IMG 4671Praying for the Peace of Jerusalem

Especially when you are going to be there!

Psalm 122 (ESV)
A Song of Ascents. Of David. 1 I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go to the house of the Lord!" 2 Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem! 3 Jerusalem-built as a city that is bound firmly together, 4 to which the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, as was decreed for Israel, to give thanks to the name of the Lord. 5 There thrones for judgment were set, the thrones of the house of David. 6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! "May they be secure who love you! 7 Peace be within your walls and security within your towers!" 8 For my brothers and companions' sake I will say, "Peace be within you!" 9 For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your good.

In David's writing above, you can see in verse 6 that he coins the phrase: "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!"
In his admonition to all of his contemporary and future readers... there is a great appreciation not only for what Jerusalem stood for, but also for peace.

David was the one anointed to be the first king of an everlasting dynasty;  he saw first hand how important it was to pray for that Kingdom that was being set up in the 7 hills of Jerusalem.   It would soon be the focal point for the worship of God, as his son Solomon would be building a temple to welcome the presence of God's glory ....and then his son (over the generations) Jesus who would literally bring the glory of God to earth through the incarnation.

But Peace....that is what is so illusive.

Solomon was able to enjoy a peaceful season, but that was not the case for the future generations.  So many struggled with peace with neighboring countries; everyone struggles with inner peace.

As our group embarks on a trip to that ancient city,  pray for God's PEACE to abound.

1.  Pray for peace between the in country factions between those who identify as  Israelis and those who identify as Palestinians
2.  Pray for peace with the neighbors  (as Jews and Muslim Countries do not all share the same world and life views)
3.  Pray for peace to be generated within the hearts of those traveling with our "adding Color to the Black and White Pages of Scripture"
4.  Join with the angels who shared the news of Jesus' arrival at Bethlehem:  

Luke 2:13-14 (ESV)
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!"

Peace is both the absence of conflict displayed (points 1 and 2). Peace is also the fruit which the Spirit of God brings (See Galatians 5:22)

Our request is that God would bless each participant with a wow-moment that is a fresh encounter with our savior.
As we spend time walking in the exact foot steps of Christ around Sea of Galilee and later in lower Judah (in Bethlehem and Jerusalem), pray that the messages that he proclaimed there through his speeches and through is conduct, may resonate in each of hearts.

Praying for peace/safety while we are there is also desired, as it is our plan to return the whole group in tact!

This text also has a continuing implied eschatology, as was anticipated by those before Jesus' arrival.  This prayer for peace solicits us us to look forward in the present tense to a time when the Prince of Peace will rule and reign...not only in our hearts.

Isaiah 9:2-7 (ESV)
2 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone. 3 You have multiplied the nation; you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as they are glad when they divide the spoil. 4 For the yoke of his burden, and the staff for his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. 5 For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire. 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

We eagerly request your intercessory praying each day....through the one who has secured an everlasting peace with our sovereign God....
Through Jesus...our PEACE!