Praying Within the Veil
By Joseph Chambers
When The Son Of God died on the cross, the great veil separating the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies was rent from top to bottom. Nothing that physically happened that day has more meaning than this awesome fact. “Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent” (Matthew 27:50-51). The veil protected the place of intimacy with God Himself. It was the place where God’s Shekinah descended and men could literally commune with God in person.
In the Book of Acts, the New Testament Church understood what had happened and lived in this new glory of praying within the veil that Jesus Christ had established. The priests in the temple were out of business, but a new ecclesia had been birthed by a new covenant. At Pentecost they were endued with power not only to pray within the veil but to minister in power to convict and convert. A saint of God that learns the authority of prayer that Christ has provided will become an intercessor to move God and man.
Let’s try to grasp this incredible truth. Apostle Paul spoke of this in his letter to the Hebrews, “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh” (Hebrews 10:19-20). There are two words that you must understand. One is the word “Holiest,” which is the same word as “Holy of Holies” or the sacred place behind the veil where only the High Priest could go once each year. The other word is “veil,” which was the great curtain that separated the Holy of Holies from all other sacred ministry. The picture is of the very presence of God that we can enter only by the veil, which is the exalted person Jesus Christ.
Where is this new “Holy of Holies?” It is the great temple in Heaven of which Solomon’s temple was built after the same pattern. This is where the Son of God is seated, except when He stands to intercede to His Father. “Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man” (Hebrews 8:1-2). If you can grasp it, we are invited through Jesus Christ, the veil, to sit together in this holiest of all places to commune and fellowship with God.
The Scripture plainly teaches that this new Holy of Holies took the place of the Old Testament temple, “The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing” (Hebrews 9:8). This is fellowship and prayer that will prepare men and women to truly represent the Kingdom of God in this world.
The Ephesians were told, “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4-6). The saints of old called this kind of praying and interceding “praying through!” I spent my first years in a Classical Pentecostal church, where the Pastor would regularly ask, “Have you prayed through today?”
I remember coming to the church as a teenager looking for a place to pray. The building was locked, so, I went down to the furnace room that was entered only by an outside door (1953 or 1954). I was so low in spirit that I could not reach up and touch the bottom, but I fell on my knees and prayed. After a good amount of time, my soul was lifted in spirit to a sacred realm and refreshed. When I left that old cold stoker furnace room, I could not reach the top from above. I had prayed through. I learned as a boy never to quit praying, if possible, until you prayed through.
It is Christ that literally sits in this Heavenly place and we, as His body, are invited by the Holy Spirit to enter into this “holiest” of places with Him. We have no need to go there in the flesh as the priest did under the old covenant. Jesus Christ, our Head, is there and we simply rest in Him and go there only in spirit and faith. We are invited, “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering” (Hebrews 10:22-23).
This kind of prayer life demands a walk of Holiness. “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:14). The soul of each of us must be purified and then we are ready to serve the living Christ in power. This life is a divine life that floods the heart and mind with hope. “Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the VEIL; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec” (Hebrews 6:19-20).
There is no joy to match a prayer life that consumes your soul. The power of such a prayer life is the call of every saint as we watch our world on a downward spiral. I challenge you to join together with all the praying family of God.
Joseph R. Chambers