Q. Occasionally I hear preachers and others telling us to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” How can this be right or even possible in our age, with the coming tribulation period, the time of Jacob’s trouble?

A. This instruction comes from Psalm 122. Verse 6 reads, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May they prosper who love you.’” I think of several reasons for doing so today. First, God loves Israel and His Chosen People, even though they haven’t acknowledged Him. Someday they will. Second, we are in effect praying for the personal salvation of Jews, which brings true peace (Romans 5:1). Third, we are acknowledging God’s grace in His eternal covenant with the Jews (Psalm 105:8–11). Fourth, we pray this even for our own benefit! Note the words, “May they prosper who love you.” This promise goes along with Genesis 12:3: “I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you.” Fifth, we are in effect longingly praying for the Lord’s return (2 Timothy 4:8), since this will finally bring peace to Jerusalem. Last, Israel’s enemies today are evil and mighty.

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