Last week, in The Heavenly Temple, Part 5, we saw from looking at the mention of the Ark of the Covenant in Revelation that we have access to the presence of God through the blood of Jesus, and since Jesus paid such a high price to gain us that access, let us never, ever hold ourselves back from drawing near to God's presence!

But is there more that we can learn from the Heavenly Ark of the Covenant?

When we think back to the earthly tabernacle, which was patterned after the Heavenly, we see that of the Ark of the Covenant and its cover and mercy seat were there to represent the place from which God would speak to the people: "You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark...And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat..." (Exod 25:21-22, NKJV). Thus the Mercy Seat in the Earthly Sanctuary represents none other than the throne of God Himself, the Creator of all things.

The throne is a central point in the Heavenly temple as well. When we read through Revelation 4, we see several references to it: "Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne...Around the throne were twenty-four thrones...And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back." (Rev 4:2-6, NKJV)

In fact, as you read John's description of Heaven, it becomes clear that every description is given in reference to the throne. The throne is the central point of the depicted scene.

But perhaps even more central is the references to the One who sits on the throne: "And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald." (Rev 4:3, NKJV); and "Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: 'You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.'" (Rev 4:9-11, NKJV)

The One who sits on the throne is none other than God Himself, the Creator of all things.

It is very interesting to note that all of the other descriptions given in Revelation 4 -- The four creatures, the 24 elders, the lights, etc., are all described as being there to give glory to God. If the throne of God is the central point of Heaven, and all Heavenly creatures are there to give Him glory, what does that say for us today? Shouldn't we also see our purpose in life as to give God glory?

So often we approach the throne of God with our list of petitions. This is not wrong, for Jesus taught that we were to be persistent in our asking (See Luke 18). But what if we descend to the point that the petitions become our only reason for approaching the throne?

Friends, the important lesson that we can learn from the description of the throne in the Heavenly Temple is this: Although it is not wrong to present God with our list of requests, and although we are even encouraged to do so with persistence, this should not be our first and foremost reason for approaching God's throne! Our most important reason needs to be the same as the 24 elders and the 4 creatures of Revelation 4: to give God glory!

I would like to challenge each of you today to try going to God in prayer without your list of petitions. Try spending time at His throne with your sole purpose being to give Him glory, to thank Him for all He's done. Be specific, allowing God to open your spiritual eyes to see the extent of each of His miracles. Praise His name and do so until the Spirit of God no longer moves you to give Him glory. Only then present Him with your petitions. I can guarantee you that you will experience such a renewing and refreshing that your prayers will become all the more powerful.

Please join us next week for The Heavenly Temple, Part 7: The Glory of God.

In His love,

Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.

(To access the entire "The Heavenly Temple" mini-series, please click here.)