- Esther requests a 3 day fast of all the Jewish people of Susa. No food, no water for 3 days and 3 nights. Esther 4
- Ester boldly goes before the King to request that he and Haman attend a banquet the that day that she prepared for them. Esther 5:4
- At the banquet, she requests that the king and Haman attend another banquet that she will prepare the next day
- She asks the king , pleading for her life and the life of her people “If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it pleases the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request. For we have been sold, my people and I, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. Had we been sold as male and female slaves, I would have held my tongue, although the enemy could never compensate for the king’s loss”
- Esther asks the king to stop Haman’s orders and the scheme he has devised against the Jews. “Now Esther spoke again to the king, fell down at his feet, and implored him with tears to counteract the evil of Haman the Agagite, and the scheme which he had devised against the Jews.”
- Esther asks the king to write a letter for her and her people to revoke the letters and words that Haman sent out to destroy the Jews.
- Esther asks the king for permission, that the Jewish people be given another day to defend themselves – asks for another day. Then Esther said, “If it pleases the king, let it be granted to the Jews who are in Shushan to do again tomorrow according to today’s decree, and let Haman’s ten sons be hanged on the gallows.”
- Esther asks the king to let Haman’s 10 sons be hanged in the gallows.
Every time I read the book of Esther, I learn something new. As I read Esther this past week, her persistence, her boldness, her courage and her authority stood out to me. It reminded me as we, the bride of Christ. should be. We can ask for anything in His name, He has given us spiritual warfare over our enemy, He tells us to be courageous and bold at all times, never to be fearful or full of worry. It reminds me of how we, because of Jesus, can go before our King without fear of death. Esther could have been killed immediately but she had the king’s grace.
God wants us to be bold and courageous. He has made us His bride, He made a life giving way so we, like Esther, can go before the Lord’s throne without fear of death, but knowing that He loves us dearly. Lately, when I pray, I stop and think …”uh, maybe I’m bothering Him, maybe I shouldn’t ask for too much, maybe I won’t ask”,however, when I look at the boldness of Esther I think – wow! She asked for it all! She was fearless! She could have stopped when she had her life spared, but no, she pushed it. She asked for the life of every Jew to be spared. Then she asked for more – she asked the king to revoke the order that was sent out, she asked for the impossible. When she got that request granted, she asked for even more. Haman , the wicked, was killed but that wasn’t enough. Esther wanted all 10 of his sons put to death. She asked and asked, and each time she could have been killed, but her persistence saved a nation. Her persistence and her boldness amaze me.
Esther prepared herself before she presented herself to the king
This is an interesting lesson, although I believe we can go before the Lord at anytime (Read Nehemiah and see all his short prayers continually in his days). Esther made sure she was perfectly beautiful with careful consideration of her garments before she went to see the King. Esther and her people fasted for 3 days and nights before she went to the king. Before she was crowned queen, she spent 12 months preparing herself. I believe Esther was always prepared and beautiful before she stood before the king.
We also should be ready before our king (and always ready for His return). We should check our heart as David did , “Search me O Lord and show me is there is any wicked way in me”. Stop and consider our ways and our doings. Sometimes, before I pray, I ask the Lord to show me anything in me that goes against Him. I also recite Psalm 131: Lord, my heart is not prideful, my mind is not haughty : I stop to think: have I been prideful? Have I looked down on anyone? Have I been loving to everyone around me? Is there anyone I have offended? Do I hold any grudges, bitterness or unforgiveness in my heart? Is there anyone I have hurt with my words?
We are the beautiful bride of Christ, He is coming soon. Will He find us spotless as we should be? Will He find us ready and waiting for Him? He died for our sins, but he didn’t die so we stop considering our ways. In 1 Corinthians 11:27-32, it says : Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world. – maybe people see this verse in a different way than I do, but I believe it is telling us to stop and examine our ways – all the time. Repent is written in the New testament 55x, why have so many thrown that concept away? No sin can come before the Lord, He is too holy – we need to make sure no sin is lurking in our heart.
I like the way Jeremiah says it : Stop and look around, ask for the right way to go and travel it’s path. Sometimes we need to stop and check ourselves – is my life, my religion, my ways, my words in line with the word of God? Am I living in obedience to Him in love or have I made my own way? Do I search for righteousness or have I become lukewarm in my walk? Have I let the worries of the world, money, and fear of people pull me from the truth of God’s word?
This is what the LORD says:
“Stop at the crossroads and look around.
Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it.
Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls.
But you reply, ‘No, that’s not the road we want
Let’s stop and consider our ways: (Galations 5:16- and 1 Corinthians 13)
Am I walking in the Spirit? Does my life show the fruit of:
• Self control?
• Have I crucified my flesh with it’s passions and desires?
Am I walking in love?
• Do I envy?
• Am I prideful?
• Am I rude?
• Am I selfish?
• Do I demand my own way?
• Am I easily angered when provoked?
• Do I rejoice in evil?
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.” 1 Cor 13
Persistence in Prayer and Requests
“ pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you 1 Thes 5:16-18
Persistence is found throughout the bible, but remember – God has the final answer. Paul requested that he be set free from a thorn in his side, but it was not granted. Jesus plead before God if there was any way that his cup might be taken from Him – but said – let Your Will be done. Persistence pays off, but God word stands forever y ya!
I like the way Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego put it. They were about to be thrown into a fiery fire pit and said to the king:
“O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up. Daniel 3:16
They said, God can and will deliver us, “but if not” let it be known, we worship no other God. That is a good attitude to have. God can and will deliver me, but if not, then I lift my hands and Praise my God, for He is my redeemer, the One who see’s me. He is my All sufficient One.
The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16b
In Luke 18:1-6, Jesus tells us a parable of a woman who came with request before an unjust judge. I love this parable, it shows us the value of persistence (and it reminds me of myself):
Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, 2 saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. 3 Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ 4 And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, 5 yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’”
6 Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. 7 And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? 8 I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”
Jesus specifically tells us that we should always be praying and never lose heart. We could go on and on about the many stories of persistence throughout the bible: Sarah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, David, Noah, so many, many more. So don’t give up no matter what struggle you are in.
Notice in the verse from Daniel below, the man in linen tells Daniel that his prayers were heard but there was spiritual interference when the answer was sent – so never give up, you don’t know what’s going on in the spiritual world. Pray without ceasing:
Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. 13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia. 14 Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come.”
More Scripture that reminds us to pray without ceasing- persistence in prayer:
• Romans 1:9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers,
• Ephesians 1:16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers:
• Colossians 1:9 [ Preeminence of Christ ] For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
• 1 Thessalonians 5:17 pray without ceasing,
• 2 Timothy 1:3 [ Timothy’s Faith and Heritage ] I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day,
Authority of Mordecai and Esther
Mordecai made the final say in the letters. “ Then Queen Esther, the daughter of Abihail, with Mordecai the Jew, wrote with full authority to confirm this second letter about Purim. 30 And Mordecai sent letters to all the Jews, to the one hundred and twenty-seven provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, with words of peace and truth, 31 to confirm these days of Purim at their appointed time, as Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther had prescribed for them, and as they had decreed for themselves and their descendants concerning matters of their fasting and lamenting. 32 So the decree of Esther confirmed these matters of Purim, and it was written in the book.”
Esther wrote, with full authority, to confirm the 2nd letter of Purim to the appointed times to remember this day. Not only was Esther persistent and bold (but always in reverence), she also had authority. Aren’t we told we have authority in Christ. Just like Ester had full authority from the king to call out orders, so we have authority in Christ Jesus and all authority comes from God alone (Romans 13:1)
Authority over the enemy:
I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. Luke 10:19
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,[c] against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. Ephesians 6:11-19
And so my final word to you today is Walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh which are :adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries. Anything you do, that you know is wrong, is a sin. People who walk in this manner will not inherit the kingdom of God, but dear brothers and sisters – turn from your ways and walk no longer in the flesh and fellowship with this world.
Let the fruit of the Spirit be evident in your life, that is: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Take up your cross, be bold, be courageous, don’t let the words of others knock you down. Stand unshakable in Christ Jesus looking forward always to His glorious return. Amen and Amen!