No Right of Access

This pastoral passage was first written for LRBC on November 9 2014.

Recently, my young adults Bible study group looked at the role that priests had in the Old Testament. The priests maintained the separation between the ‘holiness’ of God and the ‘commonness’ of the people. They also acted as mediators between God and his people.

Mediation by sacrifice was required for the people to meet God. This can be easy for us to overlook. Often we are (rightly) told that God loves his people and is always ready to hear them when they pray to him. But it is important to remember that access to God is not something we can ever presume a right to have. The reason that we have God’s ear is only because Christ is our ‘Great High Priest’ – our Mediator (Hebrews 4:14; 1Timothy 2:5) who has undone our separation from God (Ephesians 2:18; Colossians 1:21-22). That is why Christians pray in Jesus’ name. He has given us the privilege to come before God as his sons and daughters and have our requests acknowledged by him. Through Jesus, we can approach God’s throne “with confidence . . . so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). This teaches us two things. First, that it is an undeserved gift to be able to speak to God, but second, that it is also something we may do with confidence.

How might these two things change the way you pray?