This article was originally published in Edition (7) of Prayer Magazine,  Jul-Sep 2006.

In the Old Testament we see priesthood or kingship, but in the New Testament God combined those two in Christ Jesus and then gave us the command to live as kings and priests. Something that totally revolutionized my life once I understood it. Priesthood stands for prayer, intercession, standing in the gap etc., while kingship stands for authority, signs, wonders, the power of God. Let’s look together at

  • Revelation 5:9-10 And they sang a new song, saying, You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth.

The gateway to kingship is priesthood. Now we all like the idea of kingship – we like to display authority, we want to see signs and wonders – but the only way to kingship is through priesthood. Christian success comes through priesthood and ends with kingship!

Another Scripture to consider is Hebrews 3:1.

  • Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus.

We speak of kings and priests, but what do those terms mean, and what is this ‘heavenly calling’ that the writer to the Hebrews talks about?

Therefore, holy brethren – we are only holy because the blood of Christ, who is both God and man, has made us holy. We are not holy on account of our character, our abilities, or any other human trait, but solely because of the cross, upon which Jesus Christ died as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. We are made holy by the blood. No matter who you are, whether young or old, male or female, if you have been washed in the blood of the Lamb, then you are holy, and if you are holy, then you are also included in this calling and that makes you a ‘partakers of the heavenly calling’. But what is a ‘partaker’?

The Strong’s concordance calls a partaker a participant, an associate, a sharer, a partner, a companion, and that is what we have been called to be by our Father. In His eyes, we are His associates; we are His partners, and we are His companions. Is that not something upon which to meditate, and to actively pursue? So often, I hear people say, “We are doing something for God”. No, no, no, we have it all wrong. We work with God! He is the One that is doing the work; we are just His partners in the outwork of the event. This about that, the God of Heaven and earth, the omnipotence God, the Alpha and Omega took you and me, irrespective of our shortcomings, abilities, or gifting as His assistant in world affairs.

Jesus and you – what an unbeatable team! He has all the authority of heaven and earth, and you are His associate. He is doing the work; you are merely a partner, an associate, a participant in that work. So what does it mean to be a priest and a king in the work of Christ?

A priest conducts intercession, whereas a king has authority to reign, and together it is called ‘the heavenly calling’, that is a mandate for every born again child of God!


When the high priest, Aaron, went into the Holy of Holies, his garments had small bells and pomegranates sown onto the hem. When he moved about, people knew he was moving by the tinkling of the golden bells. But what did he do when all alone in this inner sanctum? He went in to offer atonement for the sins of Israel, and took with him the blood of the sin offering of atonement. He was making intercession for the nation of Israel, by standing in the gap between the people and God. The presence of God was in the Holy of Holies, and the people were outside at the porch, praying and waiting on the high priest to come out again – the high priest was between God and the people. He went on behalf of the people before God, and then he had to go back outside to the people, on behalf of God, a wonderful picture of intercession. You might have many gifts, but you will find the more you give yourself to your heavenly calling as a priest, the more you will find four areas develop and change in your life. Let’s look at them:

1 Humility

Humility is an attitude of your heart, not what we say, do, or don’t do. I have often met people with strong personalities and charisma, and yet they were very humble; likewise, I have met those who were soft-spoken and rather shy, and yet with quite a bit of pride in their hearts. God does not ask you to change your personality – you were created like that – He asks you to humble your heart! I always say ‘God is more interested in our character and the attitude of heart, than all our performance’. Someone that is truly humble does not have to tell you how humble he/she is, you will sense it as they open their mouths. It simply flows out of their heart, irrespective of their personality. However, what is it that marks this humility? It is primarily prayer and worship. Therefore, as you begin to move forward as a priest of God, your prayer life and worship will increase, and begin to flow freely before Almighty God. I believe a true saint humble before the Lord points to Jesus at all times and not to him or herself all the time.

In order to understand something of this heart attitude, we will consider the following passage from Joel, in which we see an example of priests and kings.

  • Joel 2:15-17 Blow the trumpet in Zion, consecrate a fast, call a sacred assembly; gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children and nursing babes; let the bridegroom go out from his chamber, and the bride from her dressing room. Let the priests, who minister to the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar; let them say, Spare Your people, O LORD, and do not give Your heritage to reproach, that the nations should rule over them. Why should they say among the peoples, Where is their God?

It says, let the priests who minister to the Lord... Those who have been washed in the blood of the Lamb are the priests who minister to the Lord, which means that they worship, pray, and come before Him in adoration glorifying His name. Thus, we can paraphrase that italicised portion as follows:

Let those who worship the Lord, let those who are washed in the blood of the Lamb, who love Jesus Christ, who worship Him, let them weep between the porch and the altar.

Weeping is travail; it is a crying from the heart unto God, and where is it to take place? Between the porch and the altar, but we will return to that shortly.

2 Brokenness

The brokenness I refer to is not because of some problem or difficulty you might be going through. I almost want to translate it as ‘flexibility’. How flexible are we really in the hands of God? Have we yielded our will in such a way that God could move us whenever, wherever He wishes? Or even, to let us feel what He feels as His companions in prayer, worship and intercession? To me that is brokenness, a yielded will.

Have you seen the scripture in Jeremiah 27:18?

  • But if they are prophets, and if the word of the LORD is with them, let them now make intercession to the LORD of hosts, that the vessels which are left in the house of the LORD, in the house of the king of Judah, and at Jerusalem, do not go to Babylon.

If they are prophets, then they have a task to perform – to make intercession. They must cry out before God; they must ‘come in between’, and prostrate themselves before the Lord, or even to ‘rise up against’ that, which causing a problem. But what does it mean to come in brokenness? In this context, it means to come before God, with your heart breaking with what is breaking His. To stand in the gap and deal with the matter in prayer.

I can truly say there is hardly any prayer I prayed more than: “Jesus, let me feel what You feel; let me see the way You see. Lord, let me hear the way You hear; Lord, let me see things the way You saw them from the Cross. Open my eyes and change my life, Lord Jesus. Break my heart with what breaks Your heart”

3 The Word of the Lord

Read again the scripture in Joel 2:15-17 “…Let the priests, who minister to the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar; let them say…”. Yes, it is time that we as priests “say” unto the Lord, proclaim His Word, quoting in prayer it back to God, speaking it with authority into the spirit realm, and proclaiming it to others.

A true priest of God always proclaims the Word of God; always speaks out what the Bible says, either quoting it back to God, or proclaiming it to others.

4 Authority

The source of authority is the Word of God. Jesus said to His disciples before His ascension, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me”. The level of the Word of God in your life is the level of your authority. It is nothing to do with the manifestation of the various gifts; it is all to do with exercising the authority delegated to every believer in and through the Lord Jesus Christ. A soldier may be the most accurate marksman in the whole of the Army, but that ability conveys no authority over others. However, when that same soldier has two or three stripes upon his arm, then everyone can see that he bears a certain authority. The greater your depth of understanding and use of the Word of God, the greater the authority you bear and manifest as you step out in faith, applying that knowledge. That of course is very true in prayer as well. Authority first flows in the spiritual before it manifests in the natural.

In the closing I wish to use a graphic picture of Joel 2:15-17. Imagine, to my right is the altar, and to my left is the porch, around which the people are waiting. At the altar, we come with brokenness, worship, and prayer. It is here that we break our hearts before God, and it is at the altar that we hear from God concerning what is about to happen in the meeting. The altar is the place of victory for the meeting, and so it is here that I rise up and proclaim the Word. I then take that victory to those waiting around the porch which could be at the meeting where I preach or when the right time comes for me to speak wherever the Lord desires me to do so.

Blessings to you until the next time.

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