: (KJV) …and in him all things hold together. (RSV). See Col.1:16,17
- It is where our Advocate has His office, His base, His Throne; and therefore, where answers to prayers come from!
- It is where Servants of God are taken to get the instructions and the pattern for their mission. Examples in Scriptures –
- Moses – And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain,…19:3
- Isaiah – …I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up… Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? 6:1,8
- Ezekiel – And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne,… Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel…1:26; 2:3. Read chapters 1, 2 and 10, please.
- Likely Apostle Paul – I knew a man in Christ… How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words,… 12:1-4
- John, The Elder – After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. 4:1
The revelations of Moses, Daniel and Ezekiel indicate that the Throne of God is not always in heaven but can be transported down to our realm! In the Book of Daniel chapter 7 and Ezekiel chapters 1 and 10, the Prophets record that the Throne was on wheels of fire! Wow!
Beloved, I am so excited to be writing this because I have had the rare privilege of being taken up to the Throne Room many times; and the joy there is unspeakable! In fact, on the first occasion, in mid-1998, I did not want come back to this realm at all; and I woke up from that dream struggling with my natural survival instinct because I wanted to stop breathing but could not! On that first occasion, all I was allowed to watch were the new arrivals into the Presence of God and the way they eagerly came forward, practically tumbling over each other, because they could no longer wait to see the Face of the One they had loved and served for so long. ‘’At last! I see His Face!’’ was the only way one could describe the expression of pure rapture on their faces…
…the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face;…
However, in this teaching, we want to study the relationship between The Throne of God and prayer; and we shall quickly realise as we study on, that all the activities at the Throne have only one goal – granting answers to our prayers on earth. Even the worship of the Elders and Angels is all geared towards exalting the Father and keeping Him in a gracious mood so that He will temper justice with mercy at the court, in view of the terrible wickedness being done here on earth. Hear His lamentation in Isa.43:21–24 –
This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise. 22 But thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob; but thou hast been weary of me, O Israel. 23 Thou hast not brought me the small cattle of thy burnt offerings; neither hast thou honoured me with thy sacrifices. I have not caused thee to serve with an offering, nor wearied thee with incense. 24 Thou hast bought me no sweet cane with money, neither hast thou filled me with the fat of thy sacrifices: but thou hast made me to serve with thy sins, thou hast wearied me with thine iniquities.
We bless God for the abundance of worship that goes on in heaven even when we fall short of it on earth!
Now, we need to find answers to some crucial questions about the Throne of God… If that is the source of all answers to prayer, then I need to know –
- How can I get my prayers to get there God?
- What are the factors that can stop my prayers from getting there?
- What happens after my prayers get to the Throne?
- How do answers come from the Throne to us on earth?
Beloved, all the answers to these burning questions are in Scripture and we shall have quite an adventure digging them out in this study.
A Scriptural Description Of The Throne Room Of God
I searched the internet for a perfect artistic representation of the Throne of God, and found many good impressions but it was so difficult to choose even the one I posted here. I rather wished I could put them all together to come near the true majesty and glory of the Throne as depicted in Scripture and as experienced by those who have had the privilege to have been invited there and lived to tell of their experience! One thing that cannot be put on paper or in any form of electronic media, is the sense of utter awe, mixed with the kind of love we only dream of on earth, that permeates the Throne Room! It always breaks me down and I would weep profusely and wake up weeping – not with sorrow, but with regret to find myself back here on earth!
The Throne Of God
Now, the central furniture in The Throne Room of God is the Throne itself, and there is no specific description of the Throne other than what we find in these Scriptures –
I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit… his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.
And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone:…
…a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne… and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.
When Moses saw the Throne on Mount Sinai, he saw that it was set on precious stones!
And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.
We also note that fire is somehow always related to the Throne. In fact, what Ezekiel first saw in the vision recorded in the Chapter 1 of his Book, was a fire infolding itself (verse 4) moving in the heavenlies; and it was after he had seen other activities related to the fire that he saw the likeness of a throne in the skies above it all. Let’s see how those who saw the fire of the Throne recorded their experiences in Scripture –
And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace,…
…. and the house was filled with smoke.
….his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.
Then I looked, and, behold, in the firmament that was above the head of the cherubims there appeared over them as it were a sapphire stone, as the appearance of the likeness of a throne. 2 And he spake unto the man clothed with linen, and said, Go in between the wheels, even under the cherub, and fill thine hand with coals of fire from between the cherubims,…
…. and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne,…
As well, all these Prophets who saw the Throne also had an impression of God sitting on it.
Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: 10 And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness. 11 And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink.
In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.
I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool:…
….and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it. 27 And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about. 28 As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD….
…behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. 3 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.
There was no doubt in their minds that the Personality sitting on the Throne was God Almighty, even though they all had different impressions of Him. Daniel had the clearest impression of Him; and he gave us a rare description of the Ancient of Days. Both Ezekiel and John the Beloved also noted that a rainbow was around the Throne. The rainbow is a covenant token sign given to Noah for all mankind by God that He will never again judge the whole earth with flood waters –
And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. 12 And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: 13 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.
Other inhabitants and other features around The Throne
There are other living beings seen at the Throne of God, as recorded by the Prophets, and some were given different names by them. These beings minister to God in different ways unceasingly, day and night, usually in songs of worship, many of which are recorded in the Book of Revelation. And apart from the regular inhabitants of the Throne Room, there would be others who would visit, depending on what the occasion is at this heavenly Venue –
- The Twenty-four Elders seen by John, the Beloved recorded in several places in the Book of Revelation, for example –
And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold… 10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. (Underline added)
And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. 9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. (Underline added
2. The Seraphs, seen by Prophet Isaiah in Isa.6:2 –
Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
- The Living Creatures or Cherubims, seen by Prophet Ezekiel as described in chapters 1 and 10 of his book. I quote in parts –
Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man. 6 And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings. 7 And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf’s foot: and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass. 8 And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four had their faces and their wings. 9 Their wings were joined one to another; they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward. 10 As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle. 11 Thus were their faces: and their wings were stretched upward; two wings of every one were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies.
And their whole body, and their backs, and their hands, and their wings, and the wheels, were full of eyes round about, even the wheels that they four had…14 And every one had four faces: the first face was the face of a cherub, and the second face was the face of a man, and the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle. 15 And the cherubims were lifted up. This is the living creature that I saw by the river of Chebar.
These four creatures seen by Ezekiel on two occasions, recorded in chapters 1 and 10 of his book, were odd-looking indeed! They had four faces – that of an ox (he described it as the face of a ‘cherub’ in chapter 10 verse 14!), a man, a lion and an eagle; and they had the body like that of a man but feet like those of a calf! They had four wings, two of which were joined together; and their bodies and wings were all covered with eyes. The other feature of these creatures was that they were somewhat afire and moved like lightening.
As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps: it went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning. 14 And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning.
An important aspect of the operations of the cherubims is that they were totally controlled by the Spirit of God and were covered by His Glory. As well, their wings made a whole lot of noise which seemed to echo the Voice of God –
And they went every one straight forward: whither the spirit was to go, they went; and they turned not when they went.
Then the glory of the LORD went up from the cherub, and stood over the threshold of the house; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the LORD’S glory…18 Then the glory of the LORD departed from off the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubims.
And when they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of great waters, as the voice of the Almighty, the voice of speech, as the noise of an host: when they stood, they let down their wings.
And the sound of the cherubims’ wings was heard even to the outer court, as the voice of the Almighty God when he speaketh.
The Four Beasts seen by John, the Beloved –
…round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. 7 And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. 8 And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within:..
The appearance of the four Beasts is just as odd as that of the Cherubims Ezekiel saw; and is very similar except that the creatures John saw had only one face each – either that of a lion or a calf or a man or an eagle. They also had four wings rather than six which the Cherubims Ezekiel saw had.
- The Host of Angels, seen by Daniel and John the Elder –
….thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him:….
And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;
- Living Waters, seen by Daniel, Ezekiel and John. We have studied the Living Waters of God in an earlier post titled ‘’The Mystery of The Waters’’.
A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him:…
Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house; and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward: for the forefront of the house stood toward the east, and the waters came down from under from the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar.
And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
- The Lamps, seen by Ezekiel and John. John recorded that they were seven in number
As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps: it went up and down among the living creatures;..
And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
THE GOLDEN ALTAR –
In front of the Throne of God is an Altar, which was seen by the Prophet Isaiah and the Apostle John, the Beloved –
Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:
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.
It was John who noted that the Altar was of gold – The Golden Altar – and that an Angel with a golden censer in his hand ministered at the Altar. We also note that The Golden Altar seems to be the place where our prayers are first received in heaven before they are presented to God, MIXED with the smoke of the incense given to the Angel of the Altar –
And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.
My goodness! So, the smoke of my prayers must somehow find their way to the Golden Altar and – lets put it this way – the smoke must actually MATCH and MIX with the incense that rises from the Altar? Yes, MATCH first before they can MIX. What does that imply? We shall see the implication clearly as we study on, but first –
What does the Golden Altar represent?
The Golden Altar of Incense in the Tabernacle was located in The Holy Place exactly in front of the Veil which separated The Holy Place from The Most Holy Place where the Ark of Covenant was located. Now, the Ark of Covenant was an ornate chest made of wood and over-laid with gold. The lid, called The Mercy Seat, consisted of a cover of wood over-laid with gold and it had two Cherubims made of gold sitting on it, crafted in such a way that their wings spread across to touch each other, and covered over the Mercy Seat. In-between the two Cherubims would the Presence of God rest like a glory cloud. In a way, this was the Throne of God at that time in the wilderness as He graciously led His People in their journeyings.
Now, the Golden Altar was the place where only the High Priest would go daily and offer incense to God. This was a form of ritualistic way of praying to God on behalf of the whole nation; and when the Lord Jesus cried on the Cross as He gave up the ghost and the Veil was rent in two, it was a clear invitation for us all to come freely with our petitions into the Presence of God at the Mercy Seat in The Most Holy Place. Then The Lord became our everlasting High Priest in heaven Who daily makes intercession for us as our intermediary before The Throne. The Golden Altar prophetically represents that Intercessory Ministry of the Lord Jesus. Wow!
By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. 23 And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered (allowed) to continue by reason of death: 24 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. 25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. 26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
Now, Beloved, observe from the eyewitness account of John in Rev.8:3 quoted above that much heavenly incense is provided for the Angel of the Altar to put in the fire on it to produce lots of smoke. Apparently, our prayers rise up to heaven like fragrant smoke – much like the smoke from the altars of sacrifice people used to raise up to God in the Old Testament. A good example –
So Manoah took a kid with a meat offering, and offered it upon a rock unto the LORD: and the angel did wondrously; and Manoah and his wife looked on. 20 For it came to pass, when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar, that the angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar…
The Angel sent to Samson’s parents rose up with the fire/smoke of their altar of sacrifice, straight back to heaven where he came from! He literarily took the ‘smoke’ of their prayer right back to God! Oh wow!
Now, let us carefully trace what becomes of the ‘smoke’ of our prayers in heaven once it can get there –
… and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
I love this!
Our prayers are collected into vials in the hands of the Elders who are busy praising God! These may well be those prayers that are yet to receive answers! I cannot stress it enough that all activities at the Throne are geared towards receiving and answering our prayers. So, Beloved, our prayers are getting all the attention they need, even delayed ones! Worry not! We only need to just make sure that the ‘smoke’ of our prayers will receive approval at the Golden Altar and will match and mix with the smoke of the Lord’s intercession from it; then the smoke-mixture will be presented to God for answers.
How do we achieve this feat? Very simple, though not easy – we seek the Face of God over the matter at hand and find out what His will is concerning the matter; because whatever the will of God is over the matter is what the Lord Jesus will be praying at the Golden Altar! He said so Himself…
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. (Underline added)
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
What this translates to is that we must abide in Christ, not just be a casual visitor in the place of private devotions and in the local assembly of the Saints. We must study the Word of God daily and be conversant with His will contained therein. We need to make friends with the Holy Spirit so that when we are studying the Word, He will give us understanding; and so that He will whisper secrets from The Throne to us. The Lord Jesus promised us in Jn.16:13 that –
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear (at The Throne), that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
So, for instance, whatsoever the Holy Spirit hears the Lord Jesus praying at the Golden Altar, He will tell us! Whatsoever He and the Father and the Son have decided over a matter, He will surely tell us if we are His friend. How can we be sure of that? Because God said of Abraham His friend, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do…? Gen.18:17. He will also tell His Prophets and this becomes a very useful tool during counselling sessions
Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
Surely it must have been the Holy Spirit who leaked a secret to Hannah and changed her prayer-point from ‘’Gimme a child, Lord! Gimme a child, I pray! Gimme a child as You gave Peninnah!!’’ to ‘’Lord, I heard that You have a need for a Prophet who is not blind and deaf to You. Please, let me meet that need. If You will give me a son, I will give him back to you so that You can have a true Prophet You can use.’’ 1Sam.1:10,11. Nobody else but the Lord and the Holy Spirit could have known that God has such a crucial need, as we are clearly told in Scripture –
….even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
After such a prophetic prayer, all the resources of heaven were made available to her to have, not just one of the greatest Prophets ever lived, but five more children after she fulfilled her vow and gave Samuel to God after weaning him.
See also ICor.2:9,10 –
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. (Underline added)
Therefore, these revelations of the Holy Spirit are to automatically become the ingredients with which we formulate or change our prayer-points. We must promptly take the revealed will of God and search the Scriptures and locate a reference for it in His Word; for the Holy Spirit will never speak outside of the Logos, the fullness of the Word of God. We can now boldly and confidently take that Word back to God in prayer as a Rheama, double-edged sword, a ‘double-mouthed’ Word; because it was God Who first said it and we now agree with Him and say it back to Him. It thus becomes a weapon, our smoke of incense of prayer, that cannot fail to land on our desired target – The Golden Altar at the Throne! Listen to how God puts this His prayer strategy in Isa.55:8-11 –
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. (Underline added)
God is saying clearly here that we must never take for granted that we know what His total will is over any matter; we must ask Him and He will tell us. If not, we might actually end up short-changing ourselves, for God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think…Eph.3:20. A Man of God once put that verse of Scripture this way, ‘’Our God is a too-much God!’’ Another reason for asking for the will of God over, even matters like going on a journey, is that it can actually save our lives if we ask and seek God’s counsel – IF we should go, WHEN we should go and HOW we should go. On my missionary journeys, I never travelled anywhere until the Lord has given me all those details concerning the journey. Sometimes it would mean having to do last-minute frenzied shopping, packing and change of plans, but it was always worth it.
What then happens when my prayer-smoke matches and mixes with the Lord Jesus’ intercession smoke from the Golden Altar and the smoke-mixture is presented to God? Now, this is the most exciting part of praying, and my prayer-life changed when I was taught this at a Prayer School some two decades ago! I instantly became a prayer-addict since I have now been shown in Scripture just how prayer works!
God’s Response From The Throne – Noises And Voices
By now we should have seen that wherever the Throne is would always reverberate with certain fascinating noises and voices. No matter what is going on there, The Throne Room is not a quiet place at all!
And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled…18 And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly. 19 And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice. (Underline added)
So, at Mount Sinai when God sat there on His Throne, the Israelites heard the sounds of
- Loud blast of a trumpet
- The voice of the man Moses, speaking to God
- The Voice of God answering him
Above it stood the seraphims:… 3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory…. 8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. (Underline added)
In the Temple of God in Isaiah’s vision of the Throne, we hear the sounds of
- The continuous worship of the Seraphs
- The Voice of the Lord
- The voice of Prophet Isaiah
And when they (The Living Creatures) went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of great waters, as the voice of the Almighty, the voice of speech, as the noise of an host: when they stood, they let down their wings. 25 And there was a voice from the firmament that was over their heads, when they stood, and had let down their wings. (Underline added)
Eze.1:28; 2:1; 3:12
This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake…1 And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee… Then the spirit took me up, and I heard behind me a voice of a great rushing, saying, Blessed be the glory of the LORD from his place.
In the account of the visions of the Prophet Ezekiel by the river Chebar, recorded in his Book, chapters 1,2,3 and 10, we hear many sounds at the Throne –
- The noise of the wings of the Cherubims
- A Voice from the firmament above the Cherubims where the Throne was later seen to be located.
- The Voice of God giving Ezekiel a series of instructions
- The voice of worship, described as ‘the voice of a great rushing’
And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices:… 8 And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come….10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
….and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,
And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail….
And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great…
The account of John the Beloved, reveals greater details and showed specifically where the sounds of the Throne Room come from –
- Out of the Throne came – lightenings, thunderings, earthquake, voices, trumpets and great hail
- Voices of the four Beasts and the Twenty-four Elders praising God continuously
- A Voice from the four horns of the Golden Altar
- There are other voices of various declarations and worship in songs which can also be heard at the Throne, depending on what is going on there.
So then, what have these sounds and noises got to do with prayer?
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. 4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand. 5 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 earthquake.
Here, we have the scenario – Our prayers have now landed on target at the Golden Altar of Incense in front of God’s Throne and have been accepted there. It has matched and mixed with the incense produced by the intercession of our great eternal High Priest – meaning that we are praying the same prayers that The Lord is praying about the matter at hand. We are praying according to His Will and according to God’s Will, so the mixture of prayers can now be presented to God. The Angel of the Altar does this by taking the mixture up in the censer in his hands and presenting it to God and we are told the mix ascends to the Throne unhindered. A censer is just like a ladle, a large long-handled soup-spoon-like instrument of Temple worship.
Now, this is the crucial part, WITHOUT ANY FORM OF DELAY- though I am positive he was acting on instructions from God – THE ANGEL SCOOPS UP FIRE FROM THE ALTAR AND CASTS IT TO THE EARTH AND THE EARTH RESOUNDS WITH ‘’voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake’’! Wait a minute! But those are the very sounds we normally hear coming from The Throne continuously, sometimes with ‘’the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud’’ and great hail added! Aha! That is why the point is made over and over in this study that all answers to prayers come from the Throne of God; effortlessly it seems, once they are accepted at the Golden Altar. The hard part is getting to pray these acceptable prayers that will be accepted there, and that is what we have been commissioned to teach at The Pen of The Ready Writer blog. This strategy of praying is also called Prophetic Praying; and is only achieved by walking with God in humility and brokenness, and having a working knowledge of His Word.
Let us now see how these sounds and noises translate to the reality of answered prayers on earth: –
Voices – We hear many voices at the throne –
- The Voice of Angelic worship. These lead to open heavens and revelations and such wonderful occurrences that we have to study that in a full article on its own at a later date. Suffice to say for now that it is expedient for us to learn some of those heavenly songs and use them in worship and see what happens! Examples are found in Rev.4:11; 5:12; 5:13; 7:12; 15:3,4; 19:6,7.
- The Voice from the horns of the Golden Altar – Rev.9:13. This must surely be the Voice of our able Advocate, and here He gave orders for some deadly fallen angels to be released to unleash judgement on the wicked. Rev.9:14-21.
- The Voice of God – When God speaks from the Throne in answer to prayers, it would be to different personalities for the purpose of fulfilling various tasks on earth. 1. 1. God can talk to us directly as He did with Abraham, and call us into a covenant relationship with Him. Gen.12:1-
- 2. God can talk to us directly as He did to Hagar and tell us how to get out of the present trouble. Gen.21:16-19
- 3. God can talk to us directly as we stand in the gap for others, as He did with Moses in answer to the cry of His People in Egyptian bondage. Ex.3;4-10
- 4. God can talk to us directly and give us instructions for Ministry as He did with Isaiah and Ezekiel. Isa.ch. 6 and Eze.chs.1-3
- 5. God can talk to us directly and instruct us to do a prophetic action or make prophetic declarations which will lead to the deliverance of a family or clan or a whole nation, as He did with Ezekiel at the Valley of Dead Bones. Eze.ch.37.
- 6. God can talk to us through an Angel and give us a message for the world as He did with Daniel. Da.chs.10-12
- 6. God can talk to us through an Angel as He did to Manoah and his wife in answer to their cry for a child. Judg.ch.13.
- 7. God can talk to our enemies directly to threaten them and warn them not to do us harm, as He did to Abimelech and Laban. Gen.20:3-7; 31:24
The list is endless, both in Scripture and in the lives of Believers over the centuries. Why don’t you search out some more for yourself in Scripture, Beloved? That is a good assignment for you!
- God used thunder to discomfit and defeat the Philistines as they rose up to war against His People Israel at Mizpeh. ISam.7:10
- God used it to smite Egypt with one of the Ten Plagues – 9:23; Psa.78:48
- God uses them as arrows of deliverance. Psa.18:14-17; 144: 6,7
- God used it to open the grave of the Lord Jesus. Matt.28:2
- God used it to set Paul and Silas free from prison. Acts16:25,26
- God used trumpets and shoutings to bring down the walls of Jericho. Jos.6:20
- God used trumpets to defeat a great army arrayed against Gideon’s mere three hundred-strong army. Judg.7:22
- God Himself told us in Job38:22 what He uses snow and hail for – reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war…. See also Psa.18:12,13.
- God used hail as the seventh plague to fight for His People’s deliverance in Egypt. Ex.9:23-26
- God used hail-stones to fight for Joshua in his defence of the Gibeonites against five kings. Jos.10:11
I can just hear you say “But I don’t hear any thundering or see any lightening or hail stones when I‘m praying!” Aha! You may not, Beloved, but they surely do in the kingdom of darkness arrayed against you! And you will hear and see too, on occasions, as you become more sensitive in the spirit. I once had a dream in which I had been kidnapped and was being shoved into a car by some men, under the supervision of an angry woman. Suddenly, I felt the vibration of the earth under my feet – an earthquake! My kidnappers dropped me fast and ran away! Deliverance came for me, by earthquake! Now, I trust we all know that the spiritual controls the physical; so, before evil is unleashed on us physically, God will tell us of it, so that we can neutralize the satanic plans in the place of prayer. Consequently, they may not manifest or we would surely have victory as revealed in the revelation.
There are numerous testimonies given by ex-Satanists of how they were disturbed and their devilish activities halted by dense smoke produced by prayers of Believers, appearing in their midst; or by the appearance of fire or lightening and other manifestations of Divine intervention which God employed to rescue their victims. This is called turning the battle to the gates of the enemy and we shall learn how to do that when we begin to study spiritual warfare.
In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people, 6 And for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate.
What can prevent my prayers from getting to the Throne and answers from getting back to me?
This is a crucial question because praying is hard work and nobody wants to work in vain! The reasons are many –
- Seemingly ‘small’ sins like telling lies, cheating, stealing, pride, anger, rebellion against God’s will in any form; and also the ‘bigger’ sins like sexual immorality, murders and so on. There is just no small sin in the eyes of God really – all unrighteousness is sin. Living in sin without repentance and a change of heart drives a man from the presence of God, like Adam and Eve.
- An unforgiving person is full of anger and pride, and God resists the proud. An unforgiving person is not broken and not crucified with Christ. It is only a fully surrendered life that can make God arise and say ‘’The battle is Mine!’’3.
- Laziness in seeking the will of God in quality Bible Study and fasting. If we do not know the will of God in Scripture and personal revelation, we are bound to pray amiss; and that means the prayer-smoke would miss the target – The Golden Altar. Ja.4:3.
- Existing demonic covenants and curses operating in the life of the person praying or in the life of the person we are interceding for. This may be ancestral, personal or environmental. These cause the heavens to become brass and prevent prayers from rising up to God. Curses and demonic covenants also have demonic strongmen in charge to enforce them and these stand in the heavenlies to resist the Angels bringing down the answers to prayers. An example is found in Da.ch.11 where Daniel was living in a demonic environment where he had been taken captive, and the ruling strongman resisted the Angel bringing the answers to his prayers for a full twenty-one days! See Da.10:12,13 –
Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. 13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
Such resistance can only be conquered when fasting is added to prayers of repentance and warfare. We shall deal with covenants and curses in a later study.
Phew! Why did God lead me to give such details about The Throne Room? I wondered why the details too in the first two years of Medical school when we were taught so much basic sciences. I felt our teachers were wasting time, and screamed inside, ‘Just take us to the wards to see real patients, please!’ When we began to see real sick people in the third year onwards and right through till today, I appreciated the foundation that was laid in those pre-clinical years. Our clever teachers were showing us how the human body normally works so that when we would see ones that did not work normally, we would dig into our basic sciences knowledge and discern what had gone wrong. That is why the Doctor is always the head of the medical team – he/she has a detailed knowledge of how a healthy human body works. And that was what separated Moses from the Children of Israel –
(God) made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel. Psa.103:7.
Beloved, now that we have studied how prayer works, shall we pray then, with more excitement and expectation of answered prayers?