“And another angel came and stood over the altar. He had a golden censer, and he was given very much incense (fragrant spices and gums which exhale perfume when burned), that he might mingle it with the prayers of all the people of God (the saints) upon the golden altar before the throne. And the smoke of the incense (the perfume) arose in the presence of God, with the prayers of the people of God (the saints), from the hand of the angel.” Revelation 8:3-4 ->me: A lot happens at this altar – the martyred saints rest at the foot of this altar and the prayers of the saints emanate from it. Here, the angel mixes/offers up incense (which he is given) in conjunction with the prayers of the saints. As you all know prayer has been an extra focus this month and my 2 commitments in application regarding prayer have been 1) to be deliberate, serious, reverent, respectful, and fearful in my personal prayer…never giving God the leftovers of my time. 2) Use prayer in our Life Group as a means of encouraging the men around me to connect with their Heavenly Father in ways maybe not experienced before. So, when I have been reading these passages on the prayers of the saints in heaven I cannot help but use these scriptures to help reinforce the importance and gravity of our prayers. This altar is golden and it is before the throne of God – these stress the importance of our prayers and their place in heaven. Just the fact that ‘an altar’ is part of this whole picture leads me to believe that there is something sacrificial about prayer…further enforcing that my time with God should supplant those times that I might not otherwise pray…when it may not be convenient, when I might be embarrassed in my prayer posture, or even praying before I eat when I am surrounded by worldly co-workers.