Prayer Focus: Nigeria

Bible Reading: Esther 1-5

Scripture:

12 When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai,13 he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape.14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: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.”

17 So Mordecai went away and carried out all of Esther’s instructions. (Esther 4:12-17)

Observation:

Every time I read this scripture, I have to pause and check my heart.  What place has God brought me to?  What thing has God put in my path that requires His help to carry out?  Do I step away, letting God raise up another?  Do I step out in faith and let the results rest with God?

Most of us will never have to petition a powerful man to avert genocide.  But each of us live lives  touched by violence.  Each of us have everyday choices that will either invite us to participate  in it, or stand against it.

Application:

When faced with those tough things in our life, the proper response is prayer and fasting.

Contemporary Christianity doesn’t seem to practice fasting any more.  I wonder what we’ve lost in terms of power in our prayer life because of it.  I urge you to see what God has to say about fasting and prayer.  Discover their links, find out why He calls us to this spiritual discipline.  Search for those answers in the Word, then put it into practice for yourself and see if there is a difference in your prayer life.

I don’t know what you are going through.  But I do know that violence touches all of us.  I paraphrase Mordecai “Who knows but that you have come to this place for such a time as this?”

Prayer:

Father God, I pray for those reading this journal entry; that you would draw them to you through whatever circumstance they are in.  Life is messy, and confusing and we have so many voices trying to lead us astray.  I pray you honor those who practice spiritual fasting in the coming days and weeks.  Meet them where they are, give them direction and courage and deepen their faith as they seek you first.  Amen.

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