Should Christians pray for the Jews?
The Jewish people have been the target of hate campaigns for many centuries. They have yearned for peace but have only seen a lot of their loved ones killed. Preachers try to get people to pray for the Jews and the congregation wonders on why are they are being told that. For some people assume that by the words ‘please pray for the peace of Israel’ means that violence must go away so that the many Christian churches and shrines are spared destruction from terrorists. Well in reality, this goes beyond that for we can’t ignore the Jews living in Israel. We can’t deny their right to life especially in the place where Jesus lived. Nor can we deny their right to life anywhere else on earth.
Christians are sometimes of mixed opinions when they realize that the Jews have often been in trouble after the crucifixion of Jesus. Some wonder are the Jews worth praying for. Some wonder is it consistent with the Bible to pray for a nation and a race that rejected the true Savior of the world who is Jesus Christ our Lord. The thing is that all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God. Besides that there are Christian nations that are ‘Christian’ in name only and practice vile sins such as legalizing prostitution and euthanasia etc. However, there are hardly any questions raised when we are told to pray for such nations. So the fuss about Israel is worthy or not is irrelevant at most.
There are many who feel that the Jews are a ‘gospel resistant’ race who have been avoiding Jesus as their Lord for over two millennia. Now the reality is that not all Jews hated Jesus. In fact the early church at the time of the Apostle Peter mostly consisted of Jews. It was only later that Paul (formerly called Saul) the Apostle to the Gentiles (non Jews) brought in a lot of people from other races and cultures to the Christian faith. Though there’s a huge amount of history as to why the Church at present has mostly Gentile Christians we can’t ignore the fact that Jesus himself as a man was also a Jew! Christianity spread thanks to the Jews who preached about Jesus.
So now does the Bible promote praying for Jews? Yes it does. I’ve put the confirming Bible verses with a few comments. Let’s read:
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. (Psalm 112:6)
Jerusalem is the capital city of Israel where the Jews come from. If a nation’s capital is a peace then the entire nation is more secure. They need to have safety from hostile bombers, tyrants and most importantly from traitors.
Let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you, if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy! (Psalm 137:6)
Here the Psalmist shows that he doesn’t want to forget Jerusalem. When one can speak, then its better to pray for the Jews instead of talking worldly things. It’s odd to forget the place where Jesus walked, even after reading about that in the Bible. For a Christian it would mean that the person didn’t read his/her Bible properly.
Dear brothers, the longing of my heart and my prayer is that the Jewish people might be saved. (Romans 10:1)
The salvation of the Jews is very important. Physical security is a nice thing to have and the only thing that exceeds that is Salvation in which your eternal life is secure. So we must pray that they accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ not by forceful means but by grace of God.
A thing to point out is that Jesus is the Prince of Peace, so when we pray we must not just that they are saved from poverty, disease, hunger and terrorism but we must also pray that they get peace. Not just the peace that comes from safety but also the peace that comes from Jesus.
(Disclaimer: This article is NOT intended to promote HATE against Jews in any way. God loves the Jews. Jesus loves the Jews. So there is NO reason to hate them.)