Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Are We Praying for the Wrong Thing?

The Minor Prophets Speak To Today

Praying For A Wrong Thing

Zechariah 12:1-3 NLT


12 This message concerning the fate of Israel came from the Lord: “This message is from the Lord, who stretched out the heavens, laid the foundations of the earth, and formed the human spirit. I will make Jerusalem like an intoxicating drink that makes the nearby nations stagger when they send their armies to besiege Jerusalem and Judah.On that day I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock. All the nations will gather against it to try to move it, but they will only hurt themselves.

Pray for Peace in Jerusalem


Warren Wiersbe says:

"The name 'Jerusalem' means 'foundation of peace,' and yet the city has been a center of conflict for centuries. If we understand biblical prophecy correctly, there can be no peace in Jerusalem or on earth until the Prince of Peace reigns on David's throne (Isa 9:6-7; Luke 2:26-33). So when we pray for the peace of Jerusalem, we are actually praying, 'May your Kingdom come' (Matt 6:10)."

Amidst some of the errors I learned as a child, this one thing I always believed. Praying for the peace of Jerusalem means praying, "Thy Kingdom come?"

Imagine my shock when God took me back to Psalm 122 and revealed to me the tectonic shift that has occurred regarding the majority of the "pray peace for Jerusalem" crowd's motives for pumping out this prayer and standing politically firm for the safety of the current Jewish nation which includes Jerusalem - personal prosperity!

Yes, this scripture has been highjacked by the modern error called the Prosperity Gospel. It has been highjacked as a means to pray for our selfish pursuits. Our personal or national "kingdom" come not God's Kingdom as the motivation. It has become a prayer against the fulfillment of prophecy and for sparing themselves from the tribulations that must come before Jerusalem's peace comes.

Pray for peace in Jerusalem.
    May all who love this city prosper.
O Jerusalem, may there be peace within your walls
    and prosperity in your palaces.
For the sake of my family and friends, I will say,
    “May you have peace.”
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
    I will seek what is best for you, O Jerusalem. (from Psalm 122)

Praying for the peace of Jerusalem has a place when set back into its scriptural context. Zechariah itself is full of God's love for Jerusalem and God's determination to do whatever it takes to bring about the repentance that must precede that peace. But, do you know what kind of events you are praying to come to pass? Are you praying for the ultimate peace but committing yourself to prevent the interim steps ordered by God?

Prophecy Is Filled with What Events Will Happen First

Zechariah 12 fills in some the pieces of the picture. Many other passages do the same. But for today's question from God, this passage sets the tone.

I will make Jerusalem like an intoxicating drink that makes the nearby nations stagger when they send their armies to besiege Jerusalem and Judah.

On that day I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock. All the nations will gather against it to try to move it, but they will only hurt themselves.

The United States, most of Europe, and most evangelical christians are working their behinds off to prevent this prophecy from being fulfilled. They have appointed themselves Israel's (and, therefore, Jerusalem's) guardians and protectors. This is especially true in regards to preventing the hostility of the nearby nations and the Islamic religionists who wish to invade Israel and conquer Jerusalem.

But this siege of Jerusalem and Judah by the neighboring armies and, if the New Testament be true, armies from the far north and east must happen. The rest of Zechariah and the other prophecies concerning Israel and Jerusalem must happen before peace will finally come.

God has a lot of intervention in human affairs before the prayers for the peace of Jerusalem and the coming of his Kingdom are answered.

Praying for Peace but Working to Prevent the Things that Must Come First

Besides oil, what is it that keeps us so deeply involved  politically and militarily in the Middle East?

Shame over our failure to take in the Jews fleeing Nazi Germany and the rest of Europe. Shame over our policies of accommodation that kept us from rushing in to prevent the extermination of the Jews. In fact, our handing over whole countries with hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Jews to Germany while we commanded our militaries to sit idle and watch them be conquered.

We and the world through the United Nations embedded ourselves in the Middle East to ensure the safety of Israel. We watched God destroy her attackers using the weaponry we provided. We watched but did not learn that it is God, not us, who intervened to create that success and set up the purposeful future provocations of Israel's enemies.

Western Christianity did not back off and say, "Let God be God and all else a failure." No, we followed our political leaders with set jaws determined to not let Israel be attacted by such a coalition ever again.

We have socially, militarily, politically, and spiritually set about to prevent the things which must come first. And we are proud of stand against God. We are proud to champion the bully when she violates the laws and graces of the very God we serve.

We are the ones who bring shame on the name of Christ in the name of protecting Israel from prophecy.

Are We Praying the Wrong Thing

When you examine what you mean when you pray for the peace of Jerusalem, when God sees the picture in your head of what that means for the events of today, for your pet projects and political stances, are you praying the wrong thing?

Maybe you are praying against scripture. Maybe your prayers seek to stop the fulfillment of the prophecies that must happen before the Jews will turn from their stubborn nationalism to worshipping the King of Kings, the True and Only Messiah, Jesus Christ.

Let our prayers be wrong. Let them go unanswered!

Let God be God and do it his way.

May prophecy be fulfilled.

So that your Kingdom may come. Amen!

Photo Credits:
Lightning at Ayers Rock by
Jerusalem by Cycling Man some rights reserved @

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