“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May they prosper who love you! Peace be within your walls and security within your towers!’ For my brothers and companions’ sake, I will now say, ‘Peace be within you.’ Because of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your good” (Ps. 122:6-9).
In our last article, we looked at the dangers that the Jewish people and Jerusalem face nearly every day. There are terrorist threats and national threats, both near and far, against the very existence of God’s people.
How do we pray for the peace of Jerusalem? The Hebrew word translated as “peace” is shalom. We tend to think of the English word “peace” as referring to the absence of war, but the meaning is much deeper. It literally means “wholeness,” referring to prosperity, health and happiness. It can mean “to mend broken things.”
When we pray for the peace of Jerusalem, we still want to pray for the absence of war. However, we are also praying for the broken things to be mended. Not only do we want the absence of war, but we also want to see love between different people groups in the city. While God is always capable of preventing war, we also want Him to heal the underlying hatred that causes these radicals to want to hurt God’s people.
We should pray for Jerusalem to see booming prosperity as it pertains to the city’s infrastructure, economy and innovation. We want the Jewish people to dwell in wholeness so that every aspect of their lives has wholeness. However, there is an even deeper reason to pray for these items, and it involves our Savior.
Many people from all over the world visit Jerusalem. If the city is prosperous and safe, then more people will be encouraged to visit. We want to pray for people to experience Jesus when they visit the city, no matter their background. He was crucified just outside the city gates (Heb. 13:12).
There are also archeological digs in and around Jerusalem. Every year, these digs yield archeological evidence that affirm the truth of God’s Word. There are also digs revealing more about the specific details surrounding Jesus’ arrest, death, burial and resurrection. These discoveries will help us reach a dying and lost world as the Lord’s return draws near.
Today, I encourage you to take the time to pray for shalom or peace for Jerusalem. When we see the city in greater distress, let our prayers be offered in greater intensity. Pray for the city to be whole and the world to be reached for Jesus through it.
Kelly McDonald Jr.is an ordained evangelist at Hungry Hearts Ministries in Jackson, Tennessee. He has written over 40 books and booklets on pursing Christ, Hebrew roots and end-times prophecy. He is currently president of the Bible Sabbath Association (BSA). You can follow him at kellymcdonaldjr.com.
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