“Priestly Prayer”: Is It Prayer?

by Julie T.

I recently received forwarded information on how to do “Priestly Prayer.” The formula for Priestly Prayer is:

  1. Declare your identity in Christ. A partial example of this given in the material: “We proclaim to the spiritual realm that we are the redeemed children of Father God … I, [first name] have a special authority entrusted to me as head of the [last name] family, and [spouse and] I claim my/our role(s) as priests of the order of Melchizedek, in the royal priesthood of Jesus.”
  2. Apply the Sacrifice. A partial example of this given in the material: “We plead the blood of Christ over our family [names of family members], over the houses they dwell in, over the cars they ride in, over the places where they work, over any items they engage with such as computers, TVs, books, and so forth. We claim the promise that the blood of Jesus was shed for their sins as well as any dwellings and objects tainted by sin. In the name of Jesus and his delegated authority, we appropriate His sacrifice and blood to cover and wash away all of their sins …”
  3. Bind and Loose. A partial example from the material: “In the name of Jesus, we renounce any claim by any evil spirit that might have been made because of generational sin or agreements. We break any attachments to dwellings, cars, or objects in the family members’ care. These claims are broken because any sin has been atoned for by the blood of Christ. Since you no longer have a rightful claim, you no longer have a valid reason to be in their mindset, and we cast you out … As head of the family, I [first name], in the name of Jesus forbid you to influence the physical realm or be aware of anything in the physical world which might impair their safety. I forbid you to cause any harm or endanger them in any way …”
  4. Bless. A partial example from the material: “Holy Spirit manifest yourself in the hearts of each member of the family. Bestow the gifts of peace, forgiveness, healing, mercy, purity, joy, faithfulness, kindness, patience, and most of all love. We bless each one with a loving heart and a heart for Jesus. We bless them with safety and health …”

I urge my fellow Christians to not get caught up in “decreeing and declaring” prayers such as these that are in use by prosperity teachers, word of faith teachers, and other movements that have deviated from Biblical truth. If you look at the prayers Jesus prayed and the apostles’ teaching on prayer, you will not find the style of prayer described above.

Here is a link with a few sample prayers to get you started on looking at Biblical prayer:

https://www.learnreligions.com/new-testament-prayers-701356

Do you notice that the first part of the suggested “Priestly Prayer” outline above is “declaring your identity to the heavenly realms”? You should be talking to God when you pray; this is basically encouraging you to view your prayer time as speaking to angels and demons as well. You don’t need to tell God who you are; he already knows. Notice that in the Lord Jesus’ model prayer for us, we are to start with who God is and praising Him (“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,” Matthew 6:9b) — not with ourselves.

We do not need to verbally “apply the blood of Jesus” to locations or items. I don’t see Christ or the apostles modeling this. We rejoice that Jesus’ sacrifice once for all is enough to save our souls! We have no guarantees of safety or success in any given location or in any situation, but all believers’ souls are safe with him. If you get caught up in praying over every item of your home, etc., this can become a form of spiritual bondage, where you feel you have to say the right incantations over all the various items in your home or all activities of the day or you won’t be protected from evil or hard circumstances. Yes, ask the Lord for his help and protection, but know it is always “not my will, but thine.” Rest in His goodness and sovereignty.

We don’t need to “release” the power of God. He is our sovereign Lord who is free to do His will.

The suggested prayer contains a section on binding demons. This section is not a prayer (which is talking to our Heavenly Father). This is talking to demons — which may at times be needed as modeled by Jesus when he encountered obviously possessed people, but it’s not prayer.

Included with the “Priestly Prayer” outline is this comment: “Have fun, experiment, and pray expectantly!”

This handout echoes Brad Jersak, Charles Kraft, and other authors who encourage you to “experiment” and see what works when it comes to interacting with angels and demons. But we don’t have the luxury of inventing our own spiritual truth or experimenting to find out what seems to work. The spiritual realm is something we are not supposed to experiment with, just like we don’t want our kids to experiment with sex or drugs to find out what “works” for them. There’s real danger there, and God’s word teaches us not to try to communicate with evil spirits — with the exception of casting out demons from people who are possessed.

In the “Bless” section of the suggested prayer format, it says, “We bless each one with a loving heart and a heart for Jesus. We bless them with safety and health,” etc. You should pray for your children and teach them His ways, but you don’t actually have the power to force them to become saved through your declarations. God doesn’t force people to choose Him; you won’t be able to bless a heart for Jesus into your children. You also cannot bring safety and health into being through your declarations. This is a popular doctrine with word of faith and prosperity teachers — don’t get sucked in. Again, it becomes a form of spiritual bondage and deception; when anything going wrong in your life must be your own fault because you didn’t “release” enough of God’s power in your life or “bless” people and things the way you should have.  Your mind can get muddled because you are trying so hard to convince yourself that the things you “claimed” from the Lord really are coming; you’re just waiting on your “breakthrough” (that is always just around the corner but never seems to come).

Prayer is good, and there is some good in these prayers — the blessing sections have some beautiful Scriptures and beautiful requests of God. But there’s quite a bit that is off-base. Prosperity teachings and word of faith teachings are popular because they appeal to something we all want … we want to feel we have more control than we really have … but I encourage Christians to look into this more and compare it with God’s word.

To be clear — I do think we should pray! But we should let God’s word be our guide for how to do it. Most of this “Priestly Prayer” is not actually prayer (talking to God) – it’s mostly talking to other spirits. Is it possible that this is a clever technique of the devil to stop Christians from actually praying? Just get them to do something else and call it prayer?

I do think we should meditate on Scriptures that teach us what our identity in Christ is. We have so much to praise and thank God for. But that is different from announcing our own authority and presence to any angels and demons around — something I don’t see taught in the Bible.

I do think we should pray for our families! We should talk to God about all our concerns. We should ask God for his help, his blessings, etc. But don’t get fooled into thinking that you “using your authority” and proclaiming things has the power to make them happen. The focus should stay on God’s power and praying according to His will.

The Fighting for the Faith podcast has published a helpful talk on “Decreeing and Declaring.” This touches on some of the same points and includes examples of false teachers using this technique.

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