Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May those who love you be secure.” — Psalm 122:6
Prayer in Judaism is defined as “the work of the heart,” which profoundly changes the nature of prayer from one of entreating God to an act that transforms who we are – not what God does. Our devotions throughout this month are focused on different facets of prayer and what lessons we can learn about the power of our prayers. For more inspirational teachings about prayer, download our free booklet, The Work of the Heart.
“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem” is one of the most famous lines from the Psalms. It has been made into songs; it is said as a prayer by millions around the world. Most of us understand how badly Jerusalem – whose very name comes from the word shalom, peace – needs our prayers for the peace that has eluded her for over two thousand years. However, what many of us don’t realize is that when we pray for Jerusalem, we are essentially praying for ourselves.
It has been said that whatever happens in Israel will determine the fate of the world. Israel is a country smaller than the state of New Jersey with a population that is less than 0.2% of humanity, yet Israel continues to make world headlines daily. That’s because Israel is at the epicenter of the war between good and evil, peace and terror. So whatever happens in Jerusalem is bound to affect the rest of the world.
Spiritually speaking, this makes perfect sense. Jewish tradition teaches that when God made the world, creation began in Jerusalem. This is where everything began, and it is also where everything will end. Mount Moriah in Jerusalem is the place that Jacob called “the house of God . . . the gate of heaven” (Genesis 28:17). Jewish sages describe Jerusalem as the heart of the world — and a body is only as healthy as its heart.
This is why the next words in verse 6 of Psalm 122 are: “May those who love you be secure.” Those who love Jerusalem and pray for her peace, bring peace and security upon themselves. Only when Jerusalem is secure can we hope to find our security for ourselves.
Have you prayed for the peace of Jerusalem today? I cannot think of a more important prayer. Pray for Jerusalem today and every day, because if we can heal the heart of the world, the rest of the body will follow. Heal Jerusalem, and we will heal the world.