David Bast

Read: Psalm 122

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! (v. 6)

To get to the temple, the worshipers had to climb. That was a simple fact of geography. The city of Jerusalem is set in the hill country of Judea. So traveling there, especially by the main road that goes up from Jericho in the Jordan River valley, meant a literal ascent, a long uphill hike. Try to picture that road, swollen with pilgrims on the eve of a festival. Imagine them straining to catch the first glimpse of the holy city, singing these songs to make the last weary miles go faster. And then, there it is. Jerusalem at last! What a sight!

Scripture often has multiple layers of meaning. Take “Jerusalem,” for example. Literally, it was, and still is, a city on the map. But the city also represents God’s dwelling place on earth, where God was known and worshiped. Then symbolically, Jerusalem or Zion is the City of God, standing for all the people of God in all ages of the world who belong to the Lord. Finally, the eschatological meaning: the heavenly Jerusalem (Revelation 21-22) represents the new creation and the world to come.

So how do we pray for the peace of Jerusalem? We do that literally, of course, praying for peace in the Middle East. But we also pray for the peace of the church, for the blessing and security of all who love the Lord. And we pray ultimately for the coming of the promised new creation, when God’s salvation is finished and his kingdom is complete. —David Bast

As you pray, intercede for the peace of Jerusalem—in every sense.