“Lord, hear my prayer! Listen to my plea! Don’t turn away from me in my time of distress” (Psalm 102:1-2).
Please join with The Third Cross Congregation and our friends of The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews in observance of the Jewish Holy Days by invitation of my dear friend Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, President of the Fellowship.
The High Holy Days, the most holy time on the Jewish calendar, begin at sundown today, September 28th with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and end with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Jewish tradition teaches that individuals, nations, and the entire world are judged during this ten-day period.
Now, more than ever, is the time for heartfelt and meaningful prayer. Please join the Fellowship Prayer Team in prayer that the New Year will be filled with peace and prosperity for Israel, the Jewish people, and the world. “I call on you, my God, for You
will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer” (Psalm 17:6).
Fellowship Prayer Points
Pray for the millions of Jews throughout the world who gather in prayer during the High Holy Days. Pray that their prayers are received and answered by God in accordance with His will.
Pray for the peace of Israel and an end to terrorism and hateful words directed against the Jewish state. “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May those who love you be secure. May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels” (Psalm 122:6-7).
Pray that the Palestinian Authority’s plans for unilateral declaration of statehood are frustrated and that they fail to pass. “I trust in you; do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me” (Psalm 25:2).
Pray for elderly Jews in the former Soviet Union, that they have adequately stocked pantries as they prepare for the upcoming winter months. “In the day that I cried out, You answered me and made me bold with strength in my soul” (Psalm 138:3).
Pray that God would ease the financial burdens of our donors, many of whom have lost their jobs and struggle to pay their bills. Pray that they would find meaningful work and an end to their hardships.
“And I WILL BLESS them that BLESS thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in THEE shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:3). Praying for Israel is one way we can embrace the blessing, support Israel, her people and The Fellowship’s ministry with prayers for shalom, peace.
Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ
“Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked?” declares the Sovereign LORD.
“Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?” (Ezekiel 18:23)
How do you welcome in the New Year? Maybe a quiet get-together with good friends, or perhaps a festive party complete with noise-makers, party hats, and confetti at midnight. Whatever our particular style, we typically mark the new year with a celebration and perhaps a resolution or two to eat less, exercise more, or be nicer to your neighbor.
For the Jew, however, ushering in our new year has a decidedly different tenor. Rosh
Hashanah is a time of intense moral and spiritual introspection, an examination of past mistakes, and consideration of new directions. The image is of a guilty party standing before a judge, pleading for mercy; only in this instance, the judge is the Supreme Ruler of the Universe. Understandably the mood pervading the day is one of trepidation, “fear and trembling.”
Yet, we temper this solemn mood with one of trust and hope in a God—a merciful and
beneficent Father—who desires our repentance and is eager to grant forgiveness. The prophet Ezekiel confirms this image of a benevolent, forgiving Father. Indeed, he writes, “[If] a wicked man turns away from all the sins he has committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, he will surely live; he will not die . . . Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? . . . Am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?” (Ezekiel 18:21–23)
We take comfort and refuge in a compassionate Father whose perfect love causes Him to
show mercy to those who recognize their sin and turn back to Him. In the beautiful words of Psalm 103, “As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust” (v.13).
In God’s economy of time, it is never too late to start afresh, to change direction, to turn toward Him and seek forgiveness. We don’t have to wait for January 1 to make a change. Your “new year” can begin today as you turn your heart and your face toward God and trust that He is waiting for you.
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, President International Fellowship of Christians and Jews
- The Fall Feast Are Upon Us: A Time of Blowing Shofars, Repentance, Prayer, Fasting, Psalms, Awe, Purification, Judgment And Camping! (paradoxparables.wordpress.com)
- L’Shana Tovah (whitehouse.gov)