Lesson 13

Prayers of Praise: Revelation

(Revelation 4 & 5)
Print this lesson | Bookmark/Share:

Introduction: Do you remember what we discovered about the beginning of all the famous prayers we have studied so far this quarter? They started out with praise to God! In our last study of this quarter, we look more closely at this idea of praise in prayer. Let's dive in!

  1. Holy, Holy, Holy

    1. Read Revelation 4:1. Imagine you are John (the writer of Revelation) and this is you standing before an open door in heaven. Would the voice have to ask you twice to come through the door?

      1. How interested are you in the future? (John is offered a peek at the future. So, let's go look with him!)

    2. Read Revelation 4:2-3. What is the first thing John sees in the future?

      1. Who do you think this is? (God)

      2. When the text says that the rainbow resembled an emerald, what does that say to you? (An emerald has beautiful deep colors. I think we are being given an idea of the depth and clarity of the colors.)

      3. Notice that God is also described as looking like gems. What does this say to you? Ever heard of a "carnelian?" (According to Thayer's, carnelian is a type of Sardius stone which is flesh-colored. We are being told that God radiates beauty.)

    3. Read Revelation 4:4-5. Who are these elders? What are they doing? Why do they wear white? (They have the white robe of Christ's righteousness. Revelation 7:13-14. They seem to be helping God with His work. These elders are mentioned 12 times in Revelation. They are obviously important people in heaven.)

      1. Is God's throne kind of a noisy place? (Matthew Henry suggests the lightening, rumbling and peals of thunder are God's messages and directives being sent out over the universe. Can you imagine heavy duty electronic bursts going out over the universe from the throne?)

      2. We are familiar with the Holy Spirit, what are these "seven" spirits of God? (These seven spirits are also repeatedly referred to in Revelation. Revelation 5:6 refers to Jesus having seven eyes "which are the seven spirits sent out into all the earth." I believe this seven (the perfect number) refers to the perfect wisdom of Jesus being manifest in the Holy Spirit.)

      3. Do you recall the "seven lamps" (which are the seven spirits) being referred to elsewhere in the Bible? How about the Old Testament? (Interesting background is that this looks like the instructions that God gave Moses for the set up of the sanctuary in the wilderness in Numbers 8:1-3. The tabernacle (sanctuary) made in the wildnerness during the Egyptian exodus had seven lamps. If you review Hebrews 8:1-5 we discover that Jesus is in Heaven ministering as our Intercessor in the heavenly sanctuary after which the sanctuary in the wilderness was patterned! Thus, the picture in Revelation 4 may be of the place where Jesus is ministering for us! The seven spirits (at least) give light to what He is doing. This bolsters the idea they represent wisdom and understanding.)

        1. What does the Holy Spirit give us today? (Wisdom and understanding! John 14:26)

    4. Let's read on. Revelation 4:6-8. If we are right that this is an expanded picture of Hebrews 8 - of the heavenly sanctuary, the place where Jesus is acting as our High Priest and our sacrificial Lamb - are the four creatures saying the right thing? What would you say about this event? (Praise God! How holy He is who had died on our behalf and lives to intercede ( Hebrews 7:25) before the Father for us!)

      1. How do you understand the language in Revelation 4:8 "who was, and is, and is to come?"

        1. If this is a picture of Jesus interceding for us, how would these words fit? (Jesus was on earth with us. He died for our sins ("was"), was raised to life and intercedes for us in heaven ("is") and He is coming again to take us to Heaven with Him ("is to come.")

        2. If this is a picture of God the Father, how would these words fit? (He has always been and will always be. He is beyond time and space.)

          1. Does God deserve to have our prayers open with praises to Him? (Oh yes!)

      2. Do these "living creatures" have a boring job?

        1. Why do you think they have six wings and are covered with eyes? We get a cable TV station called "Speedvision." Does that pretty much summarize these living creatures?

          1. If you say, "yes," do you think they stay around the throne all the time? (I think these creatures are God's ambassadors. The six wings symbolically show they have tremendous speed and the eyes symbolically show they have keen powers of observation. Their "job" is to represent the holiness of God to the universe. I can see them going out on missions on behalf of God to resolve issues in the universe.)

    5. Let's read on. Read Revelation 4:9-11. Remember I asked you whether God deserves to have our prayers open with praise? What is the opinion of the 24 elders?

      1. What are the elders indicating when they "fall down" and "lay their crowns before the throne?" (These elders are important people. Their crowns are symbols of authority and status. Yet they lay all power and authority at the feet of God.)

        1. Why do they do that? (Verse 11: God is worthy! He created all things and by His life and death continue to give us life.)

        2. If you agree with the elders, how insidious is the theory of evolution? (If you don't believe God is the Creator, you don't believe. Our local paper has a slogan that applies here: "If you don't get it, you don't get it!)

  2. Victory in the Lamb

    1. Read Revelation 5:1-4. Who is holding these sealed scroll? (God on His throne.)

      1. Do you think the scroll has an important message or important information? (The indications so far are that it is important. It is held in God's "right hand" and has seven seals - the number of perfection.)

      2. What is the problem with this important information? (It cannot be opened or read!)

    2. Read Revelation 5:5-6. Who is the Lamb looking as if He had been slain who is also the Lion of Judah? (Jesus! We were right before about the sanctuary. Jesus, as a slain Lamb, enters the heavenly sanctuary on our behalf! This makes clear that God the Father is sitting on the throne and Jesus enters the Heavenly sanctuary.)

    3. Read Revelation 5:7-9. Why is Jesus worthy to open the scroll with the seven seals? (Verse 9: Because of His sacrifice for us.)

      1. Based on this, what would you guess is this special scroll with the seven seals? If only Jesus, because of His sacrifice, can open it, what does that suggest? (If you read on in Revelation through chapter 8, you will see that the removal of each seal represents another event in history. For example, the sixth seal is Jesus' Second Coming ( Revelation 6:12-7:17). Jesus is the turning point in the history of mankind. He turned us from death to life. His perfect life and perfect sacrifice has now opened the way for the future triumph of good over evil.)

      2. Do you remember why we wanted to look through the door of Revelation 4:1? (We wanted to see the future. Jesus has now unlocked the future of righteousness.)

    4. Let's jump forward in this song of praise and read Revelation 5:12-14. Are these people excited about Jesus' triumph over evil? Are they exciting about His opening the future for righteousness? Who ultimately praises Jesus? (Everyone!)

    5. Friend, do you sing the praises of Jesus and the Father for what they have done to give you victory over sin and death? Every prayer, every worship service should reflect our praise and thankfulness for what God has done for us! May our prayers always reflect our praise to God.

  3. Next week: We start a new quarter of lessons in which we study "Bible Biographies."

To receive the Bible Study of the Week by e-mail, please enter your e-mail address:

 Subscribe in a reader

Lessons on Prayer

Attention Translators!

Would you like to help us share the Bible Study of the Week with others? At present, the Bible Study of the Week can be read in ten languages: Bosnian, English, French, German, Hungarian, Indonesian, Romanian, Russian, and Spanish. We welcome serious volunteers who are willing to spend the time each week to translate the lessons from English into another language. We are particularly interested in having the lesson translated into Portuguese. Please contact us if you would like to volunteer to translate.