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A city at peace is a city at ease – with nothing to prove and no need to fight.

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6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!
    “May they be secure who love you!
7 Peace be within your walls
    and security within your towers!”

 

Shalom – the Hebrew word for peace – carries the meaning of harmony, wholeness, prosperity, and welfare. This concept is more than civil rest – it’s the hope for complete security within and a genuine flourishing from standing at ease. David’s prayer for peace begins within the city walls and extends to the watchtowers. He desires Jerusalem to be at peace on all sides – both the people dwelling inside and those standing guard.

Jerusalem literally means city of peace. In today’s section of the psalm, it’s as if David is saying, “pray for the peace within the city of peace,” which begs the questions, if Jerusalem is a city of peace, why must we pray for peace? Well, although Jerusalem was named for peace, this city has been wrought with turmoil from its beginnings and continued to be a hotbed of religious, racial and economic tension. David, the author of Psalm 122, is remembered for slaying ten thousands as he lead military endeavors. Then, when he steps into leadership his vision and prayer for this city is simply: peace.

A city at peace is a city at ease – with nothing to prove and no need to fight. When clenched fists come down and swords are put away, peace can begin to dwell again. This is true of the church, too. When we know we’re forgiven, we can be secure to let go of tension. When we know our fight is not against flesh and blood, we can to put away the need to fight one another. Then peace begins to dwell among us. Then church can become a sanctuary – a sacred place where many can find refuge and rest from the turmoil of life. As we read Psalm 122, let’s not only pray for peace in the holy land but also for peace within the body of Christ. Just as David prays for the city of peace to live up to it’s name, let’s pray for the body of Christ to be the body of Christ.

 

4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.
5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;
6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
– Philippians 4:4-7

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By Yvonne Biel 

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