Without doubt, the above verse is one of the most famous and frequently quoted verses when it comes to prayer for Israel and Jerusalem. In the next few blog entries, I would like to dig deeper into the meaning of the verse in order for us to better understand it. While many people see this verse as an emotional, somewhat romantic supplication to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem”, one needs to truly understand the reason that we are told to ask or to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
Being a follower of Yeshua, the Promised Messiah, is a great honor and privilege. And with honor and privilege comes great responsibility, as we are God’s ambassadors on this earth. Note that this verse doesn’t begin with the word “when you want” or “If you want” to pray for the peace of Jerusalem; rather, it begins with a command, “Ask (Pray)”. These words are written in the present tense, which means that we are to pray continually for the peace of Jerusalem.
The first reason that we are to ask for the peace of Jerusalem is because it is God’s city, the capitol of His Kingdom, the place where He chose to put His name:
“‘But to his son I will give one tribe, that My servant David may have a lamp always before Me in Jerusalem, the city where I have chosen for Myself to put My name.” 1 Kings 11:36
As followers of God, we are to care for the things of God, and put them first in our lives. Jerusalem, as the verse states, is not just any city, but the City in which God chooses to shine His light, the only city which God chose for Himself, and the city on which God has chosen to put His name. This in itself ought to be a good enough reason for us to desire peace in this special place!
As we are in the midst of some very special times here in Israel, the High Holy Days, this is a time for self-reflection in our lives, and a great opportunity to examine areas in which we’ve fallen short, repent from them, and turn back to God. I want to encourage all of us to reflect upon the importance of Jerusalem in our own lives, and make a commitment to continually ask (pray) for the Peace of Jerusalem.
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