Silence In Heaven

A friend shared with me earlier today that she and her husband in a time of prayer together received an assurance that God was attending to a certain much-prayed, yet still unanswered, prayer.

The word she used—attending—took hold of me, and a line from a prayer in the Psalms came on my heart:

Hear my cry, O LORD, attend unto my prayer; from the end of the earth will I cry unto Thee when my heart is overwhelmed… (Ps. 61:1,2).

It’s a cry to God to attend, to give His attention, to that prayer.

Later, I thought upon a passage in The Revelation that I often dwell on:

And when He had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.

Silence in Heaven? What is this about? What is happening during this time of silence in Heaven? Let’s read further:

And I saw the seven angels which stood before God, and to them were given seven trumpets.
And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given to him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand (Rev. 8: 1-4).

What is happening during the silence in Heaven? We see first of all that in this time of silence the seven angels who stand before God are handed seven trumpets. They are not sounding their trumpets just yet; they are just receiving them.

Then we discover that during this time of silence in Heaven it appears that the saints in the earth are offering up their prayers, and an angel is intermingling “much incense” with the prayers of the saints “upon the golden altar which was before the throne.”

Let’s drop back down into the earth for a minute. Here are the beloved saints of the Lord offering up their earnest prayers… and wondering, wondering, why the Silence? And it has been the heart cry of the saints of all ages to understand the silence of Heaven. Why, Lord, are you silent? Why do you not answer our prayers?

Unto Thee will I cry, O LORD my Rock; be not silent to me, lest, if Thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit…”

Keep not silence, O LORD, be not far from me…

How long wilt Thou forget me, O LORD? Forever? How long wilt Thou hide Thy face from me?

O LORD God of hosts, how long wilt Thou be angry against the prayer of thy people? Thou feedest them with the bread of tears; and givest them tears to drink in great measure.

The cries go up to The Silence. Is God angry against the prayer of His people?  Never!  He has commissioned an angel who is given “much incense” to offer with the prayers of the saints. Where did the angel get this special incense? Where else but from the apothecary of God? For God Himself is burdened with the burdens of His people far, far more than we comprehend. And He has ordained that heavenly incense be added to our prayers—His way of saying Amen to our cries… His way of crying with us! His way of assuring us that our burden is His own burden!

Let us never fail, in the silences of God, to read His heart aright. Let us never interpret the silence of Heaven as a message that our loving God is careless about the prayers of His saints—the seekers, the humble, the broken, the destitute.

He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer (Ps. 102:17).

…Oh, far from not despising it, just before I began to write this something happened to me (and it seems I am to include it here, but I know I can’t adequately describe it). I unexpectedly felt pierced—yes, that’s the word I must use—pierced to the heart, and overwhelmed, with an awareness of God’s great great love and concern for my concerns—the darkness of the hour, the overwhelming needs on every front, yet God seeming so silent. I was pierced by the awareness of His love so great, so deep: it’s impossible that He could not be concerned. Oh, how it grieves me, that I seem to know so little the God of love!

Oh, let me never misinterpret the silence of Heaven. It is a very pregnant silence. Something very momentous and very powerful is about to burst forth. Seven angels are given seven trumpets, and stand in expectant waiting. At the same time, another angel having a golden censer stands before the golden altar before the throne of God, and continually adds his incense to the prayers of the saints.

And the smoke of the incense with the prayers of the saints ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.

Now something else happens. Now comes the response:

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.

The same censer full of incense intermingled with the prayers of the saints is suddenly cast into the earth! And there are voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.

No silence now!

Notice the storm elements—thunder, lightning. The voices of Heaven…

Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence; a fire shall devour before Him,   and it shall be very tempestuous round about Him” (Ps. 50.3).

A great eternal Storm is about to break forth!

And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.

No silence now!

How long will our God be inattentive to the prayers of His people? He never has been. Not for an instant. The half-hour silence in Heaven is a time of great preparation; the angels with the trumpets are preparing themselves. And oh, we feel the growing pressure of the word God has been preparing, preparing, preparing…

And we know that the hour of its mighty release is at hand!

The LORD shall roar out of Zion, and utter His Voice from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth shall shake…” (Joel 2.16).

The silence in heaven precedes the silence there is going to be in the earth when the Lord God Almighty speaks from His throne!

But the LORD is in His Holy Temple: let all the earth keep silence before Him (Hab. 2:20).

Beloved of the Lord in great trial, at the end of your earthly resources with heart overwhelmed, let us never take the silence of Heaven to mean that our loving God does not hear, does not care.

He hears, oh, He hears, and cares, and is giving my prayers, and yours, His loving attention!

12 responses »

  1. Excellent article, Allan. God-breathed at that! ⭐ Let us never stop praying, even if it seems He did not hear us. It appears to me that I often times must have reached the end of my rope before I let go of all my self-efforts to change ANYTHING and to dare to really trust Him more than my own thoughts and reasoning.

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  2. Thanks for sharing your own experience with us about prayer and His touch of love He gave you to confirm this matter. He has also been touching me deeply with His love and assurance that He is in me and hears my prayers lately. As I read this passage you shared in Revelation a while back I was touched that our prayers do not just go flying off in space, zipping by God like a radio wave and if He is not tuned-in they are ignored and forever lost into the ether waves. No, the prayers of the saints are collected by Him and mixed with that holy incense to be returned to the earth to fulfill His divine will, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

    I have also been encouraged by these verses in Hebrews that we have an Advocate before the Father.

    Therefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them. (Heb 7:25, KJ2000)

    For Christ has not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: (Heb 9:24, KJ2000)

    And this great manifestation of Jesus’ intercession and love for us in Romans,

    Who is he that condemns? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For your sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. (Rom 8:34-37, KJ2000)

    Bless you, my brother, in His wonderful and all consuming love,
    Michael

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    • Thank you Michael. Those verses you quoted overflow with assurance.

      You wrote, “He has also been touching me deeply with His love and assurance that He is in me and hears my prayers lately.” Yes, in fact our prayers are an integral part of the fulfillment of His will. His judgments come, not arbitrarily, but as a response to the prayers of the saints; it is the censer containing the divine incense intermingled with the prayers of the saints that is suddenly “cast into the earth,” and there are thunders and lightnings and voices…

      And so it was, as you pointed out, the prayers of the saints that caused this action (or rather, reaction). I think of Psalm 65. “O Thou that hearest prayer, unto Thee shall all flesh come… By terrible (fearsome) things in righteousness wilt Thou answer us, O God of our salvation…” (Ps. 65. 2,5).

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  3. No real change will come to the earth unless it is change projected from Heavenly Places in Christ Jesus. “And immediately I was in the Spirit: and behold a THRONE WAS SET IN HEAVEN ! We must begin to bear the the marks of his Lordship in our midst. The image of the Heavenly. Redeemed from amongst men- FULL REDEMPTION- – I feel the Lord wants to begin to do UNPRECEDENTED THINGS with his people in the earth. Which will involve UNPRECEDENTED trials perhaps for many, but will result in, ( what many people believe to be consisered ETHEREAL OR SURREAL), heavenly truth and realities being projected into the earth!

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    • I embrace what you said, Robert: “I feel the Lord wants to begin to do UNPRECEDENTED THINGS with his people in the earth.” Also this: “…heavenly truth and realities being projected into the earth!” I was thinking earlier of a passage in Hebrews that speaks of “the powers of the world [that is, age] to come” (Heb. 6:5). The word “power” is dunamis, which is often translated “miracle.” So, a miracle is simply a manifestation in this present age of the powers of the age to come. It is a projection of the coming age, that age which is characterized by the Throne and Rule of Heaven, into this present evil age. And so, as that “age to come” draws nigh, we are surely about to see unprecedented things, till that age and its powers completely swallows up and this present evil age. What wonders are before us!

      …As well as, no doubt, unprecedented trials. But those trials, and those in them, will portend the nearing Presence right here in the earth of the One whose very feet glow like bronze in a fiery furnace.

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      • I appreciate the truth about his feet like unto fine brass , as if they burned in a furnace , I never made the connection before!
        I WANTED TO EMPHASIZE THAT HEAVENLY REALITIES are anything but “ethereal”. It is we who are dull of heart and need to be awakened!

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        • Robert, you said, “Heavenly realities are anything but ethereal.” In your first comment, you wrote of “heavenly truth and realities being projected into the earth.” This means the Throne in Heaven being projected into the earth. John saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven into the earth. He saw a street of gold, and precious stones, and gates of pearls, and walls of jasper… and a River of pure water of Life proceeding out of the Throne of God and of the Lamb. Just what are the heavenly realities of those things? Of the street of pure gold as transparent as glass, the precious stones adorning her foundations, the River of Life flowing down the centre of the street? Many there are who still think of this City in a very material way. That would make her very unreal, I would say, and very disappointing. We are told the River of Life flows “in the midst of the street of it,” and on either side grows “the tree of life,” bearing “twelve manner of fruits…” Surely these are heavenly realities being projected into the earth, for this City, as John sees her, has come down into the earth. And wherever the River flows, “there shall be no more curse. For the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it…” Oh, then, for “heavenly truth and realities” to be projected here in the earth!

          In fact, I think that the word “truth” could be interchanged with “reality.” When He the Spirit of reality is come, He will lead you into all Reality.

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