Five Reasons to Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem
by Dr. Mitch Glaser
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May they prosper who love you.
May peace be within your walls,
and prosperity within your palaces.”
For the sake of my brothers and my friends,
I will now say, “May peace be within you.”
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
I will seek your good.
(Psalm 122:6–9 NASB)
As we near the end of days, it is important that we keep a watchful eye on Jerusalem as prophecy unfolds. However, our higher priority should be to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, as Psalm 122 exhorts the reader.
Below are five reasons why we should pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
We should take Scripture literally unless we have strong reason to believe that the writers are using some type of metaphor or grammatical device causing us to seek a different meaning for the words used. Psalm 122 is all about a literal Jerusalem—the current capital of Israel and future capital of Messiah’s kingdom. This is the spiritual home of the Jewish people, where the Temple stood and where sacrifices and worship took place after it was built under King Solomon’s reign.
We should take this Psalm literally and enjoy the blessings of God’s word as we obey what He actually said and not the meanings we personally attach to it.
The city of Jerusalem holds a prominent place in the Bible. The word “Jerusalem” occurs 806 times in the Bible, 660 times in the Old Testament and 146 times in the New Testament; additional references to the city occur as synonyms.
In 2 Samuel 7, the Lord speaks to David through the prophet Nathan. God tells David that He would build a dynasty of Jewish kings from his descendants and that, along with a palace for David, the Lord would also one day build a house for Himself (1 Kings 8:11). There would be a more permanent home for the Ark of the Covenant and a place that would become the center of Israel’s worship and national identity—all of which would be located in the city of Jerusalem.
Ultimately, Jerusalem would become the capital of David’s everlasting kingdom when the Messiah Himself rules on His rightful throne in a renewed and restored Jerusalem at His second coming. And when His kingdom promises to Israel are fulfilled, a new Jerusalem will come down from heaven and will be the eternal home for all who believe and worship the Lord Yeshua.
As the apostle John writes, “And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper” (Revelation 21:10–11).
When we pray for the peace of Jerusalem, we are praying for the end of terror and missile attacks, the end of the hostility that exists between Israelis and Palestinians, and the return of the Messiah. Perhaps most importantly, we are asking for the Lord to bring personal peace to those who live in the Holy Land by accepting the Prince of Peace, Yeshua, as their Messiah and Lord. “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful” (John 14:27).
The root of the Hebrew term used for prosper is “shalvah”, which can easily be translated as “put at ease” or to “quiet.” The prosperity described in Psalm 122 is therefore a quality of soul and life, enabling those who love Jerusalem to enjoy a similar personal peace as enjoyed by God’s chosen city. We can enjoy at a personal level what Jerusalem enjoys communally. Shalom and shalvah have a similar impact on us; peace, ease of soul, quietness of heart, etc. This may be linked to the promise of God in Genesis 12:3, where those who bless Israel will be blessed.
If we bless Israel then we are participating in bringing God’s promises to the Jewish people, which directly impacts the Gentiles, as Israel was chosen to bless the Gentiles and be a bridge of redemption to a broken and sinful world.
When we bless rather than curse the Jewish people, we are engaged with God’s plan for world redemption. Praying for the peace of Jerusalem is, in reality, praying for Jesus to return, as the ultimate peace we long for will only come when He takes His rightful throne in Jerusalem and reigns forever (Matthew 23:37, Romans 11:11–29, Revelation 11:15). Therefore, sharing the gospel with Jewish people enables a Gentile believer in Jesus to bring God’s ultimate blessings to His chosen people.
Praying for the peace of Jerusalem is a way of asking God to implant His peace in the hearts of both Jews and Gentiles by personally accepting the Prince of Peace as Lord of their lives…now! May they prosper who love you….
The Psalmist tells us that love is and should be the motivation for their prayers for God’s holy city. In other words, if you love Jerusalem then you will pray for Jerusalem.
Knowing the reward is not the reason for prayer or blessing the Jewish people. Our love for Jerusalem and the Jewish people is the motivation for our prayers and blessing. And the reason so many followers of Yeshua, both Jews and Gentiles, love the Jewish people, the nation of Israel, and the city of Jerusalem is because they love the God who created the nation of Israel and love the Messiah of Israel. You cannot possibly love Jesus and not love His chosen people…and this love leads to prayer and blessing, which brings blessing and peace to the believer.
Dr. Mitch Glaser is the president of Chosen People Ministries and a founding member of the Alliance for the Peace of Jerusalem. He has also authored and co-authored numerous books, including “Israel, the Church, and the Middle East: A Biblical Response to the Current Conflict.”
 There is a variant reading of this text, as some Hebrew manuscripts insert the term “oholeha,” meaning tents instead of love. The difference hinges on the way the ancient scribes copied one Hebrew letter—either a “bet” (b), leading to the term for love, or “lamedh” (l) leading to tents. If the scribes preferred “tents” over “love” for one reason or another (as it may have been either a choice or a mistake), the translation of the passage would read as follows: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May prosperity be within your tents. May peace be within your walls, And prosperity within your palaces. This would also flow well because Hebrew poetry was written in parallelism. However, the word love still has primary manuscript support for the right choice of word. The Septuagint uses the word for love in the Greek text, which is another point of evidence as well. These are difficult issues that will probably only be solved in heaven!