26th January 2016

Your View Counts

“Another angel…was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God…”
Revelation 8:3-4 (NIV)

During 2015, I had the unexpected surprise of a letter from the current Prime Minister. Yes, I do mean David Cameron, who as I write, is the leader of the UK. Why? What on earth would prompt Mr Cameron to put pen to paper and write to me?

Ok – I confess. I am leading you ‘down the garden path.’ If I told you that the Leader of the Opposition sent me a letter shortly afterwards then all should become clear, especially as I got the letters just before the 2015 General Election. As I live in a marginal constituency, they wanted my vote!

However, let’s just stay with the fantasy for a little while. Let’s consider that David Cameron really wanted to know my views on a certain matter. Wouldn’t that be amazing?! The Government can get all the top advisors, economists and scientists it wants. But (bear with me!), what if the Prime Minister really wanted to hear the ‘average man on the bus’ speak – and he chose me!

But why fantasize? God tells us something far more incredible than my little dream. I already have the ear of our almighty creator. And he wants to know what I think.

The book of Revelation has a picture which is quite intriguing: “Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads” (Revelation 4:4). Now, not all commentators agree but this image may well represent God’s people through the ages. Why? Because we have 12 + 12=24; 12 is the number used for God’s people. 12 sons of Israel. 12 apostles of Jesus. Just count how many times 12 is used to describe the bride of Christ in Revelation 21!

God’s people are shown as a council of elders – suggesting that God is interested in our views and wants to hear us pray. Whether you agree with the interpretation of this image or not, we know that God wants our prayers. In Revelation 8, Heaven stops for 30 minutes as our prayers are contemplated!

God is not an overworked supervisor, managing director or prime minister who only listens to those of power and wealth. To God, we all count. All of our prayers are special to him. So as Luke recorded in his gospel (Luke 18:1), we should keep on praying and not give up.

Father, how wonderful is the gift of prayer! And how incredible that you desire to hear us all pray! Thank you, Lord Jesus, for tearing the curtain of separation in two and taking us straight to the throne room of God.

Study by Ian Woodley


ianwoodleyAbout the Author:
Ian Woodley pastors the Nottingham Grace Communion Church, that meets at 2pm Saturday, as below.  Ian also facilitates a monthly Bible Study in Lincoln, which generally meets on a Saturday at 1:30pm.  They welcome visitors to join them—for more details contact Ian Woodley as below.

Local Congregation:
Nottingham Grace Communion
Lucy Brown Hall
Attenborough Lane

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2pm

Local Congregational Contact:
Ian Woodley
Email:  icgwoodley@gmail.com

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