Pray for Jerusalem

We do it because God invites us.  We can visualize the interest of the King in this piece of real estate and our own residential stake in the future Jerusalem. There is much to peace that people do not want to manage either mentally or physically, and that is why Jerusalem has no peace.  People stuck in their traditions will be the last to become courageous heroes. We pray and use our voices to light up the dark corners where evil hits the airwaves dressed up a strength and goodness.

Traditions dominate Islam and Judaism. There are patriarchal practices, purely human traditions (like everyone else on the planet), tribal heritages, social norms (some of which are the subject of revision by Moses, the Lord, and the prophets) and statutes and judgments picked up over time. The fact that Islam guts the Jewish traditions with Arab views, and Christians will not accept any adjusting of what Moses wrote (as Islam does) afirms that there is no people of the Book because there is no “book”.

Jews do not even bother to try to convert Gentiles using television and radio as Christians and Muslims do. If either of these communities of believers had a rock solid foundation there would never be any amendments or adjustments to belief or practice.

Marketing in East Jerusalem

The Israeli PM is no king.  His political base, the supposed zealots of Yahweh’s ways, has been unable to secure a majority among the religious coalitions, after four elections in two years.  A more illegitimate government head is hard to find on the planet. A PM who fails to accept the Jerusalem for all people indicated by Abraham’s fatherhood, by David’s songs and actions, by the prophets’ messages, by the embedding of the chosen people in Babylon and Persia, by the domination of Judah by Greece and Rome. It is too plain to be missed. Discrimination of the worst kind – genocidal- makes an alien practice of stopping those bent on spilling more innocent blood in Jerusalem. It is already abundantly clear that banning Gentiles from the holy city is an abomibable practice.

Pray for eyes to see why

He who has ears will hear. He who has eyes will see. People absorbed in their own identity to the detriment of all other peoples can hardly be depended on to do justice, love mercy, and walking humbly was ditched every time Yahweh engineered a rescue from hostile hands. Yes, let us pray for Jerusalem to have her peace; she cannot keep forever missing her dates. No, we cannot be silent about the atrocities happening in settlements and curfews and expropriation of land legitimately owed by Palestinians. Christians are not a rubberstamp for bad actors anywhere. If you had to choose between an American cop or an Israeli cop would you not go copless? Pray for Jerusalem, you’ll be living there soon, believer.

As the Tide Turns


Thus says the Lord: He who stays in this city shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence, but he who goes out to the Chaldeans shall live. He shall have his life as a prize of war, and live. 

Jeremiah 38:4-5

Then the officials said to the king, Let this man be put to death, for he is weakening the hands of the soldiers who are left in this city, and the hands of all the people, by speaking such words to them. For this man is not seeking the welfare of this people, but their harm.  King Zedekiah said, Behold, he is in your hands, for the king can do nothing against you. 


So they took Jeremiah and cast him into the cistern of Malchiah, the king’s son, which was in the court of the guard, letting Jeremiah down by ropes. And there was no water in the cistern, but only mud, and Jeremiah sank in the mud.  

RESCUED BY AN ETHIOPIAN. Jeremiah 38:7-13 [his name means king’s (melek) servant (servant) and eunuch indicates a job title]

When Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, a eunuch who was in the king’s house, heard that they had put Jeremiah into the cistern—the king was sitting in the Benjamin Gate— Ebed-melech went from the king’s house and said to the king, My lord the king, these men have done evil in all that they did to Jeremiah the prophet by casting him into the cistern, and he will die there of hunger, for there is no bread left in the city. 

Thirty Men to Lift Jeremiah from the Dungeon

Then the king commanded Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, Take thirty men with you from here, and lift Jeremiah the prophet out of the cistern before he dies. 

So Ebed-melech took the men with him and went to the house of the king, to a wardrobe in the storehouse, and took from there old rags and worn-out clothes, which he let down to Jeremiah in the cistern by ropes. Then Ebed-melech the Ethiopian said to Jeremiah, Put the rags and clothes between your armpits and the ropes. Jeremiah did so. Then they drew Jeremiah up with ropes and lifted him out of the cistern. And Jeremiah remained in the court of the guard.  


King Zedekiah sent for Jeremiah the prophet and received him at the third entrance of the temple of the Lord. The king said to Jeremiah, I will ask you a question; hide nothing from me. Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, If I tell you, will you not surely put me to death? And if I give you counsel, you will not listen to me. 

KING’S OATH.  As the Lord lives
Then King Zedekiah swore secretly to Jeremiah, As the Lord lives, who made our souls, I will not put you to death or deliver you into the hand of these men who seek your life. 


Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, Thus says the Lord, the God of hosts, the God of Israel: 

  • If you will surrender to the officials of the king of Babylon, then your life shall be spared, and this city shall not be burned with fire, and you and your house shall live. 
  • But if you do not surrender to the officials of the king of Babylon, then this city shall be given into the hand of the Chaldeans, and they shall burn it with fire, and you shall not escape from their hand.


King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, I am afraid of the Judeans who have deserted to the Chaldeans, lest I be handed over to them and they deal cruelly with me. 

Jeremiah said,

You shall not be given to them. Obey now the voice of the Lord in what I say to you, and it shall be well with you, and your life shall be spared. 

People saw Jeremiah as a prophet of doom even though he wept bitterly over the nation’s harlotry and the oncoming judgment.  He was not like Jonah, wanting to see destruction and despising mercy.  The choices are clear.

But if you refuse to surrender, this is the vision which the Lord has shown to me: Behold, all the women left in the house of the king of Judah were being led out to the officials of the king of Babylon and were saying, 

Mocking Jeremiah’s plight

 Your trusted friends have deceived you and prevailed against you; now that your feet are sunk in the mud, they turn away from you.  

Devastating and Certain Consequences

 All your wives and your sons shall be led out to the Chaldeans, and you yourself shall not escape from their hand, but shall be seized by the king of Babylon, and this city shall be burned with fire.

SURRENDER TO BABYLON OR DIE.  [what a thing to say!]

Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, Thus says the Lord, the God of hosts, the God of Israel: If you will surrender to the officials of the king of Babylon, then your life shall be spared, and this city shall not be burned with fire, and you and your house shall live. But if you do not surrender to the officials of the king of Babylon, then this city shall be given into the hand of the Chaldeans, and they shall burn it with fire, and you shall not escape from their hand. 

KING’S SECRET.  Jeremiah 38:24-28

Then Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, Let no one know of these words, and you shall not die. If the officials hear that I have spoken with you and come to you and say to you, Tell us what you said to the king and what the king said to you; hide nothing from us and we will not put you to death, then you shall say to them, I made a humble plea to the king that he would not send me back to the house of Jonathan to die there. 

Then all the officials came to Jeremiah and asked him, and he answered them as the king had instructed him. So they stopped speaking with him, for the conversation had not been overheard. And Jeremiah remained in the court of the guard until the day that Jerusalem was taken.  

The familiar narratives about the security of holy city, and victory over all enemies, and the endurance of the temple are about to undergo a radical twist.  Fire will consume both the city and the temple.  How can the 21st century believer survive if the one voice of reliability – Yeshua, Saviour of the world – is practically silenced and his name is a curse-word?  Hardly.

The Prayers of the Faithful in the Vatican

as I write this many eyes are trained on the Vatican and its attempts to mediate in the Palestinian Problem.  Theologians are most likely longing to hear the prayers of a Christian, a Jew, and a Muslim aimed at finding a solution.  The probability of anyone ever hearing what the three leaders actually say to their God is extremely low.  We can imagine though.  The Vatican Prayers (Vota Vaticana) are an intriguing innovation.  The only avenue of resolution is an appeal to Abraham which would involve each of the leaders to set aside the centuries of jockeying for validity.

Will Pope Francis call on the Father of our Lord Yeshua as Christians are expected to do ?  Will the Israeli President invoke Yahweh of the Sinai Covenant, Abrahamic (land and progeny) covenant, Davidic (monarchy/messianic/dynastic) covenant, or Zionistic (return to Palestine) covenant and promise?  Will the Palestinian President pursue the human rights prospects or the superiority of Islam?  The potholes are huge.

If the prayers are a silent exercise it would seem to defeat the purpose.  These men have declared that they will appeal to a greater power and we have seen what the dependence on a greater power have brought to the Middle East and beyond.  What lies beyond is most likely to be a new centre for the arguments for the future of Jerusalem.  The scariest prospect is the emergence of a new syncretistic expression of the three faiths.  We can expect a announcement that JudaChrislam is born, not as a clearly defined new religion, but as a working model for creating harmony in preparation for the last deception, namely, that mankind can solve spiritual problems without a transparent dependence on God.

We may see Jewish superior claims to Canaan, and an Islamic appeal to variants of the Biblical record of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  It is the Pope who will hold the trump card with the approval of the vast majority of earth’s governments.  All he has to do is decry the inhumanity of the Palestinian problem.  The parties will have to work out something, anything, or all will be seen to be window-dressing and a waste of time.

One cannot fail to see that Islam is heading for a new caliphate, and it will have no respect for Judaism or Christianity.  Islam is the revision of all religions and Mohammed gets the last word.  The rise of ISIS (the Islamic State now pushing up across Iraq and Syria) is a threat to peace.  Pope Francis cannot fail to condemn the violence with which Islam rules.  He must insist on Jerusalem being a citadel of human creativity, co-existence, and freedom.  But how?

The report is that Francis has stressed that he is not seeking to jumpstart peace negotiations, but merely bring the two sides together to pray. He said he had arranged for a rabbi and a Muslim cleric to lead the prayers, along with him. (

The Vota Vaticana are bound to be a personally edifying experience, and we wait to see whether a political pathway emerges, because prayers and votes have always been in tension.  People, even in nations with a strong and even declared religious governance have been unable to decide whether they want a theocracy or a pluralistic and humanistic government and society.  Will Moses’ disciples give way?  Will Muslims agree to a government that is mixed with non-Islamic tenets?

Sinning and hitting the mark are the only two outcomes.  There is no grey area.  Hitting the mark calls for personal honesty, the integrity of each leader’s claims, and an unabashed trust in what is good.  We pray, we hope, but ultimately we will vote.  The presidents have taken an unprecedented step to pray together and it would seem that the prayer leaders will have to package their prayers more to the liking of their partners than to God. God cannot fail.  Humans do.  God cannot be blamed for centuries of hatred and bloodshed or for the failure of men to work together within their differences.

I say let us pray for Jerusalem’s peace and may God have His way in uniting humanity under a banner of honesty, integrity, and trust.  A prayer that focuses on these three ways of life are bound to be a hit.

As I publish this months have passed since the Roman Pontiff and the Presidents of Israel  and the Palestinian Authority met to pray.  However awkward, comical, or self-effacing their prayers may have been I dare not say that the answer to the prayers of the faithful are denied because we see only more hostility and violence between the parties in Canaan.  If the attempts to bring the Palestinian problem to  UN vote is thought to be an answer to prayer one only need listen to the bombast form the Israeli PM and visiting US legislators.  The direction is nowhere!  It is not enough to pray.  Long prayers have been a cloak for abuse, greed, and self-centered pride.  Short prayers also may be shallow and mere words.  What is needed is courageous action.  Funny how those willing to kill for land are afraid to die for peace in the land..  When I say that the faithful will rise from their knees and proclaim their claims inappropriate and that there is an authority beyond their religious enclaves we will see the answer to the prayers of the faith.  Pipedream?  No.  A prayer of  the hopeful.