“And the 24 elders, who sit on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying…” Revelation 11:16
In Heaven, The 24 Elders get off their thrones and fall on their faces to worship God. Worship in Heaven involves public prostration generated by humility and passionate prayer filled with gratitude. For church leaders who have the capacity to strut sitting down this should be a flashing light on their dashboard. But I digress.
“We give you thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who were, because you have taken Your great power and have begun to reign. And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth.” Revelation 11:17
The attitude of gratitude is learned behavior. Any parent who has had to guide a child through the terrible twos and the testing threes knows this to be true from personal experience. Proud parents are soon humbled by a precious bundle of joy that did not come into this world equipped with the capacity to say thank you. After nine months of captivity they entered into their new environment fully focused on personal freedom, and daily survival. When their needs are not met they throw tantrums that test the love of the most compassionate parent.
The 24 Elders are composed of 12 who represent the redeemed of Israel and 12 who represent the New Testament church. Their worship is marked by a prayer of gratitude for God’s timely release of His wrath on evil and His reward for the saints. Their prayerful response to God sets the bar for all of us who need to mature in the expressing of thanks to God for all He has done for us.
Perhaps there is is nothing more poignant, and prophetic in The Elders’ prayer than the words, “and the time came.” Before any great work of God there is always a time of waiting. Since God is eternal, accepting His timetable can be a frustrating experience. Children are always in a hurry to grow up. The Father wants them to mature. Big difference.
Prayerless people gaze at the clock and the calendar. Their joy is sapped by constantly trying to discern between what is truly important and what is merely urgent. Prayerful people eventually find peace in knowing God is never late, always on time, but seldom early. This lesson is not learned overnight.
The waiting room can become a tedious and tiresome experience for those who try to pass the time in polite conversation or reading old news magazines. Praying through the waiting has always been a learning curve for those who enter The School of Prayer. Those who have learned the lesson know that praying is part of the preparation for the gift The Father has in store for His children.
“Prayer is not trying to get God to do something He doesn’t want to do. Prayer is getting us to do what we don’t want to do. He intends to do His will through us, and in us. Prayer prepares us to be used, and to pray, ‘USE ME!’ “ - Dave Butts
NOTE TO SELF: Take a page out of The Elders’ Prayer Book. When “the time came” they saw that their waiting was not in vain. They fell off their thrones and onto their faces in gratitude to God for The Lamb’s blood bought redemption of the saints and Almighty God’s recompense of evil. Isn’t it about time you grew up, and worshiped God in humility and gratitude? TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!