Jesus, in the Psalms, calls us to adoration and intercession
Before we engage in action of any kind for a troubled part of the world, we should consider what it is that we want for them. If it is peace, then what does that peace look like?
Does peace not mean a community where there is peace with God, the only author of true and lasting peace? Does it not mean a community where we do not focus on each other’s faults against each other, but bear one another’s burdens?
We should therefore continue to be such a community as we adore the author of such
blessing, and as we ask him to care for those among us who are burdened.
If this is what we want for the churches of nations ravaged by war, then we must also seek it in our own lives.
Let’s pray for just that: Christians, churches, missionaries and seminaries where the peace of God, which passes all understanding, keeps their hearts and minds in Jesus, and which shamelessly preaches and teaches a better way to live.
What about imprecations?
World peace must begin with the awareness of our own sinfulness. Our worship will instil and reinforce that awareness and due humility in the face of enemies, whether our own or those of others. Presumably, then, we should avoid including prayers that are focused against enemies. The notorious Psalms which do this must be far from our thoughts and our prayers, right?
In fact, these are the very Psalms where we are confronted with our own unworthiness in the clearest possible way, both as individuals and as nations. Prayers that have unrighteous enemies in view call us to the very same attitudes of gospel humility that the rest of the Psalms do, but they are even more pointed
in their demand for us to examine ourselves and for us to be aware that we have earned judgment, not salvation. Over and against some common assumptions about the Old Testament, here are three things these difficult prayers insist on.