Praying for Peace
I remember helping out at Junior week camp early in my Christian walk and one of the things that stands out most is the prayer circles at the end of the day. As we gathered, we would share with one another concerns, cares and needs to be brought before God in prayer. We continue to do this in many of our gatherings even today. We ask if there are any needs or special requests for prayers. But these seem to be centered on ourselves and those we have an interest in. What more should we pray for? I believe we see from God’s word that we have things He would have us pray for.
What has God requested we pray for? There are many, but I would like to focus on Psalm 122. David, in his inspiration by God refers to the great things of Jerusalem; most prominent is ‘the house of the Lord’. He was glad when they said “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” It was a place where the tribes of Israel went as an ordinance, or regulation to give thanks to the Lord. He goes on to say in vs. 6 to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. I have heard that request and that prayer offered even in current times and we should pray for peace for Paul’s writings are filled with his desire that we be at peace with “all men” (Cf. Romans 12:18, Hebrews 12:14). But why did God, through David make this request? I believe we find the answer in verses 8 and 9, in that it was for the sake of family and friends and for the sake of the house of the Lord. God’s house, for the people of Israel, began in the tabernacle and Solomon changed that in having the temple built providing a permanent dwelling place for God. Did God always dwell there? No, for we read of the captivities of Israel and the destruction of the temple in Israel’s rebellion. Peace only existed when God’s people followed and served Him. And when they failed God turned His face from them (dare I say He vacated the temple) and war and oppression soon followed.
Friends, today God lives within His children (John 14:23), His church… Today let’s pray for the peace for God’s current home, His Church!
Copyright © 2004, Nolan P. Rutter