Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
Default article daily reflection

Pray for peace in Jerusalem. May all who love this city prosper.

Psalms 122:6

It seems sadly ironic that Psalm 122:6 is still just as relevant today as it was when it was written about three millennia ago. If anything, the peace of Jerusalem is even more fragile and more essential to the well-being of the world than it was when David first composed the simple instruction: “Pray for peace in Jerusalem” (122:6). What happens in Jerusalem impacts not just that city and its surroundings, not only the people who have a claim upon it, not only the major religions who consider it holy, but also the peace of the whole Middle East and therefore the whole world.

Almost inevitably, contemporary exhortations to pray for the peace of Jerusalem come laden with political theories about how this ought to happen. Because people differ so profoundly about what should happen in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, prayers for the peace of Jerusalem often create conflict among potential intercessors. Over the years, I’ve found myself in contexts where praying for Jerusalem implied a strong pro-Israeli approach. And I’ve found myself in situations where prayers for Jerusalem take on a distinctively pro-Palestinian flavor.

All of us are entitled to our opinions about what ought to happen in Jerusalem and the Middle East. But it seems that praying for the peace of Jerusalem should allow us to find common ground, relationally and spiritually, even if not politically and strategically. You and I can have strongly held and diametrically opposed views about Middle East policy. But when we come together to pray, we come on our knees. In humility, we acknowledge God’s ultimate sovereignty and wisdom. We surrender to God our agendas, our hopes, our biases, our prejudices. For a moment, we acknowledge the possibility that our personal perspectives just might be wrong. We bring to God our longing for true peace, a peace that necessarily includes justice for all peoples.

To be sure, the debate about the future of Jerusalem will continue. And to be sure, people of goodwill and genuine faith will often differ, passionately so. But if we can come together on our knees to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, not only will God hear our prayers and act upon them in his wisdom, but also we might just find a sanctuary of common yearning, a holy place in which to discuss our ideas with mutual respect and charity.


Do you regularly pray for the peace of Jerusalem? Why or why not? Do you think it’s possible for people with differing political views to join together in prayer in a way that is respectful and kind?


First of all, Gracious God, this psalm reminds me to pray for peace in Jerusalem. And so I do. May the hostilities in this city cease. May those who live in fear find genuine comfort. May those in power continually and truly seek your ways.

As an American, I pray especially for the role our nation plays in the Middle East. Grant our leaders supernatural wisdom so they might find ways to reduce the conflict in that area and help its people find true peace and justice.

I must confess, O Lord, that praying for peace in Jerusalem seems almost foolish. How can a place of such historic conflict find peace? Yet I pray, not because it makes sense to me, but because I seek to honor and obey you. Besides, who but you could bring peace to Jerusalem?

The day will come when you will bring peace to that city. In the day of the new Jerusalem, you will dwell among us, and you will wipe away every tear from every eye. Death, sorrow, crying, and pain will be over. How I long for that day! May the peace of your kingdom come, on earth, as it is in heaven. Amen.

Note: This reflection was originally published in 2014.