“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.” Esther 4:16 (NIV)
Many are familiar with the story of Esther, the woman in the right place at the right time. Some of us might have even seen the movie and compared it to what the Bible tells us about this Old Testament woman of faith. What can we learn about seeking God in prayer from Esther?
Esther (also known by her Jewish name, Hadassah) was raised by her uncle, Mordecai. When Queen Vashti refused a command of King Ahasuerus, Esther was gathered as one of many beautiful virgins and placed in the King’s harem. As Mordecai advised her, Esther did not share her Jewish identity. Eventually, Esther was favored by the king and became Queen Esther.
But after Haman convinced the king to pass an edict that all Jews would be executed, Esther found herself in the perfect position to help her people. After consulting with Mordecai, Esther chose to use her influence to help her people. But only after a time of fasting and prayer. Esther advised Mordecai and the Jewish people to join her and her attendants in three days of fasting and prayer in preparation for her visit to the king to plead for the lives of the Jewish people.
This Bible story has a good ending for Esther and the Jewish people. When she was confronted with disaster, Esther knew Who she needed to ask for help. Fasting and prayer allowed Esther to seek God with a humble heart and ask for His guidance, protection, and answered prayers.
While we may never find ourselves in a situation like that of Esther, we certainly face tragedies, disasters, and life events where we must call out to God. Even in the good times, as we lead preschoolers towards a life of missions and love for Jesus, let us remember to spend time relentlessly seeking God in prayer.
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16 NIV).
Father God, Thank You for letting us learn from the story of Esther. Thank You for listening to our prayers and answering us when we seek You. We pray for the preschoolers in our care, that they would hear Your voice and call, and grow to serve You throughout their lives. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
by Angie Quantrell, WMU Preschool Resource Editor