There is frequent talk in evangelical circles about the need to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. This idea is taken from Psalm 122. “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.” Psalm 122:6. Christians are told by evangelical preachers that if they love and support and pray for the modern state of Israel they will be greatly blessed. I agree with praying for the peace of Jerusalem. The problem is that most people are praying for the wrong Jerusalem.

The Jerusalem in Psalm 122 has this characteristic: “For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David.” Psalm 122:5. Is there a Jerusalem that satisfies this requirement? Certainly the city in the Middle East does not have those thrones, but there is another Jerusalem. “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” Revelation 21:2. Also, the apostle Paul wrote, “But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.” Galatians 4:26. Paul also wrote about the existing city in the Middle East, which is the old Jerusalem: “For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.” Galatians 4:25. The old Jerusalem is in bondage; the new Jerusalem is free. Paul then says. “So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.” Galatians 4:31. The children of the old Jerusalem are in bondage because they do not believe in Jesus Christ. Jesus said of them, “Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” John 5:45-47.

Jesus taught us how to pray in the Lord’s Prayer. “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:9-10. We are to pray for the coming of God’s Kingdom. The new Jerusalem is at the center of God’s Kingdom. It is the city of the Great King. Jesus Christ shall rule over the entire world from the new Jerusalem. “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.” Revelation 11:15. There is a great day coming. We should pray for the coming of that day when Jesus Christ returns to rule the world.

Abraham looked for the coming of the new Jerusalem, and we should follow his example. “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Hebrews 11:8-10.

Jesus did not pray for the old Jerusalem. He prayed for the people who will live in the new Jerusalem – his disciples. He said. “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.” John 17:9. He also said, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” John 17:20-21. He prayed for us when He was on earth and He still intercedes for us before God the Father. “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:25.

Do we pray for the old Jerusalem, the bond woman, or do we pray for the coming of the new Jerusalem, our princess mother? Jesus taught us how to pray. Pray for the city that will bring peace to the world.