Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
- Revelation 5:8
There are times when life just doesn't seem fair. Things happen that don't make sense, and we wonder why God didn't answer our prayer.
But He will answer your prayer-in His way, for His glory, in His time.
Revelation 5:8 gives us this interesting detail about heaven: "The twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints." When we are in heaven and are standing before God's throne, and when those golden bowls, full of prayers, are brought before us, we will realize that God heard every little prayer that we prayed. And I think we also will understand that His answer was far better than what we asked for in the moment.
We will realize that God overruled something we asked for because it wasn't the best prayer. What we don't realize today is this hardship or this tragedy or this inexplicable event ultimately will lead to that event, which will touch that person, which will affect that situation over there.
It will be like a long chain reaction that will produce this, this, and this, all for God's glory. So that thing you wanted had to go away, or that circumstance had to arise to produce those other things, and ultimately you will give God the glory. In the meantime, you will have to trust Him, knowing that it all will be revealed in heaven when we stand before the Lord.
Some prayers are answered right away. But others are being kept in heavenly storage for an answer to come.
Not only does God keep our tears in a bottle (see Psalm 56:8), but He also keeps our prayers in a bowl. God never throws our prayers away. He stores them for us.