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

Prayer is such a vital part of our spiritual life. We see this evident throughout Scriptures—from Isaac’s servant praying for success in finding his master a wife, to Hannah’s heartfelt prayer for a son, to the three young men in the fiery furnace who boldly prayed for God to rescue them, to the model prayer that Jesus taught his followers.

And like most of us, you probably come before God with a list—either mentally or written—of those people or needs that you want to include in your prayers. And if we are truthful about our prayer life, we frequently gloss over the needs and concerns of others so that we can get to those items of most importance to us—our own needs.

But here in Psalm 122, we see David, the psalm writer, urging his readers to pray not for themselves, not for a family member, but for an entire city—Jerusalem. He wasn’t seeking out his own peace and prosperity; he was praying for his brothers and sisters living there, that they would prosper, that they would experience peace.

And why did David urge his readers to pray for Jerusalem? You might imagine that David was seeking peace for Jerusalem so that his job as king of Israel would be easier. What leader wouldn’t want peace within his country, his city, or town? But that was not the motivation behind David’s prayer.

Rather, he was praying for the peace of Jerusalem for the sake of his “brothers and friends,” and “For the sake of the house of the Lord our God.” David’s concern was for others, and ultimately, for God’s reputation and for God’s glory to be reflected to Israel’s neighbors and enemies.

Part of Jews’ daily prayer, the Amidah, pleads:  “Return to Your city, Jerusalem in mercy, and establish Yourself there as you promised,” and “Blessed are you Lord, builder of Jerusalem.” Like David’s prayer, the focus is on God and asking Him to return to Jerusalem as He has promised—for His name’s sake.

We covet your prayers for Jerusalem, for Israel, and for her people. And we trust that as you pray on behalf of others, your prayers will ultimately bring glory to God.

For more lessons on the godly men of the Bible, please download our free devotional booklet, A Man of Faith.

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