Esther’s prayer

For our Bible study on the Book of Esther we studied the prayer that Queen Esther addressed to God as she was in fear for her life. The king’s servant Haman had persuaded the king to kill all of the Jews. Esther’s uncle Mordecai asked Esther to intervene for her people. In order to do so Esther had to appear unbidden before the king, an act which normally meant certain death. Before approaching the king, Esther fasted and prayed for three days. Her prayer is beautiful and quite long as she reaches out to God for help.

Our own country faces annihilation from the evil that surrounds and infects us, an evil that is undermining our families and our society. Esther’s prayer has a certain pattern to it, a pattern which I used to write my own prayer. First there is praise and thanksgiving for God’s mercy and love, a reminder to God and to ourselves about our covenant with God and his own faithfulness to that covenant, an acknowledgement of our sinfulness and a request for his powerful help without which we cannot succeed in defeating the monstrous evil within our country.

Heavenly Father, God of love and mercy, Father of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, hear and answer the prayers of your children as we raise our voices to you. We praise you, we worship you, we thank you for your great goodness. You have been our constant companion and our protector even from our mother’s womb. You have watched over us and have led our nation, the United States of America, from its very beginnings. You accompanied the first Christian settlers to this land and guided their steps as they sought to find a place where they could worship You in freedom.

Our forefathers, those first European settlers, who were led by your mighty Hand, made a covenant with you and with one another when they set foot on the shores of this magnificent and blessed land. They promised to obey your laws and to be faithful to You and to one another, to establish for themselves and their posterity just and equal laws. For many years our forefathers kept the covenant they had made with You, but we, their descendants in our own times, have broken our fathers’ promises and have abandoned You, who have always been faithful to us. 

Even now our enemies berate us and threaten the life and sanctity of our families. They seek to enslave us and turn our children against us and against one another. They write vulgar and threatening messages on our homes, in our cities and our places of work. They have even burned down our sacred places of worship. By ourselves we are powerless to defeat this great evil.

We entreat you, O merciful Father, to stand by us once again, to use Your mighty power to assist us as we struggle to retain this gift of freedom which you have given to us. Help us to defeat those who hate You and your laws and seek to strip from us the country and the freedoms which You had bequeathed to us. Make us worthy once more to serve You, to obey your Laws and to peaceably overcome our enemies. We ask this in the most sacred Name of your Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

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