I Lift Up My Eyes to the Mountains

Yael Eckstein  |  July 19, 2023

Yael Eckstein at the Western Wall in Jerusalem
(Photo: Avishag Shaar-Yashuv)

Each year, as we come together for the Fellowship Fast, I find it amazing that we can all be connected, from across the world, in faith, in prayer, in fasting.

The whole world is at our fingertips, it seems. And our generation enjoys more material abundance, too, with even food, water, and medicine more available to most of us than ever before.

But despite all of this privilege we enjoy, I think of words from the Bible, that there is a famine in the land: “not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD” (Amos 8:11). All over our world, there is a genuine thirst for a connection with God.

That is why the Fellowship Fast is so important to me. It is a day to come to the altar, to reconnect as a community of people of faith, to hear “the words of the LORD.”

As we lift our eyes, our ears, and our hearts to Him, we fast from something—perhaps from food, from a meal, from a habit or an activity—so that we fully focus our prayers to God.

Fasting is a familiar practice for all of us, both Christians and Jews. In the Torah, Moses fasted for forty days and forty nights when He was on Mount Sinai receiving the Word of God. In the Christian Bible, during his time in the desert Jesus also fasted for forty days and forty nights. Both of our faith communities embrace the idea of refraining from particular things in order to focus on spiritual growth and prayer.

We all have prayers—for our own lives, for our world, and for this ministry that we have all been called to take part in. I know I pray for things in my own life, things I’d like God’s help with. I also pray for God’s help with our world, for Him to bring peace during these times. And I pray for His continued help with our ministry—this community of faith and fellowship, this ministry that has been doing His work for forty years—that we might reach even more of God’s people, that we might truly be God’s hands and feet here on earth, providing help to all who are crying out for it.

The psalmist asks, “I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from?” (Psalm 121:1). The answer comes in the very next verse: “My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”

So, as I prepare for this time of fasting and prayer, I’d like to invite you to join us on July 25 in calling out to God—for requests in our lives, for our world, and for the work that The Fellowship does.

With blessings from the Holy Land,

Yael Eckstein's Signature

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