A Royal Priesthood
The more we understand the Gospel, the more we understand that the good news of God keeps getting better and better. We have already concluded that God has saved us even though we are unworthy and that He has called us into a calling that is set aside for His purpose-a calling for which He will provide our every need. Those two glorious gifts are worthy of our uttermost dedication and service to God, but that is not the end of the good news. As we continue to search the scriptures, we find that through Christ, God has adopted us as His very own children and that we have become joint heirs in Christ Jesus. The Bible says in Romans 8:14-17, “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.” Many times in scripture Paul called himself a “bond-servant of Christ.”A bond-servant is a willing servant. God has not called us to serve Him as His unwilling slaves. He has called us to serve Him as His child.
As the good news continues to get better and better, we understand more of who God is and who we are because of Him. Jesus is not just royalty; He is the King of Kings. Because we are adopted sons and daughters of God and joint heirs in Christ Jesus, God has allowed us to join in the blessings of being a part of His royal family. In Christ we are royalty. Peter says of those who are a part of the family. I Peter 2:9, 10 says, “But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.” He calls us a “Royal Priesthood.”
Many times in the New Testament believers are referred to as priests. This doctrine is called the “priesthood of the believer.” Some would argue that being a priest is for a select few that are called. However, the Word of God clearly teaches that whoever has accepted Jesus Christ’s work of salvation and has then been adopted into the family of God is a priest. A priest has many roles and responsibilities. However, they can all be summed up into one main purpose. A priest is to represent mankind to God. One of the greatest ways that believers can represent mankind to God is to pray for them. The topic of prayer will be discussed in greater detail in the fourth chapter; however, God expects His people who are called by His name to pray. Jesus is our High Priest, and we see Him many times in the gospels praying for his disciples as seen in John 17. Paul told Timothy in II Timothy 1:3 that he thanks God for him as he mentions him in his prayers.
As the priests of God serving mankind on behalf of God, we should have a great burden for the lost and hurting. Many times I pray asking God to give me the compassion Jesus has-the compassion that calls out with a broken heart as Jesus did in Matthew 23:37 as He said, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.” Despite the wickedness of their ways, Jesus still loved them and desperately desired to see them repent and turn to His salvation. With the same heart we are also called to cry out to the Father with a broken heart on behalf of the lost condition of this world. I dare say that the bulk of our prayers should be directed to praying for the redemption of the wretched.
As a result of our saving relationship with Jesus Christ the Bible teaches that all believers have direct access to the throne of God. (See Hebrews 4:16). James 5:16 tells us, “that the effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” As we have already discussed, we have no righteousness of our own. However, for those who have trusted in Christ as their savior, we have a righteousness that is found in Him. (Romans 3:22). As we lift up our voices to God, we are also encouraged with the great news that Jesus is the mediator between God and man (I Timothy 2:5). So what does all of this mean? It simply means that through Christ we have direct access to the throne of the Father. The righteousness that is found in Christ is perfect righteousness; therefore the prayers of a righteous man can accomplish much. Our prayers through Christ are powerful.
Have you ever been told (or even thought to yourself) that someone is too far gone? As I stood at the graveside of my mother, I tried to give the pastor who just finished preaching her funeral some money for his time and effort. He graciously declined, but upon my persistence he told to me if I really wanted to give the money, then I should come to church that Sunday and put it in the offering plate. I agreed and began to walk away. He then grabbed my arm to turn me back around and spoke these words to me, “Rusty I’m going to pray for you until you turn your life over to Jesus.” At that time in my life, I was a drug addict who was consumed with anger, rage, hatred, and bitterness. Not only was I a drug addict, I also considered myself to be an atheist. As he spoke those words to me I shrugged it off like it was nothing. Fifty-six day later I accepted Jesus Christ as the Lord over my life. We are never too far gone, and there is great power in prayer-if we pray.
Day 14 Prayer Guide
- Ask God to reveal any sin or mindset that would prevent Him from hearing your prayers.
- Repent of any such hindrance and ask for God’s forgiveness.
- Ask God to remove any doubts and keep you focused on Him.
- Seek the Holy Spirit to consume you during this time to lead you. Be obedient to Him.
- Spend some time praising God for the fact that He is able. Quote some scriptures or some of His characteristics to Him in praise.
- Pray that the people of God will repent of sins and mindsets that dishonor and hinder Him.
- Pray that all Christians will understand the depth of their salvation and as a result surrender to total service unto God.
- Pray that church will understand, and stand up to its calling.
- Pray that the people of God will stand in faith knowing God can reclaim this land.
- Pray that our churches would be devoted to, and peruse the things that honor God.
- Pray that our churches will be a shining light upon the hill.
- Pray that the people of God would see the need for revival and begin to seek God for it.
- Pray specifically for revival in your church. Pray for your pastor and church leaders.
- Pray that the people of God will be broken hearted over the lost.
- Pray that the church will be a gospel centered church with a heart to evangelize the world while starting in their own back yard.
- Pray that the power of God would fall on the church moving them to prayer and sowing the gospel seed.
- Pray for a great awakening in your community. Name off streets and neighborhoods.
- Do not be judgmental in this, but pray that if there is any within the church who do not have a genuine relationship with Jesus that God would convict their heart and save them.
- Make a list of individuals who are not saved and begin petitioning God for their salvation.
- Pray for repentance of sin and a great awakening in our nation.
- Pray for the safety, protection, and influence of Christians who are being persecuted.