Access to God has been provided for the believer through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is our Royal High Priest and it is through His priesthood that the believer becomes a royal priest and is given access directly to God. (Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:6,10) In order to become our High Priest, Christ had to become true humanity. Jesus Christ represents us before God in Heaven before the throne of God. By becoming our High Priest, Jesus Christ became our mediator. (I Timothy 2:5-6) As Church Age believers, we belong to His priesthood (the Royal Priesthood). This priesthood is far superior to any that existed in the past. (Hebrews 7) As our High Priest, Christ has won the victory over Satan in the Angelic Conflict. (Hebrews 4:14-16; 6:17-20)
The priesthood of Christ is the reality of the priesthoods that existed in the Old Testament. Just as the rituals and the sacrifices were shadows of real things (to come in the future), “The Order of the Royal Priesthood of Christ” is the realization of those shadow types. (Hebrews 8)
As believer-priests, we gain access to God and represent ourselves before Him. We do not need to confess our sins to a member of the clergy - we confess our sins directly to God. Confession (acknowledging our sins) is to be done in private, silently and immediately. We do not need someone else to pray for us, though we always appreciate the prayers of others on our behalf. As priests we are to come boldly to God and offer prayer for ourselves. Unlike the Levitical priesthood in Israel, which was based on physical birth, the priesthood of the believer is based on the “new birth” (salvation). We actually share Christ’s priesthood because we are in union with Him. (Hebrews 3:1; 4:16)
Since we represent ourselves before God, it is our personal responsibility to grow spiritually through the perception and application of Bible doctrine. Your spiritual life is your unseen relationship with God functioning as a part of your Royal Priesthood. Until such time as your spiritual life is developed by consistent study and application of Bible doctrine, you will be unable to fulfill your responsibility as a priest. (Ephesians 4:12-15; II Peter 3:18)
Prayer is the grace system of communication with God for the believer. The purpose of prayer is to communicate with our Heavenly Father. God communicates with us through His Word. We communicate with God through prayer. God, therefore, expects all believers to use prayer. We are actually commanded to pray without ceasing, which means to have a consistent prayer life. Prayer can be a powerful weapon in the hands of a believer who knows how to use it. There are correct principles and procedures for praying, and it is important that we learn and use these principles and procedures. (I Thessalonians 5:17; Ephesians 6:18; Philippians 4:6; Hebrews 4:16)
Prayer is for believers only. In order for a person to address God as Father, they must first have a family relationship with Him. This relationship is possible only by placing your faith in Jesus Christ as Savior. Once this relationship exists, the believer has every right to communicate with his or her Heavenly Father. This, of course, is what God wants us to do. (Galatians 3:26; John 1:12)
All prayer is to be directed to the Father, in the name of the Son and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Both Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are praying and making intercession for us, therefore, we direct our prayer to the Father. This is how Jesus taught His disciples to pray. (Matthew 6:9; John 14:13-14; Ephesians 6:18; Hebrews 7:25; Romans 8:26-27)
Long prayers are to be done in private. Public prayer should be short and to the point. The Pharisees were fond of lengthy prayers so that men would see and hear them being “holy”. The Bible says that they already had their reward (being seen of men). When we pray, it should be done in private to God. (Matthew 6:5-7)
There is an order for prayer. The first item of our prayer should always be to name or admit our sins, if necessary, using the Rebound Technique. This restores the control of the Holy Spirit and fellowship with God. The believer is now in a position to be heard by God. This should be another encouragement to keep “short accounts” (name your sins immediately) with God. (I John 1:9; Psalm 66:18)
Secondly, we should give thanks for the spiritual and material blessings that God has graciously given to us. This includes divine discipline and divine guidance. We should then pray for others (intercessory prayer). This means we must know the needs of others, which would necessitate an up-to-date prayer list. Prayer for the unbeliever is primarily for their salvation. Since God does not force a person to believe in Christ, our prayer should be, that they will hear a clear Gospel message. We could also pray that God would provide us the opportunity to present the Gospel. (Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:28; Ephesians 6:18; James 5:15-16)
Finally, you should pray for your own needs (petition). Remember that there are some things that you don’t have to pray about. For example, we are commanded to be filled with (controlled by) the Holy Spirit. We are controlled by the Holy Spirit when we have used the Rebound Technique of naming or admitting our sins to God, and we are executing the Christian Way of Life. So we don’t have to pray, “Fill me with your Holy Spirit”, which would show our lack of knowledge of God’s Word and is an insult to God. If there is not a direct solution to your need in the Scriptures, then take it to God in prayer. (Philippians 4:6)
The number one reason our prayers are not heard by God is what the Bible calls carnality (controlled by the sin nature). Carnality may take various forms in the life of the believer. Any sin removes our fellowship with God and the control (filling) of the Holy Spirit and this keeps our prayers from being heard. (Ephesians 6:18) Lack of faith hinders our prayers. (Matthew 18:19; 21:22; Mark 11:24) Selfishness and lack of compassion are sins that keep our prayers from being heard. (James 4:2-3; Proverbs 21:13) Lack of peace in our marriages hinders our prayer life. (I Peter 3:7) Arrogance or asking for things that are against God’s will keep our prayers from being heard or not answered. (Job 35:12-13; I John 5:14) Lack of obedience keeps our prayers from being heard. (I John 3:22) Putting out a fleece, which means asking God to give you a sign as a confirmation that He wants you do a certain thing, keeps God from answering your requests. (Judges 6)
Prayer should always be to thank God for His blessings, petition Him on the behalf of others and ask for help in doing His perfect will. Prayer is not a problem-solving device where God magically solves all of our problems with a “wave of His magic wand.” God has given us the ability to solve our own problems by using the Bible doctrine in our souls under the control and with the power of the Holy Spirit.
Problem-Solving Devices encompass every aspect of the Christian Way of Life; the victorious life that God has planned for every believer. The Problem-Solving Devices are to be used as a system of problem solving for every Christian, regardless of their stage of spiritual growth. In other words, no one ever outgrows the need to use ALL ten problem-solving devices. Depending on the problem to be solved, the believer may use one or several of the devices simultaneously as the solution to any of life’s challenges. When learned, believed and APPLIED, this system will stabilize, sustain, empower, and liberate the believer. Consistent utilization of the system will advance the believer far beyond what he can imagine, to a lifestyle of a relaxed mental attitude toward circumstances, toward self, toward others and most importantly, toward God.
A perfect God has a perfect plan for you. It is God’s desire that every believer live a happy, successful, victorious life. All the solutions to life’s problems are wrapped up in the Problem-Solving Device System. God knew everything that would ever happen to each one of us, and made provision for each challenge. From the Rebound recovery system and the control of the Holy Spirit to Occupation with Christ, God did not forget to provide us with all the necessary tools to glorify Him. The question is whether or not we will choose to use these tools. No one, not even God, can force you to tap into this divine system. However, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you have access to God’s power system and operating in it is the only way you will ever experience true happiness while on this earth. You can live your life outside of God’s will and still go to heaven, but what an opportunity you will have missed! I want to encourage you to choose the lifestyle that God offers you, which leads to blessing in time and in eternity. (Isaiah 30:18; Matthew 6:33; II Thessalonians 1:11-12; I Peter 3:18)