Prince William last week completed an historic visit to Israel, becoming the first member of the British Royal Family to make an official visit to Israel.
You can view highlights and featured articles about the trip in our special overview here.
One of the highlights of the trip was the Duke of Cambridge’s attendance at the Western Wall, where he prayed. Chief Rabbi Mirvis, who accompanied the Prince at Yad Vashem and at the Western Wall, said the Prince’s priority was to pray for peace.
On the first morning of the visit, Prince William visited President Rivlin at his residence in Jerusalem. There, the Israeli President asked William to take with him a “message of peace” to Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, whom the Duke was set to visit the next day.
Rivlin’s request to Prince William prompted this profound headline in the Daily Express (Below), however some of the press accused the Israeli leader of “politicising” the trip. Meanwhile the UK Ambassador to Israel said, “We’ve obviously got a very strong interest in seeing progress from where we are now but I don’t think the duke will be taking a particular political message.”
But the promotion of peace isn’t solely a political issue. It is, in fact, a Biblical trait to pursue peace. For example, the Bible instructs us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Furthermore, God’s peace – that which transcends earthly matters – is a fruit of His Spirit – something that can be discovered through relationship with Yahweh. Praying for and seeking peace is a noble venture, and Prince William rose above any diplomatic pressure from the Foreign Office in wisely and appropriately speaking words of peace.
In his speech on Tuesday evening, the Duke said, “Never has hope and reconciliation been more needed. I know I share a desire with all of you, and with your neighbours, for a just and lasting peace.”
This desire for peace is voiced repeatedly by Israeli leadership. Last month in an interview on the BBC, Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed empathy for the Palestinians’ plight, while reminding the interviewer that peace is only with entities willing to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist, adding that peace is impossible with those ‘who want to destroy you’.
This reminds us of Psalm 35, verse 20, which reads
“For they do not speak peace,
But they devise deceitful matters
Against the quiet ones in the land.”
This sounds a lot like those that desire Israel’s demise. They do this, however, in opposition to Almighty God.
In contrast, seeking peace is an important part in our relationship with God. 1 Peter 3:10-12, quoting Psalm 34, links our seeking peace to the Lord hearing our prayers.
For “He who would love life
And see good days,
Let him refrain his tongue from evil,
And his lips from speaking deceit.
Let him turn away from evil and do good;
Let him seek peace and pursue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their prayers;
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
The Greek word used for peace in this passage is eiréné, from the root word eirō, meaning “to join, tie together into a whole“. Peace is not only the absence of war, as it has commonly been described. Peace involves agreement and reconciliation. It involves a departure from warfare to a restoration in relationship. A concord that leads to quietness and harmony. This unity cannot be just words alone. Nor can it be faked. In order for there to be real peace, there has to be a proper relationship.
With Israel’s enemies denying Israel’s right to exist, there are too many fundamental differences for any true peace to be established any time soon without God’s intervention. Yet this does not negate the responsibility of those that follow God to adopt the attitude of promoting peace.
Make perusing peace a priority in your life today. Ask the Lord to help you as you seek peace with those that have wronged you, to speak peace in every situation that comes to try us, and, in accordance with Scripture, pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
The following prayer points are to assist you as you pray. For the stories behind these prayer points, please view the CUFI Weekly News Round-up, by clicking here.
- Praise the Lord that Prince William has completed a historic visit to Israel and that the 70 year wait for a Royal visit has ended.
- Praise the Lord that the He protected Prince William on his trip.
- Pray that his experience will have a lasting impacting on him and his family.
- Praise the Lord for the positive insight into Israel many people would have received by watching the trip in the media.
- Pray that the UK’s Foreign Policy will drop the politically-bias labelling, “Occupied” Palestinian Territories. Pray that there will be a change in policy towards Israel that is factually accurate and supportive of the Jewish State.
- Praise the Lord that there were no injuries after 13 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel.
- Pray for the situation in Iran. Pray that those opposing Iran’s repressive regime will be heard and that it might spark a change in attitudes towards Israel.
- Pray that CUFI’s latest TORCH magazine will have a real impact as it is distributed and that it will be effective in sharing the truth about the recent violence in Gaza.