Around the Word in 365 Days, by Linda Sommer

How to Pray for Others

2 Chronicles 30:1-31:21 God has made us kings and priests unto God (Rev. 1:6). Because we are kings and priests, it is helpful to look into the Old Testament to see what the early priests did. We need to know how they ministered to the people and exactly what their office as priest required. The good news is that we can be even more effective as priests than the priests of the early days. We now have a high priest, Jesus Christ, who through His blood shed on the cross has given us boldness to enter into the holy of holies to find grace whenever we have a need.

With the office of priest come both great privileges and great responsibilities. One of the greatest privileges the priest had in the early days was to pray for and bless others. We also have that same privilege. In this passage we learn several ways in which the priests fulfilled their function as intercessors for the people:

1. The priests had to sanctify themselves (30:15).

2. The priests sanctified the people by sprinkling the blood (30:16-17).

3. The priests pardoned the people (30:18).

4. The priests each had a special task to fulfill in the temple (31:2).

As priests who intercede for God's people we fulfill the function of priest when we:

1. Sanctify ourselves through God's Word (John 17:17).

2. Sanctify the people by sharing God's Word with them (John 17:8, 16-21).

3. Pardon the people by remitting their sins (John 20:21-23).

4. Fulfill our office faithfully in the body of Christ.

Our major responsibility as priests is to abide in Christ's love and His Word. It is the Word of God that causes us to be sanctified (set apart from the world to do service for God). We also have the responsibility to pray for those that we see who are in sin. Listen carefully to these words in 1 John 5:16: "If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it" (KJV).

The only sin we cannot remit in another person's life is the sin of rejection of Jesus Christ. We cannot absolve another person from this sin. If we had that power, a person's free will to choose Christ would be dissolved. We can, however, fervently pray for that person's salvation.

Lord, give me the grace to faithfully fulfill the office of priest You have given me. Help me to continually abide in Your Word and Your love.

READ: 2 Chronicles 30:1-31:21; Romans 15:1-22; Psalm 15:1-11; Proverbs 20:13-15

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