Why We Should Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem

Praying Through the Bible #69

TEXT: Psalm 122

There are many reasons why we as Christians have a special regard for the land of Israel. The land of Israel is the birthplace of our faith. Most of the writers of the Bible lived at some time in the land of Israel. And, at this time of year, we remember that Jesus Christ was born in the land of Israel in the little town of Bethlehem.

The passage that we are looking at today is a call to prayer for the city of Jerusalem, the capital of Israel. Most scholars agree that this psalm was written by David, the first king of Israel, who established the city of Jerusalem as the capital of the nation.

In this psalm, we are specifically called to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” The Hebrew word for peace is “shalom”. It is often used as a greeting in Israel. It is interesting to note that the name Jerusalem means “teaching of peace.” Ironically, Jerusalem has been anything but peaceful from Bible times until now. David took the city from the Canaanites who lived there, after that, it has been ruled by the Babylonians, the Persians, the Romans, the Muslims, the Turks, the British, the Jordanians, and now, it is back in the hands of the Jewish people. But the status of the city is still contested. Palestine says it wants Jerusalem for its capital, and many nations of the world have yet to recognize Jerusalem as the official, permanent capital of Israel.

Today, the call to pray for the peace of Jerusalem is more relevant than ever. This city, which was meant to be an example of peace — a teaching of peace — to the world, is in need of prayers from the rest of the world for its peace.

Of course, Psalm 122 was not written to a Christian audience. But, today, I want us to look at three reasons why we as Christians ought to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

1. We ought to pray for the peace of Jerusalem because it is a place of God’s special presence. David says in verse 1, “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.” When David captured the city of Jerusalem and made it the capital of Israel, one of the things he was eager to do was bring the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant, which symbolized the presence of God, into the city.

2. We ought to pray for the peace of Jerusalem because it is a place of God’s special power. Verse 5 of this passage states, “For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David.” The word “thrones” denotes political power or judgment. Today, we sometimes refer to the building where government officials meet or the city where that building is located as “the seat of government.” The “seat” of government is representative of that nation’s power. David’s throne was of course literally set in Jerusalem, thus it was the seat of government for the nation of Israel. God invested power in David and his descendants to rule from Jerusalem.

3. We ought to pray for the peace of Jerusalem because it is the place of God’s special people. In verse 8, David says, “For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee.” David promises to pray for the people who live in Jerusalem and who come to Jerusalem regularly. As a king, he asks God for peace for the sake of the children of Israel. We ought to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and specifically for peace for the children of Israel.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s