For the Sake of the House of the Lord

by Janet Sketchley (reprinted with permission from May 18, 2011)

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May those who love you be secure. May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.” For the sake of my family and friends, I will say, “Peace be within you.” For the sake of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek your prosperity” (Psalm 122:6-9, NIV).

This psalm always reminds me to pray for Jerusalem—for Israel—for God’s chosen people to recognize their Messiah, and for peace in their land.

Today I noticed it’s one of the songs of ascents the people would sing as they journeyed to Jerusalem for the prescribed feasts. They were coming to worship, and this lets me see their prayer of blessing from a different perspective: it’s not patriotism, they’re blessing the Holy City because of the Temple at its heart.

What about my own church? I pray for individuals when I know of a need, and sometimes I pray for the congregation as a whole, for vision or attitude. I pray for our church leaders and events.

But I’m challenged to pray after the pattern of Psalm 122 for my congregation today, for those who love my segment of the Body of Christ. For unity, for peace, “for the sake of the house of the LORD our God.”

Lord of Heaven and Earth, thank You for making a way for all people to come to You in worship. You’re building us into a living temple, and we need to have that same care for the Body of Christ that the Israelites had for the physical Temple. Help us intercede for one another. Grant us peace, security, prosperity…as You define them, and for Your glory.


Janet Sketchley

Janet is a Canadian writer whose passion is fiction. Her unpublished novel, Praying for the Enemy, was short-listed for the 2008 Best New Canadian Christian Author Award. She’s also a wife, mom, daughter, friend, neighbour… trying to balance relationships and responsibilities, and learning how faith applies to real life. Add that to her quirky imagination and love of fiction, and you get stories about everyday women in suspenseful situations discovering more strength than they would have imagined.

Janet writes weekly book reviews and devotionals at her blog, “God With Us: Finding Joy”, and a quarterly fiction column in FellowScript.

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