I Don’t Know What to Do
Verse 16 “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”
Yesterday we learned that Esther had a big decision she had to make. She knew that this would likely be the biggest choice of her life and it was a life and death matter.
Knowing that this is a huge decision, which could have negative impact on the whole of the Jewish people who were exiled to the land of Babylon, she asks Mordecai to have all the Jewish people of the area to pray and fast for three days and nights as she and her attendants also prayed and fasted. After the three days she would make the move.
Although not commonly discussed these days, fasting was something that was regularly practiced in both the Old and New Testaments. This is not some sort of manipulation to convince God to do what we want Him to do. The practice of fasting is a way of setting aside a time to deny yourself a desire for an appointed amount of time to seek God’s face for wisdom and direction.
We see from Jesus’ time of fasting in the wilderness that it can be a time when the enemy can mess with our minds. Fasting can be a time when our physical nature is warring with the spiritual nature. Each time we turn our attention and focus on God, the enemy is going to be interested in breaking that focus. That is because fasting is a form of spiritual warfare.
We shouldn’t use the discipline of fasting with prayer for every little decisions but when something comes along that is big or will affect many people at once, it is a good idea. Notice the queen has told her relative, Mordecai, to have the local Jews in Susa pray and fast. They can’t take the time to get the whole region of Jews praying, but those who are here close by need to join in. After all this isn’t just about Esther. The edict that Haman had proposed would wipe out the Jewish people and so they all needed to be in on the praying and fasting.
Times of trials come to all of us and as a Church it is important that we take prayer and fasting more seriously and seek to align our hearts and minds with Jesus. In times of troubles we need be intentional with getting our focus on God and what could be more intentional than seeking Him in prayer through fasting?
Making It Personal
Have you ever fasted? What kind of prayer life do you have? What could be something that you need to fast and pray about in your life?
Making It Personal Kids
What is something that you have prayed hard about? Did it change how you think about God? What do you need to pray seriously about today?
Father, thank You for calling us into a deeper relationship with You during the hard times in life and for listening to us. Grow us in our understanding of prayer and fasting. In Jesus’ name, amen.