Prayers for the Peace of Jerusalem

Yael Eckstein  |  November 3, 2022

Peace of Jerusalem rock.14363969

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
    “May those who love you be secure.” — Psalm 122:6

Peace, shalom, is a paramount value for both Christians and Jews. Explore this elusive attribute through my devotions and what we can learn about adding it to our lives, our relationships, and our world.

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem” is one of the most famous lines from all of Psalms. It has been made into songs and it is said as a prayer by millions around the world. Most of us understand how badly Jerusalem needs our prayers for the peace that has eluded her for thousands of years. However, what many of us don’t realize is that when we pray for Jerusalem, we are essentially praying for ourselves. 

The name Jerusalem, Yerushalayim, in Hebrew is made up of two words. Yiru means “you shall see,” and shalayim is a plural form of shalem, meaning “wholeness.” Jerusalem actually means, “You shall see an abundance of wholeness.”

Additionally, shalem, “wholeness,” is from the same root as shalom, Hebrew for “peace.” So, Jerusalem’s name is actually a prophecy of the future, foretelling a time when Jerusalem will be the center of peace and wholeness for the entire world.

The prophet Isaiah said the Temple in Jerusalem to be rebuilt in the future will be “a house of prayer for all nations” (Isaiah 56:7). All nations joining together to worship God in His house is the ultimate expression of peace on earth!

Prayers for the Peace of Jerusalem

A few verses later in Psalm 122, we see that this is exactly what King David meant. He wrote, “For the sake of my family and friends, I will say, ‘Peace be within you.’ For the sake of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek your prosperity” (vv. 8-9).

What did David mean when he said that his prayers for Jerusalem are “For the sake of my family and friends?” The Hebrew for “my family” here is actually achai, which is better translated as “my brothers.” This refers to David’s own people, the nation of Israel. “Friends” refers to those among the nations who worship the God of Israel, who profess love and friendship for the Jewish people.

In other words, prayers for Jerusalem are for all who yearn to worship God in His house and call on His name. Prayers for the peace of Jerusalem are prayers for His kingdom here on earth.

Your Turn:

Jerusalem needs your prayers now more than ever. Let’s raise our voices in asking God to bring shalom to His holy city and that we may merit to see Him bring shalom to the entire world.