Psalm 122:6 – Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. (KJV)
Some of us need reminding about things, especially when it comes to praying for others. It's easy to remember our own needs over those of others, and especially over those who are not so close to home. Recently, my husband found a photo of Jerusalem while reading their international newspaper online. He configured our computer's mouse so we could change the monitor's "wallpaper" by a right click, and he selected a picture showing the city of Jerusalem. Now it is there all day long as a reminder to me to pray for Jerusalem.
Never before has there been a greater need to pray for peace in this Holy Land. We know by biblical prophecy that war cannot be averted forever; but when that happens is in the Lord's hands. We do know that we are told to pray for Jerusalem. The reward is great: "they shall prosper that love [Jerusalem]."
But how can we elaborate on our prayer, other than to say, "Send peace, Lord"? Under the old covenant, peace offerings were given as an assurance to Israel of the grace of God and His continuing mercy and fellowship with them. This was the only way the Hebrew children could know God's grace before Christ. Then when the angels came to Bethlehem to announce the new-born King, they spoke forth for all eternity: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men." (Luke 2:14) Since then, mankind has had the opportunity to know the peace that lasts forever.
The Hebrew word for peace is "shalom", and it means "wholeness". We have all had many reasons to need God's peace. We need to be whole, as our world needs the same. We don't always know how to pray for it, but we can know the simple way of turning to God once we know Christ. My own life was a shambles before I experienced the healing of my emotions and God's peace that followed. Now I have an ongoing relationship with the Saviour. No matter what might come my way, I know The Way and I can turn to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Peace talks seldom get the job done. Jerusalem can only know peace as a nation in the way that a Christian can know peace individually. We so often need to have the peace that comes when we can finally turn our cares over to the Lord. Then He becomes our Lord. Jesus will be Lord over His kingdom here on earth one day and at that time Jerusalem will have the one, true peace. For now, our best prayer is to pray for the salvation of souls in all of Israel and beyond.
We need to pray for the peace of Jerusalem in the same way we might pray for ourselves, our families, friends and nation. Let us pray that God's will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Let us pray for the Holy Spirit to bring souls to Christ and His righteousness. Let us pray for shalom throughout the whole earth.
John 14:27 – Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (KJV)
Prayer: Lord, we pray for the peace of the world, for peace in Jerusalem and for peace in our own nation. Bring peace to our hearts in troublesome times and help us to remember to pray for the peace of those around us. In Jesus' name. Amen.