One Year Bible: II Samuel 22:21-23:23, Acts 2:1-47; Psalm 122:1-9; Proverbs 16:19-20
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.”
Why should I pray for the peace and prosperity of a city that is not even in my country? My goodness, I have enough to worry about in my own community much less one that’s clear across the ocean! And why should Jerusalem get singled out for special attention? What about London or Moscow or Pretoria or Sao Paolo? Aren’t those cities important to God?
Well yes, those cities are important to God—all cities are! But Jerusalem is special. It’s special because God chose it as the physical place that would house his uncontainable presence. He selected the land of Canaan as the place where his people would live, Jerusalem to be the city where his temple would be constructed, and the sanctuary of that temple would serve as the central location for his people to worship him.
And even though there is no longer a temple, it is very clear from Scripture that Jerusalem has a prominent place in God’s grand plan for the eternal ages, where once again, Jerusalem will be the central place in the entire universe, in all creation, where redeemed beings will gather to worship Almighty God.
I think that is reason enough to love Jerusalem. That is plenty of motivation to pray for the city above all others. Since Jerusalem factors significantly with the people and purpose of God, I will go out of my way to be protective of it. (Psalm 122:8) And since it once housed the Great House of God, and one day will again, I will do what I can to contribute to its prosperity. (Psalm 122:9)
Perhaps you have never been to Jerusalem, and maybe you don’t give the city much thought. I want to challenge you to rethink that—on both levels. Do what you can to go there—make plans to go there at least once in your life. And in the meantime, consciously pay more attention to its goings on, keep your eye out for news about it, attend functions in support of it, and most of all, pray for it!
Do all that, and sooner of later, you will fall in love, like I have, with a city. There’s no place like it!
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, lift up your gates and sing
Hosanna, in the highest, hosanna to the king.
“If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill.”
~Jewish Exiles In Babylon