Revelation chapter 8 begins with the seventh seal being opened, silence in heaven for about 30 minutes, and seven angels who stand before God are given seven trumpets. Verses 3 & 4 are the topic for today so I'll focus on those. Verse three states that another angel who has a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. This angel was given a lot of incense in order for him to offer it with the prayers of ALL the saints upon the golden alter which was before the throne of God. Verse 4 states that the smoke of the incense and the payers of the saints ascended before God from the angel's hand.
What I gather from these verses is that there is an altar before God's throne. I've never thought of God wanting an altar in heaven. He's God so of course He can have what He wants. It just struck me as interesting. It's pretty cool how things seem to jump off the pages even though you've read it a zillion times before. :)
Also, this angel who had been given a lot of incense in order to offer it with the prayers, what were these prayers of? We know they are from all the saints, but are they general prayers? Are the specific in one request? i.e. God's protection? Why do they need a lot of incense to go up with them? Did you realize the angel is responsible for offering up the prayers? Ahhhh so little words and so many questions. What do you think of this?