An UpWord Glance

The Mountain of Prayer

“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us his ways and that we may walk in His paths.”

(Isaiah 2:3)

The Holy Prophet Isaiah has just invited us to climb a mountain to draw closer to the Lord. Climbing this mountain will take effort on our part. There is no road to drive on or ski lift to take us to the top. It is a trail that must be hiked over the course of the next several weeks. No spiritual mountain top experience can be enjoyed without making the climb up. If we can persevere, we will learn better His ways and have opportunity to walk on His paths.

The Holy Prophet Elijah and Moses both fasted for 40 days in their journey to the top of the mountain. After those 40 days of fasting, they met with God. It was on the mountain that they both learned better His ways and were strengthened to walk in His paths.

This journey we find ourselves on is not an easy one. Great Lent calls us on a path that takes us out of our comfort zone of “normal” life. We are called to change our eating habits, our prayer life, what we read and what we do…basically we are trying to change everything our bodies, minds, and spirits are used to on a daily basis. It is indeed a mountain to climb, not a stroll through the garden.

In their article, “The Meaning of the Great Fast”, Mother Mary and Bishop Kallistos Ware remind us:

“It is always the purpose of fasting – to enable us to draw near to the Mountain of Prayer.”

Today we are at the foot of the mountain. Weeks of struggle lay before us, but the only struggle we need to focus on is what we face on today’s part of the journey. The Holy Prophet reminds us that this journey is so worth the effort:

“If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land” (Isaiah 1:19)

May we be willing and obedient this day as we climb “further up and further in” with our Lord to the Mountain of Prayer.

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