Thursday, March 9, 2017

What Esther Teaches Us about Prayer

In today’s first reading, Esther C: 12, 14-16, 23-25, Esther prostrates herself from morning until evening,  first acknowledging God as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob and then blessing God.  Do I, when I come into prayer, first acknowledge who God is and bless God, praising and thanking God for who God is? Or do I begin prayer telling God what I want from God?  If the latter, that approach to God is significantly different from what Esther teaches us about prayer!

Esther comes to God at one of the lowest points in her life.  She is an orphan, having been taken away from her family and forced to join the king’s harem.  Her people, the Jews, are about to be systematically killed by the king’s orders and she feels responsible to intercede on their behalf (Word Among Us, Lent 2017, p. 29).  However, the king has not invited her to enter his presence and she will need to do so minus that invitation. She could be risking her life in doing so and also because the king does not know that she is a Jew! 

Esther turns to God in prayer in this darkest of moments in her life. To what do you and I turn when at the lowest points of our lives? And when we turn to God, do we do so by first acknowledging who God is and second by blessing God with words of thanksgiving and praise?

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