Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem

It’s a commandment.

Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem
Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem

While we were in Israel I was very aware of the presence of guns and the need to be vigilant against sudden violence. In the place where we live a lot of people own hunting rifles which are kept carefully locked up outside of hunting season, but I don’t know anyone who carries a weapon designed to shoot people, other than police. We don’t see many soldiers in these parts, and certainly we don’t see teenagers in shorts and flip-flops patrolling the community with automatic weapons slung over their shoulders like we saw at a kibbutz.

I don’t live in a place with concrete walls and barbed wire or big red signs in three languages that forbid other ethnicities from entering an area with threats to their lives if they use that road. I don’t know what it’s like to find out, like our guide did the day before he showed us around the site of the temple where Samuel was a boy, that my teenage daughter was standing next to a neighbour at the bus stop when someone passing by suddenly turned and stabbed him to death. The unarmed thirty-year old father of five died in front of her simply for his ethnicity. She was seeing a counselor at school the next day while some websites extolled the killer as a hero. I don’t know what it’s like to be a Christian living in Bethlehem, like another one of our guides, caught in the crossfire between warring factions and being worried about how to feed and protect my family. I don’t know what it is like to stand in the hot sun for hours waiting for someone to give approval that will allow me to simply go to my job. I don’t pretend to have any comprehension of the depth of the complexities of the conflict.

All I know is that I am told to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. So I do.

So many people say there is no solution. So few are asking God for His solution -and I do believe He has one.  His ways are not our ways and our ways are not His ways. When we come to the end of our own efforts and humbly pray I do believe He will answer. He has a plan for eternal peace. He has a plan to heal the land.

12 thoughts on “Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem

    1. It rather startled me as well, but the children seemed to be accustomed to it. It is common for a class of children on a field trip to parts of Jerusalem to be accompanied by armed guards.

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  1. Reblogged this on Charis: Subject to Change and commented:

    I am re-posting this today. This was written over a year ago, but it is even more important today. I don’t know what it is like to be on either side and have bombs aimed at me, but I do know what it is like to be pushed into a place of desperation and see God answer prayer in response to our pleas.

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  2. Very good points! As I watch the missiles and resulting destruction on the news every day, I thank God that I live in peaceful Barbados where no-one worries about bombs dropping on top of their houses or losing loved ones to shrapnel. But I do know what it’s like to live in an emotionally explosive war-torn state, where venomous words slice into your body, trying to suffocate the life out of you. Yet the best part is that like you, I acknowledge that out of places of desperation come God’s answers to our pleas. Let’s pray for Jerusalem … now. Thanks for re-posting.

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  3. “For He is our peace, who made both groups one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility…so that He might create in Himself one new man from the two, resulting in peace” (Eph. 2:14-15). God ended human hostility at the cross. When I pray for the peace of Jerusalem, I pray people will know and embrace the cross by the Spirit. I pray we will repent and live in Him where there is no Jew or Greek (or Arab) but ” Christ is all and in all” (Col. 3:11).

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    1. You are right, Teague.
      I was reluctant to say more about Christ being the answer because I understand that many people will react to the introduction of another “religion” when religion has already caused so much pain. I have seen and experienced spiritual abuse and understand that the ugliness of manipulation and the abuse of power is the only Christianity many people have seen.

      Ghandi once said, “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ.”

      I grieve for a church that sometimes makes me feel ashamed and that I hesitate to say “Jesus is the answer” because I know that for far too many that statement carries connotations that have nothing to do with who Jesus Christ is. I contend that much of institutional Christianity has stopped actively listening to God and replaced the necessity of following Holy Spirit’s leading with constructs that, although not false in themselves, serve to form barriers between people. The end result is a “them and us” mentality within Christendom itself that is as divisive as lobbing missiles over concrete walls in Israel. This is the spirit of anti-Christ, not Christ.

      This needs to change. That’s what repentance means -changing our thinking to align with God’s.

      Jesus Christ came to break every barrier down. We will not be able to adequately communicate His love for the world until we start listening to Him and moving to reconcile our own differences. When the world can say, “Behold how they love one another,” we will see the fruit of repentance.

      “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” (Eph.2:13-22)

      Thank you for provoking me to examine the reasons for my fear of speaking up.

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  4. Thanks for your wonderful post. And for re-posting it, as I did not see it originally. I hope you don’t mind, but I’m re-blogging it on my site. I’ve wanted to say something about this, but it’s so hard to say. Thank you for saying it so well.

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  5. Reblogged this on Though I Fall and commented:
    This is only the second time I have reblogged something from another person’s blog. It just seems so appropriate to me. Not only timely, but so well-said. To quote Proverbs 15:23, “a word in season – how good it is.”

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