When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.
2And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets.
3Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne. 4The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel’s hand.
Pray for great things, expect great things, work for great things, but above all, pray.
CR. A. Torrey
What Does the Bible Have to Say About the Altar?
1. A place of obedience . Genesis 12:6-8
Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7The Lord appeared to Abram and said, To your offspring I will give this land. So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.
8From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.
2. A place of adoration . Genesis 13:14-18
The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west. 15All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. 16I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. 17Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.
18So Abram moved his tents and went to live near the great trees of Mamre at Hebron, where he built an altar to the Lord.
3. A place of declaration . Ezra 3:3
Despite their fear of the peoples around them, they built the altar on its foundation and sacrificed burnt offerings on it to the Lord, both the morning and evening sacrifices.
Prayer is not conquering God’s reluctance, but taking hold of God’s willingness.
Why Do We Have Altars in Our Church?
1. Prayer . Hebrews 9:14-15
How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!
15For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.
2. Confession . James 5:16
3. Reconciliation . Matthew 5:23-25
4. Healing . James 5:13-15
5. Renewal . 2 Chronicles 7:14