Jesus is our High Priest forever (Hebrews 6:20). This changes the way we are Blessed and how we receive Blessings from God. His priesthood is one of righteousness therefore His righteousness becomes our righteousness forever and is continually flowing into our lives (Proverbs 10:6). Because Jesus lives forever and has a permanent High Priesthood, He makes intercession for us as a High Priest and Intercessor. An intercessor is a person who intervenes on behalf of another, or takes the place of another with the thought of reconciliation, especially by prayer. Jesus’ blood also speaks for us in heaven because He is the Mercy Seat (Romans 3:25; Hebrews 9:1-28). The Mercy Seat was part of the Ark of the Covenant in the earthly tabernacle that was a type and shadow of the heavenly pattern that was to come through Christ Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross (Exodus 25:8, 9; 40; Hebrews 9:11, 12).
Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Romans 8:34 (NKJV)
Therefore, He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. Hebrews 7:25 (NKJV)
“For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Hebrews 8:12 (NKJV)
My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. 1 John 2:1, 2 (NKJV)
Jesus, Paul the Apostle and others taught on prayer and how to receive answers to prayer. Prayer is the vehicle to bring God’s will to the earth. Prayer is powerful (Acts 4:31)! Prayer gives access to heaven and the heart of God. Prayer ushers in the Glory of God (2 Chronicles 7:1-3). We are to pray in Jesus’ name (John 16:23, 24). The reason we pray in Jesus’ name is that no one has any standing in heaven but Jesus! We pray in faith and forgive others when we pray (Mark 11:23-26).
God has laid down in the Bible the principles of prayer that are acceptable to Him. When our prayers don’t line up with them, God disapproves of them and calls them abominations (Proverbs 28:9). We need to ask for God’s wisdom and the help of the Holy Spirit to pray for what and how we are to pray (Romans 8:26, 27). We are totally dependent on Him (Ephesians 6:18). We have access to God through Jesus by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:18).
We must pray with humility and purity of motives. When our prayers are motivated by self-seeking, envy or other fleshly attitudes i.e. resentment, anger, criticism or self-righteousness (James 3:14), the Holy Spirit will not endorse them because they are earthly, soulish (negative), and demonic prayers (James 3:15). We must guard against accusing and controlling prayers because these fall within Satan’s territory (Revelation 12:10).
True intercession should be based on the pattern of Jesus. Christ does not accuse or condemn; nor dominate or manipulate. He justifies us and establishes our righteousness.
Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Romans 8:33 (NKJV)
There are different types of prayer: listening prayer (Psalm 46:10), united prayer (Acts 4:24); worship (Acts 16:25; Ephesians 3:14); prayer of persistence (Luke 11:5-8; 18:1-8); prayer of agreement (Matthew 18:18-20); and intercession (Romans 8:26, 27; Ezekiel 22:30). We are to pray in faith (Mark 11:23, 24; James 5:15); pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17); pray with thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6; Colossians 4:2); pray in the Spirit and in tongues (Ephesians 6:18; 1 Corinthians 14:14, 15); pray for our enemies (Matthew 5:44, 45); pray for laborers (Matthew 9:36-38); etc.
The Lord’s prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) that Jesus taught His disciples is not a New Covenant prayer. He gave His disciples this example while He was on the earth at the beginning of His ministry. There are principles of prayer that we can learn from this prayer but technically, this is still a prayer under the Old Covenant. The Old Covenant was completed when Jesus died on the cross when He said “It is finished” (John 19:30). As He got close to going to the cross, He instructed us to pray to the Father in His name (John 16:23) according to what would be under the New Covenant after His death.
“In this manner, therefore pray: Our Father in heaven hallowed be Your name. Your Kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one, for Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” Matthew 6:9 – 13 (NKJV)
The portion of the Lord’s prayer that says “Your Kingdom come” has already come to pass for those who are born-again. Jesus said that under the New Covenant, the Kingdom of God is in the hearts of men (Luke 17:21). The Kingdom of God is within us. The Kingdom of heaven will come to earth but it is not the same as the Kingdom of God.
“And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:13, 14 (NKJV)
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He may give you.” John 15:7, 16 (NKJV)
“And in that day, you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” John 16:23, 24 (NKJV)
Prayer was always a priority in Jesus’ life (Luke 3:21; 5:16; 6:12; 11:1; Matthew 14:23; 26:36; John 14:16). Jesus began His intercessory ministry before His death on the cross pending His atonement (Luke 22:32; John 17) and He continues it today. Our confession needs to be the same about what Jesus has done for us. We need to agree with the Word of God. Jesus can’t intervene for us if we don’t confess our faith in Him (Hebrews 3:1). What a Savior!
“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also who You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them and I in them.” John 17:20 – 26 (NKJV)