THE DAILY PRAYER BOWL
It is probably correct to say that most of us do not truly understand the effect our prayers have from God’s perspective. Revelation 5:8 speaks of “Golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” Later we read in Revelation 8:4-5, that “the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God . . . Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth.”
What a marvelous image! When you pray from the heart and in the Spirit, you are filling the prayer bowls of heaven. In God’s perfect timing, your prayers are mixed with the fire of God (His power) and cast back down to earth to change situations as answered prayer. While this may not be how you expected the answer to be, it will be as God knows it NEEDS to be and at EXACTLY the right time. Your prayers don’t just bounce off the ceiling; they rise like incense before the throne of God.
Even if you don’t feel like anything is happening in the natural world, when you pray, you are filling the prayer bowls in the spirit realm. When God, having heard all prayers He does respond and likens it to the Prayer Bowls being full and ready to be poured out. Whether this is reality or not it is a good way to think of your own prayer life being a partnership of responding to the nudges of the Holy Spirit so that you sacrifice the time and energy to really pray (and not merely give selfish requests from the flesh).
We have the privilege of being able to take a moment to put a prayer request in the prayer bowl. Or we may take more time and spend moments in the Lord’s presence placing lots of prayer requests intentionally and carefully in the prayer bowl – the choice is ours. The exercise is not to fill the Bowl but to fill our lives with Jesus, His life and His heavenly perspective.
ADD TO THE BOWL NOON EACH DAY
As a church, we can help more people than any doctors, politicians or stimulus bills can, as good as these all are. WE CAN PRAY. Prayer is not the last thing we can do as some suggest. Prayer is the FIRST and GREATEST thing we can do! A dear friend in our church family has relatives in a church in Maryland who are praying for 12 minutes at 12 noon. I know of a number of other churches doing the same thing here the US and in the UK, in Austria, and in Singapore. Every day at 12 noon many brothers and sisters all around the world are praying and I would like to invite you to join them. Yes, there are time zone differences! Some days you will be able and some, you won't, but when you can, what a blessing this world will receive! Our church family beyond our own walls is vast and when talking to King Jesus, powerful. Let's move the Hand that moves the world. The Lord Jesus cares deeply about what is happening in individual's lives, families, towns, cities, counties and nations right now. He is moved with compassion and wants us to join Him in interceding for others.
Here are some suggestions you and your family or friends can pray for either on your own, together or over the phone during those 12 minutes (and it can go longer if you are moved by the Lord to do so):
Medical professionals treating patients
Scientists, disease experts, and epidemiologists working on vaccines
Victims of the virus; those grieving the loss of loved ones
The President, Congress, governors, mayors, and local officials
Family, friends, neighbors, schools, businesses, people being laid off temporarily or permanently
Trauma from being separated from parents, loved ones in ALFs, hospitals, other places.
Our nation and the nations of the world, healing and to turn to Christ
I have written my prayer today out for you to Amen but pray from your heart as the Lord leads:
"Father in heaven, as we endure this new normal in our lives, we pray earnestly for the heroic medical doctors, nurses, and health care professionals who are putting their lives on the line for their neighbors. May you give them strength and physical immunity during this time, so they can help push back against this terrible virus.
We pray for the scientists, disease experts, and epidemiologists who are working on vaccines and testing mechanisms. Lord, we thank you for gifting them with knowledge and wisdom we don’t have. We pray for their endurance, for breakthroughs, and for resources.
Lord, you are the Great Physician, so we pray for healing for the victims of COVID-19. Lord, you are the Creator, with power over the creation, so we pray for COVID-19 to be destroyed. Spirit of God, you are the Comforter, so please comfort our troubled souls.
We pray for those working extra hard in essential jobs, and for those laid off temporarily or permanently. Give each what they need and may they find their security in you. Give peace to those separated from loved ones at this time.
Dear God, move in the hearts of our public officials. As you have instructed us in your Word, we earnestly ask you on behalf of our president, Congress, governors, mayors, and local officials. We pray you guide them with wisdom and strength and discernment.
We also pray for the people in our nation and the nations of the world to be humbled and turn to you in repentance and faith. We know you are the Prince of peace, Lord of lords, the King of kings. We praise you for your goodness and your mercy. And we ask this all in the name of Jesus, our Lord.
Philippians 4:6 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."