Praying for the Peace of Jerusalem
“I rejoiced with those who said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord.’ Our feet are standing in your gates, Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is built like a city that is compacted together. That is where the tribes go up-the tribes of the Lord-to praise the name of the Lord according to the statute given to Israel. There stand the thrones for judgment, the thrones of the house of David.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ’May those who love you be secure. May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.’ For the sake of my family and friends, I will say, ‘Peace be within you.’ For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your prosperity.” Psalm 122 (NIV)
The Israelites fleeing Egypt had never known freedom. Yahweh gave them instructions during their sojourn on how to live free. Keeping designated annual festivals of celebration to worship the Lord was included. Throughout its history, the people of Israel continued to hold these celebrations and rejoiced together as they traveled up to Jerusalem by singing Songs of Ascent. Psalm 122 is a Song of Ascent created by David, and it encompasses the excitement and longing for the spiritual connection felt in Jerusalem when gathering to worship the Lord. It also contains an acute and prophetic awareness of how sacred and fragile their destination of Jerusalem could be. Consider this: if the land represents the body of this nation, then Jerusalem is its heart.
As followers of Jesus, our faith also begins and ends in the land of this tiny nation where the Lord revealed Himself through actions, symbols, signs, and sacrifices-even that of His own son! Our Savior, Jesus, was born and lived there to fulfill the Biblical types and shadows that pointed out our need for God the Father to love and protect us, redeeming us from our wicked ways. The sacrifice of our Redeemer, God’s own son Jesus, was a completion of the covenant picture painted when Abraham was faithful to obey God and take his son, Isaac, to be sacrificed on Mt. Moriah. (See Genesis 22.) Although God stopped Abraham before that sacrifice, in true covenant fashion, the Heavenly Father later allowed the sacrifice there of His Son to bring us eternal freedom from sin’s hold.
The Lord exhorts us in David’s words of Psalm 122 to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, a city whose peace has continually been fleeting in the natural. Going deeper, realize that the battle is also a spiritual one. Today, we see bombs blasting through the sky and hear reports of war’s destruction. It is time to pray for the heart of this nation, interceding for its true peace in Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. Let’s all pray together, “Peace be within you, Jerusalem! Let Peace pour through you to a hurting world! Maranatha!”
[As adapted from The Bondage Breaker and Stomping Out The Darkness by Dr. Neil Anderson and Dr. Dave Park.]