What prayer really is: union with Jesus as active Priest over everything! Prayer is not some boring activity, it is communion with the highest aspect of the One we are following and being transformed by! Jesus, The High Priest over humanity!
For Christian’s we can’t get around the practice of prayer! It’s the foundational practice for us who are followers and friends of Jesus Christ.
We are to be ever increasing our intimacy with the actual personhood of Jesus Christ. We want to know as much of Him as possible. One part of Him is clearly His priesthood. He is praying for all constantly—He ever lives to make intercession. So when we pray, we are joining Him in this activity.
Ever increasing union with Jesus through this life into the next is true Christian spirituality. The practice is prayer, study of the word and fellowship with others who are growing in Him and His Nature. It’s not a mysterious system really. We do what Jesus did while on earth, but we do it in His power and nature. Peter taught us to participate in the Divine Nature and that it would empower our ethics and action.
What prayer does? Bring us into union with Jesus as Priest! It also takes us outside our selves and our narrow concerns and places us more in His. It tilts us towards His Concerns rather than ours. Prayer is then an essential practice and central for Christians. We cannot just feed the poor, when we pray we see which poor and when. It opens our heart’s eyes to the specific nuances of His Orientation towards each situation. Prayer then is a way of having much more effective ministry on earth. For in prayer we get imparted to us, part of His Heart for that situation.
I think this practice of seeing yourself and your life from outside yourself—from His Eyes. Rising above yourself in time, and looking back at yourself from His Perspective is a healing act. For then you can return to time and act in wisdom, seeing where you are on your journey of growth in Christ. Seeing what you need now. For me, He is adding knowledge and more godliness and hopefully holiness to my life.
Prayer is part of our own transformation. As we sit with Jesus as Priest, we ourselves are transformed by encountering His Heart for others and for whatever else He is praying for. If we want to become like Christ, we will want to be with Him in prayer. Being with Him in His High Priest role, transforms our own hearts, and informs our actions while here on earth.
There is a daily practice in prayer where we are meant to rise above ourselves into His concerns and thoughts. We are meant to follow Him rather than just our own hearts. This is simple practice of prayer. But it is essential, even fundamental. Part of what prayer is—allowing us to rise above our daily concerns and tune more accurately in to His day.
Of course, prayer involves the imagination. We start to see things as we pray. And this is another way Jesus communicates His Heart into ours. The symbolic is another part of communication. So we keep our imaginations receptive and open while we pray, so He can show us things, and align them with His Feelings and thoughts about them. He is One, and in prayer, we start to sense His Oneness. His imagination, feelings, thoughts and actions are in sync. Prayer helps us practice this oneness of being.
Prayer is the foundation for the prophetic! When we pray, we are getting His Orientation towards each situation. We cannot deliver His Words, without His Orientation of heart. Prayer allows us to have His Heart about the matter, imparted! So then if we are used to bless into that situation, we do so in His Heart and Power. Prayer comes before prophecy. Just as Jesus stopped and prayed each time before acting, so we are to pray before ministering into situations!
Prayer is about putting us in a less self centered place and more in a place of receptivity to His concerns. We have prayer authority the degree we are “in Him”. It is His authority we have as we move in collaboration with Christ. Prayer is collaboration but it begins with listening to Him and His Concerns.
Often we don’t ask why should we pray, or what is prayer? It is a type of practice where we are becoming less so He may be more. We are getting to know Him Priest. So it is part of restoring priesthood down here.
Prayer is the place of vision! We cannot see as He sees until we put ourselves in a prayerful orientation. In order to see, we must be with Him as Priest and Seer. The two are connected in Him–His Prayer life allows Him to see what the Father is doing at all times! It is meant to be the same for us as we union into the prayer life of Our Friend Jesus. We begin to see more of what He is seeing. And that sight transforms and informs us, teaching us how to truly pray!
As we commune with Jesus as Priest, we get to know Him in a unique part of His activities. He makes intercession for us all, and all the nations and peoples, and we get to overhear His intercessions! Prayer is coming into union with Jesus as the High Priest!
If we do not know Him as Priest, we miss out on a big part of what He is currently up to!
Constant union with Christ in His Prophetic, Kingly and Priestly aspects is the ever growing pathway of those in are called into His Name. And ever more deeply baptized into it!
So prayer is a way to transform ourselves, it is a way to rise above our narrow concerns, and it is the foundation for us to be able to move prophetically into the lives of others and situations around us. Our goal is a more perfect union with Christ in all His aspects, but particularly Jesus as our great High Priest! When we pray, we are getting to know this central aspect of the Life of Our Lord!
Prayer changes who we are. It gives us more of His perspective on whatever we are concerned with. It equips us for ministry or acts of service by sharing in His Concerns, Power and Authority as Priest. His Priesthood is on the top of the mountain, then, like the priest prophet Samuel, He moves halfway down the mountain to deliver messages from the top, we encounter Christ’s Prophetic aspects, then in the valley, His Kingship. On the mountain top, half way down delivering what was encountered to the people, then in the valley of His Kingship and managing how the top of the mountain revelation applies practically to the people–that’s the patterns in scripture. You see it with Moses also.
That is the order of authority in Christ’s Own Being–Priest is highest, then prophet, then king. When we pray we are meeting encountering and being transformed by the highest part of who Jesus actually is! That’s reason enough to pray without ceasing. Let’s!