Thursday, December 22, 2011

Queen Esther's Prayer

Of the two important Jewish Holy Days I tend to personally identify with, this prayer forms the spiritual basis for the first one, Purim.

The other feast is Hannukah of whose main protagonist is Judah Maccabee (of the Book of Maccabees).

Both these feasts celebrate (in eternal remembrance) for all of Israel (i.e. from everywhere and from everytime) the deliverance (wrought by the LORD through His instruments) of the Jewish people as a nation from a particular form of evil that threatened to permanently and irreversibly disrupt God's own relationship with the present generations of that time.

- selah -

Queen Ester's Prayer

Queen Esther, seized with mortal anguish, likewise had recourse to the LORD.

Taking off her splendid garments, she put on garments of distress and mourning. In place of her precious ointments she covered her head with dirt and ashes. She afflicted her body severely; all her festive adornments were put aside, and her hair was wholly disheveled.

Then she prayed to the LORD, the God of Israel, saying:

"My LORD, our King, you alone are God.

Help me, who am alone and have no help but You, for I am taking my life in my hand.

As a child I was wont to hear from the people of the land of my forefathers that You, O LORD, chose Israel from among all peoples, and our fathers from among all their ancestors, as a lasting heritage, and that you fulfilled all your promises to them.

But now we have sinned in Your sight, and You have delivered us into the hands of our enemies, because we worshiped their gods. You are just, O LORD.

But now they are not satisfied with our bitter servitude, but have undertaken to do away with the decree You have pronounced, and to destroy Your heritage; to close the mouths of those who praise You, and to extinguish the glory of Your temple and Your altar; to open the mouths of the heathen to acclaim their false gods, and to extol an earthly king forever.

O LORD, do not relinquish Your scepter to those that are nought. Let them not gloat over our ruin, but turn their own counsel against them and make an example of our chief enemy.

Be mindful of us, O LORD. Manifest Yourself in the time of our distress and give me courage, King of gods and Ruler of every power.

Put in my mouth persuasive words in the presence of the lion, and turn his heart to hatred for our enemy, so that he and those who are in league with him may perish.

Save us by Your power, and help me, who am alone and have no one but You, O LORD. You know all things."

(Esther C: 12-25)

I simply love Queen Esther. She is one of my all-time favorite heroines of the Old Testament!

We could indeed take a page from the memory of Israel through the Book of Esther to help guide us through these difficult times.

Glorified be God in all His Angels and in all His Saints - forever!