Tipping the Prayer Bowls of Heaven
As we do, the Scriptures indicate that our prayers accumulate. There are bowls in heaven in which our prayers are stored. Not one bowl for all of them but "bowls." We donít know how many but I think it very likely that each of us has our own bowl in heaven. I donít know if itís literal or symbolic. It doesnít matter. The principle is still the same. God has something in which He stores our prayers for use at the proper time:
Revelation 5:8: "And when He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, having each one a harp, and golden bowls full of incense which are the prayers of the saints." Revelation 8:3-5: "And another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angelís hand. And the angel took the censer; and he filled it with the fire of the altar and threw it to the earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake."
According to these verses, either when He knows it is the right time to do something or when enough prayer has accumulated to get the job done, He releases power. He takes the bowl and mixes it with fire from the altar.
I want you to picture this. He takes the same fire that fell on Sinai, the same fire that burned the sacrifice consuming the rocks and water and everything else when Elijah was on the mountain, the same fire that fell at Pentecost, the same fire that destroys His enemies, the very fire of almighty God, and He mixes your bowl of prayers with His fire! Then He pours it upon the earth...lightning starts to flash, thunder crashes, the earthquakes. Something awesome happens in the realm of the spirit which then affects the natural realm.
This must be what happened when Paul and Silas were in jail and began to sing praises late in the night. Worship started ascending, God was anointing it, the bowls filled and God poured it out. The earth literally started quaking, the jail door opened and their shackles fell off. As a result the first convert in Asia was born again in Philippi. The gospel made its first penetration into a new continent on earth.
Recently, I believe the Lord showed me what sometimes happens when we come to Him with a need, asking Him to accomplish what He says in His Word. In answer to our requests, He sends His angels to get our bowls of prayer to mix with the fire of the altar. But there isnít enough in our bowls to meet the need! We might blame God or think itís not His will or that His Word must not really mean what it says. The reality of it is that sometimes He cannot do what weíve asked because we have not given Him enough power in our prayer times to get it done. He has poured out all there was to pour and it wasnít enough! Itís not just a faith issue, but also a power issue.
I hope this doesnít alarm you. I get excited when I think about it. I didnít know it at the time, but when I was standing over the comatose girl, every time I spoke the name above every name, every time I prayed in the Spirit, every time I laid hold of His Word and promises, every tear I shed was put in a bottle (see Ps. 56:8)--or a bowl and God was just watching until finally it was full.
Get Radical-Pour on the Power
And on a Saturday morning in 1986, the Almighty looked over at one of the angels and said, "See the little girl over there whose brain is no longer functioning that has to be fed through her stomach and breathe through a hole in her throat and is lying there like a living dead person and the doctors say thereís no hope and that sheís going to die? Do you see her? Take this bowl thatís been filled, mix it with My fire, and go dump it on her head." The rest is history.
Go into your childís room if he or she is not born again and, preferably when theyíre not there, put prayer power--substance--in everything they touch. This power can go into clothing or handkerchiefs and minister to people. Enough anointing and power from the river flowed out of Paulís innermost being and went into his handkerchief that notable miracles took place when people touched those handkerchiefs. Enough of it was in Jesusí clothes that when they reached out and grabbed the very bottom edge of it, something flashed out of Him.
You will recall the testimony of Polly Simchen who came to me with a handkerchief and said, "Would you pray over this? Weíre going to cut it up and put a piece everywhere our son goes. Weíre going to hide it everywhere we can." As she shared earlier, Polly would come to me every once in awhile and say, "Iíve run out of them. I need another one." So we would pray and douse another one in the anointing of God.
She hid one piece under the insole in her son Jonathanís shoe and he loaned his shoes to a friend. This was the most radical drunk, burned-out freak Iíd seen in a long time. The friend made a mistake, He wore the wrong personís shoes! No, actually his life was saved--radically saved, filled with the Spirit of God and turned on for Jesus. Jonathan lost a rowdy friend because the friend became so filled with the presence of God that Jonathan couldnít stand to be around him anymore. As we mentioned earlier, Jonathan is now also living for the Lord.
Smear everything your children have with the anointing! The Old Testament word "anoint" means to pour or smear with oil. Itís okay to get a bit radical. Jesus liked it when people tore roofs off, crawled on hands and knees pressing through crowds, climbed trees, shouted obnoxiously crying out for mercy, bathed His feet with tears and hair. He simply loves wholeheartedness.
EXCERPT from ĎIntercessory Prayerí by Dutch Sheets