SHOULD WE PRAY FOR THE PEACE OF JERUSALEM?
by Shawn Brasseaux
Some well-meaning Christians—including a few confused “dispensationalists”—press us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. They use the book of Psalms: “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee” (Psalm 122:6). These sincere brethren claim that if we pray for peace to come to Jerusalem, then that will make Jesus Christ come back to Earth quicker. Is this a sound way of looking at Psalm 122:6? To the Scriptures we go, beloved!
Let me tell you right now, upfront, first and foremost. I am not an anti-Semitic Christian. I do not hate Jews. When I study my Bible as a whole, and not just a verse here and there, I see no reason for you or I to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. I cannot make God do something He is not doing. You, friend, cannot make God do something He is not doing. No one on Earth can make God do something He is not doing. Probably for the last 2000 years, Christians have been praying for the peace of Jerusalem, and yet, there is still no peace today in Jerusalem. Far from it! Great civil unrest exists in Jerusalem amongst Jews, Christians, Muslims, Arabs, and Palestinians. That ought to tell us that we cannot make God do something He is not doing. If we have been praying for something for decades—yea, centuries—and nothing has happened, the only logical conclusion is that we must be praying outside of God’s will for this dispensation.
Remember, the day is coming when there will be peace in Jerusalem. That is the purpose of the Antichrist, the false Messiah. He will bring a false peace treaty to light in Israel and the Middle East. Daniel 11:21 explains how this Antichrist figure will originate: “And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.” He will be an over-complimentary character, slowly conniving his way into the Middle-Eastern governmental structures. Consider 1 Thessalonians chapter 5: “ But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.  For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.  For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” We certainly do not want to pray for the peace of Jerusalem in the Dispensation of Grace. Why? We would be praying for the revelation of the Antichrist! (The Antichrist has to come and usher in false peace before Jesus Christ, “the Prince of Peace,” can come and usher in true peace [Isaiah 9:6-7]).
Actually, Israel has no national status before God today. That startles many people—especially denominationalists—when they hear it, but it is true. Israel has no special relationship with JEHOVAH. She had such a relationship in the past but it is suspended in this the Dispensation of Grace. Paul’s epistles are very clear about that. We would have to ignore the Pauline epistles to conclude that Israel is still the chosen people of God, the nation God calls “My people.” Romans chapter 11 is plain if we are willing to let it say what it says: “ I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.  Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?  For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.  As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.”
People who urge us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, they are not rightly dividing the Word of God as 2 Timothy 2:15 instructs. They do not understand prophecy versus mystery. God is not operating Israel’s program today. We cannot rush Him to continue prophecy. He is operating the mystery program. In His own time, Jesus Christ will return. He is not presently coming to establish Israel’s earthly kingdom. This will change one day, but not today, not while God is forming the Church the Body of Christ. God is focused today on impacting the governments of heaven for His glory. God formed the Body of Christ to influence the heavenly places:
- Ephesians 1:3: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:”
- Ephesians 1:20-23: “ Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,  Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:  And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,  Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.”
- Ephesians 2:6-7: “ And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:  That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”
- Ephesians 3:10: “To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,”
- Ephesians 4:8-10: “ Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.  (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?  He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)”
- Ephesians 6:12: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [heavenly] places.”
Once our Dispensation of Grace ends, and Israel’s prophetic program resumes, Israel’s believing remnant most definitely should pray for the peace of Jerusalem. After all, they are praying for Jesus Christ’s Second Coming and the destruction of the evil Antichrist who will be reigning during the seven-year Tribulation (Daniel’s 70th week). The context of Psalm 122 is Jesus Christ’s literal, physical, visible earthly kingdom. In the so-called “Lord’s Prayer,” we read in Matthew chapter 6: “ Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” During those final seven years, the Tribulation period, Israel’s Little Flock is to pray for deliverance, for Satan’s reign on Earth to end and for God’s reign on Earth to begin. (For more information, at the end of this study, you may see the article we have linked, “Should we pray ‘The Lord’s Prayer?’”)
Never once did our Apostle Paul in his epistles, Romans through Philemon, instruct us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Why? That is not what God the Holy Spirit is doing today! Friend, you need to pray in accordance with God’s will, not misquoting Bible verses and repeating them to God all corrupted and muddled up. That is how religion encourages you to pray. Just name whatever you want and claim it as so, and God will give it to you. No, prayer is always about what God is doing, not about what we want God to do. If you want to see and pray for what God is doing today, see what our Apostle Paul prayed and by faith go pray for that. (For more information, you can see our study linked at the end, “How should I pray? What is ‘Pauline’ prayer?”) Friend, you will save yourself a lot of wasted time and heartache. Prayer is talking to God in light about what He is doing, not about manipulating Him to do whatever we want Him to do.
Certainly, peace will come to Jerusalem one day. There will be a false Messiah (Antichrist) first, followed by the true Messiah (the Lord Jesus Christ). That is God’s purpose and program with Israel. We need not be troubled by it. We need not worry about it. Let us read all of the Bible, Genesis through Revelation, but let us remember that Romans through Philemon are the program and the doctrine that Father God currently has in effect. We are living in the mystery program, certainly not to be confused with the prophetic program of Israel. Let us not be distracted by claiming Israel’s verses and promises and making them part of our prayer life. That is sure to bring about unanswerable confusion and misery.