Prayer and Fire

William C. Brownson

READ : Revelation 8:1-5

Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on

the earth, and there were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an

earthquake. (v. 5)

“When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven.” Strange indeed!
Why should all heaven’s songs of praise and shouts of joy be momentarily stilled? It
seemed an eerie preparation for some final, stupendous event. What is about to happen?

An angel with a golden censer stands at the altar. He offers sweet incense, together
with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne. And as the
prayer-fragrance rises before God, the angel takes the censer, scoops from the embers, and
hurls them down to the earth.

And suddenly there are rumblings of thunder, flashes of lightning, and an awesome

What is John seeing there? As the Lamb who is Lord of history opens the final seal of
destiny’s book, we see something of the mystery of God’s ways. What are the great, moving
forces that shape history? Not the rule of tyrants, not the march of armies, not even the
wonders of human technology. No, here is the dynamism driving world events: the prayers of
the saints and the fire of God. Those who know the Lord and cry to him for the fulfilling
of his kingdom purpose are the mightiest of movers and shakers. Let’s be numbered among
those world-changers!


Lord, make us know that “more things are wrought by prayer than this world

dreams of!”