Note: This is a repost of an article from January 2015.
In late 2014, upon seeing pictures of an Appeal to Heaven flag being waved over the plains of Nineveh—the location of the first known transforming revival—I was extremely excited. I quickly sent the picture to one of my friends whose immediate response was, "Our prayers have tapped into the root of awakening in the earth." For the past year, connecting my personal testimony with the profound history pertaining to our nation's founding, I have been rallying the church to make "an appeal to heaven."
In the midst of dismal circumstances, countless believers have responded to this call. Based on what the Holy Spirit spoke to my friend, I believe the appeals to heaven have been heard and we are now moving into the next phase of this new era—a Third Great Awakening that will impact the world!
We must be mindful, however, that successfully stepping into a new season calls for inquiring of the Lord concerning what we must do differently. Change will be necessary in order to come into proper alignment with the season, preparing us for what He wants to release to us and through us in this kairos time. One of the things I hear the Lord saying is that in this new season, we must pray differently.
Keys for Kingly Intercession
Isaiah 22:22 and Matthew 16:18-19 are essential passages of Scripture for shifting into this new aspect of prayer. Both mention "keys" as a way to illustrate the believer's authority in the spirit realm. These keys are indispensable tools God is highlighting for igniting a prayer movement that will bring about a righteous turnaround in this nation.
"The key of the house of David I will lay on his shoulder. Then he shall open, and no one shall shut. And he shall shut, and no one shall open" (Is. 22:22).
"And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven" (Matt. 16:18-19).
Using our authority to open and close spiritual doors is an aspect of prayer I sometimes refer to as "kingly intercession." My understanding of this facet of prayer, which I will also call "governmental intercession," began with an unusual comment made to me by a prophet in the late 1980s and culminated with a statement the Lord made to me in 2002.
"God is going to bring the church into the fresh age of the Melchizedek order, and you will be a part of initiating it," declared the prophet. I had no idea what this meant. Fast-forward approximately 15 years to October 2002. I was praying for America, primarily concerning the judicial system, when I heard the Holy Spirit say, "You will fully shift the government of America when the prayer movement fully shifts from priestly intercession only, to kingly intercession as well." Suddenly, I remembered what the prophet had said to me years ago. And finally I understood "the fresh age of the Melchizedek order." Grasping this revelation will expand our understanding of governmental or kingly intercession.
Understanding the Melchizedek Order
Melchizedek was first mentioned in Genesis 14, again in Psalm 110, and then once more in the book of Hebrews. He was a "type" or picture of Jesus in several ways, one of which was that he was both a king and a priest. At the time, this was unheard of. Zechariah 6:13, a messianic verse describing Christ, refers to Him in His King-Priest role, "Thus, He will be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between the two offices" (emphasis added).
The function of a king was to rule, representing God's authority to people; the role of priests was to serve, representing the people to God. As our High Priest, Jesus represents our needs and desires to God. As the King, Christ represents and releases the rule, authority and will of God from heaven to earth. His kingly role is God-centered, while His priestly responsibility is human-centered; one releases power and authority (king), the other love, mercy and grace (priest). The priestly role is petition or intercession-oriented; the kingly role is declarative, decreeing God's word and will.
As co-laborers, partners with and representatives of Jesus Christ, we have become extensions of His King-Priest role. Most Christians, though they may or may not think of it as priestly activity, realize that we are to offer up worship and prayer (petitions) from earth to heaven.
Almost none, however, have understanding or involvement in God's plan concerning our kingly representation of Christ (decrees). We are not only priests, we are a "royal (kingly) priesthood" (1 Pet. 2:9), who have been given the keys of kingdom authority in which to bind and loose, forbid and allow, close and open.
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