Saturday, May 06, 2023

Nancy Hughes: The silence

“When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.” Revelation 8:1 (NIV)

The discouragement on my friend’s face was visible the minute she stepped out of her car and walked up to meet me on the porch. She had called earlier and asked if she could come by.

“What’s going on?” I asked her as I gave her a hug and invited her into the living room. She shook her head. “I just need to talk. I am so frustrated right now, all I want to do is cry” she continued and then shared a situation that, in spite of her prayers for several years, only seemed to have become worse and not better.

“I’m beginning to think that, no matter how much I pray, it’s not going to change a thing. It’s almost like whatever is going to happen will happen, prayer or not,” she confessed through tears of discouragement.

Have you ever felt that way? Uh-huh. Me, too. But Revelation 8:1 gives us a totally different picture of how much prayer means to God. In Chapter 8 of Revelation, John is describing what he is seeing in heaven after the seals have been broken on the scrolls that talk about human sin, violence, and God’s judgment. And then he shares in verse 1 that “there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.”

Silence in heaven? We know there is praising and singing and activity without end and yet John says heaven was completely quiet for 30 minutes. Why? What happened? If you continue reading verses 1 through 5, you will find that the reason it is totally silent is that someone is praying and all of heaven has stopped so the prayers of the righteous can be lifted up before God.

I know we get caught up in looking at everything happening around us and wonder “Do my prayers really matter? Do they matter to God? Does He even hear me?”

They matter. And in Revelation, they matter enough to God that He stops everything going on in heaven for 30 minutes so prayers can be lifted before Him. Our prayers are heard. And they are answered.

So don’t stop praying! Don’t stop going before the Lord with your concerns and problems and please don’t stop lifting up your unsaved loved ones to Him. Your requests are important enough to the Almighty Creator that He commands silence in heaven just for you.

Father, thank you for listening to our prayers because the requests and praises of your children are important to you. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

R.A.P. it up . . .


Have you ever felt like your prayers weren’t really being heard by God?

When that happened, did you keep praying or decide it didn’t really matter?


Make a daily time – if even just for a few minutes – when you are silent before the Lord.

Then lift your prayers and praises to Him, knowing that He commands silence because of the importance of your prayers to Him.


Revelation 8:1 (NIV) “When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.”

Psalm 145:18-19 (NIV) “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.”

Proverbs 15:29 (NIV) “The Lord is far from the wicked but he hears the prayer of the righteous.”

(For more of Nancy Hughes' writing, check out her blog, Encouragement from the War Room.)

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