by ANNE GRAHAM LOTZ
“For unto us a Child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over His kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this” (Is. 9:6-7).
As the National Day of Prayer Honorary Chair for 2014, I heard the familiar promise of 2 Chronicles 7:14 frequently invoked: “If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Yet I wondered how many of us, including myself, have earnestly followed through in focused prayer? Are we just mouthing the words or are we truly humbling ourselves and praying and seeking God’s face and repenting of our sin? I have felt deeply convicted that it’s time for you and me to stop talking. It’s time to pray. And repent.
Yet the promise of 2 Chronicles 7:14, that is often quoted as applying to American believers, was originally given to King Solomon to claim on behalf of Jerusalem… Israel. So 3,000 years after that promise was first given, as the Islamic extremists tighten their noose around His Land, as terrorists bombard Israel with rockets, as enemies threaten God’s people with annihilation, once again it’s time to stop talking and to start praying. Not just for our people and our land, but for Jerusalem and all that she symbolizes: His Land, His people.
Actually, in Psalm 122:6-7, we are commanded, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May those who love you be secure. May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.” Yet as I have attempted to obey, I have sensed my faith to believe God for the answer has been small. Because peace treaties are continually broken. Negotiations beween enemies keep unraveling. No sooner is a cessation in hostilities declared than it is shattered by another missile strike.
And then it has dawned on me. There will be no permanent peace and safety for Jerusalem until the Prince of Peace Himself comes to establish His reign on earth. So in effect, when I pray for the peace of Jerusalem, what I am really praying for is not the terms of a treaty. I’m not praying for an independent Palestinian state or the Muslims’ recognition of Israel’s right to exist. What I’m really praying for is the return of Jesus. Yeshua. Israel’s Messiah. The Prince of Peace.
So I’m on my knees, praying for the peace of Jerusalem. Even so, come Lord Jesus.