“When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne,and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel.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.”
(Revelation 8:1–5 ESV)
A read receipt is an email or text notification delivered when a recipient opens (and presumably reads) a message you send. The receipt confirms that the recipient saw your message and records the time.
I wish prayers came with one…
Wouldn’t it be nice to know that , at the very least, your petition had been heard?
Yes, we walk by faith and not by sight, but sometimes that walk is like staggering through a pitch black forest where you trip over anything you don’t simply smack into face first.
I really don’t care what the mystics and the holy among us say… prayer can be hard and frustrating, especially when the need is great and the wait seems interminable.
We pray…and silence.
The bad news is that this waiting also happens in heaven.
The passage above is part of a longer vision…and is an answer to prayer that has been long awaited.
Earlier, saints that had been martyred on earth ask God how much longer they have to wait before he answers their prayers for justice.
Their prayers hadn’t been answered while they were alive and now they are still asking in the eternal state.
They were told to wait.
They had been doing that already…
After all that wait they think He’s finally going to answer, and then…silence.
Waiting for an answer in the silence of God is discouraging and frustrating…but it is not without reward.
The good news is that you have been heard.
“And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.”
(1 John 5:14–15 ESV)
Sometimes…the silence means that God is getting ready to do something awesome.
In this opening passage, all of the prayers that asked that God’s kingdom come and His will be done are answered…all of them…none of them have been lost,neglected, or ignored.
It’s the most spectacular read receipt ever delivered.
The moral of the story, the application to be made, is that the silence of God does not necessarily signal either His deafness to your need or His denial of your petition.
It may mean that He’s getting ready to answer in an astonishing and wondrous way.
Keep walking in faith…even if you’ve already face planted into a fir tree.
Keep waiting… and keep looking for that read receipt.
It may be only a half hour more that you have to wait…
Make your own application…