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“Pass through, pass through the gates! Prepare the way for the people. Build up, build up the highway! Remove the stones. Raise a banner for the nations”.
Isa 62:10 NIV
Three world religions regard Jerusalem as a holy city for their faith, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. This has tended to make it a “world city” more than most other cities of a similar size. But in Old Testament times, five centuries before Christ, it was jealously treasured as the city for God’s people, the Israelites. The prophets of the Old Testament were mostly fiercely nationalistic and encouraged attitudes suggesting that God favored the Israelites above all other people.
“Finally, in words from earlier in his prophecy, Isaiah calls upon his people to enter the holy city. Earlier the call was to return from exile. Now it is to enter the New Jerusalem. ‘The Highway’ is the great ramp running along the city wall up to each gate, like Bethlehem Road leading up to Jaffa Gate on the west side of the Old City of Jerusalem today. A ‘banner’ or ensign is to be raised as a rallying point for Israel and the nations. The whole earth will hear about the ‘salvation’ (or ‘victory’) of Zion, and the Lord’s marvelous ‘reward’ or ‘recompense’” (J.F.A. Sawyer, Daily Study Bible, Isaiah, p193).
Today Israelis gather at the Wailing Wall, part of the old temple to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and many other things on their hearts. People of other faiths join them and so maintain the custom. It means that Jerusalem is soaked in prayer! Christians should ask God to let his peace pervade the city. They should treasure the Christian sites and ask that war will never again mar or desecrate this special city.
Lord, may your name be worshipped in Jerusalem and all other cities.
PRAYER OF INTERCESSION
Lord, I pray today for those people who have lost all faith and have given up hope in you. Cause circumstances to change in such a way that they will rethink their position. Help them to meet people who will understand them and the dilemma they face. Grant that a spark of grace will rekindle faith within them. I ask it in the name of Jesus. AMEN
2 Timothy 4:1–8
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