Priestly ministry – Mediating Agents
I have recently embarked on a study of Revelations. I am only a few verses into chapter one and one thing that I feel the Lord really pressing in on me is this idea of a priestly ministry.
Revelation 1:6 tells us that after freeing us from our sins by His own blood that Christ has “formed us into a kingdom (a royal race), priests to His God and Father”. I had to go look it up… what does it actually mean to be a priest? What does it involve? This is what I found:
“A priest is one who is designated an authority on religious matters… One authorised to perform the sacred rites or a religion especially as a mediatory agent between humans and God”.
I was impressed by the authority side of things but not so much by the mediatory agent bit, why? Because I feel like how can I mediate for other people when I havn’t even finished mediating for myself yet!?
Then I realised why before I was even able to begin studying the book of Revelations this scripture came to me: John 13:34-35 which says ”
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Loving others as Christ has loved us means a self-sacrificial kind of love. He poured out His love for us on the alter of sacrifice, giving His own life so that we may live! Obviously Jesus is not asking anyone to physically sacrifice themselves for any reason because He has already shed His blood and paid the ultimate price to free us once and for all from our sins (Revelations 1:5). However, it does mean that we are to show love to others even if our own life isn’t perfect. That means interceding/praying for others whilst we are hurting or still waiting for our own answered prayers. Christ as paid the ultimate price but as priests we offer spiritual sacrifices that are pleasing to God and this can be on behalf of others.
1 Peter 2:5 – “You [believers], like living stones, are being built up into a spiritual house for a holy and dedicated priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices [that are] acceptable and pleasing to God through Jesus Christ.”
Have you ever felt like when you pray for someone else you see answers quicker than when you pray for yourself? I do experience that a lot myself. I wondered at this and it came to me that when we pray for others it is a selfless act and its unlikely that our motives are wrong (possible, but unlikely). What is a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God? One that is done with a right motive and a pure heart and through Jesus Christ. When we pray for others in Jesus’ name we are mediating for them and offering an acceptable and pleasing sacrifice to God, thereby functioning in the priestly office.
Zechariah 12:10 says, “and I will pour out upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace or unmerited favour and supplication“. Supplication means prayer/intercession , to humbly ask or beg; to entreat someone in power for help or favour. As priests we offer up supplications on behalf of others.
1 Thessalonians 5:7 says, “Be unceasing in prayer [praying perseveringly]. We can see by this that we should never stop praying. How many times do we set out to pray and realise in less than two minutes that we’ve come to the end of our prayer list? This is when we should look to pray for others. I’m sure by the time we have finished praying for all the needs of others we know and the government, we will feel like we have had a more worthwhile prayer session!
The point is that if we have a burden in our hearts to pray for other people and situations not directly relating to ourselves, we will easily fulfil this mandate in 1 Thess. 5:7. Also it is so fun to see your prayers coming to pass on other peoples lives who may not even know you were praying for them, it will also boost our faith regarding our own situations.
Just as I was studying and learning all this by the Holy Spirit this week I began to receive several prayer and intercession requests and I felt God urging me to pray for certain distant family members. Even hubby had a few revelations about certain people that were disturbing enough to move us to intercede for them. This is what happens when you’re in the school of the Holy Spirit, nothing is ever merely theoretical but the word of God is practicalised and you are tested on account of your knew knowledge.
As priests therefore, we have been given the authority by Christ Jesus Who is the great High Priest to be mediators, intercessors, making an impact and waging spiritual warfare against darkness. – Isaiah 61:6 “…You shall be called priests of the Lord.