Fast for Me by Shannon Tate
I love the story of Esther. It’s a thrilling story of a young Hebrew woman named Hadessa who captured the attention of the very powerful, very wealthy King Xerxes of Persia. Taking the advice of Mordecai, her guardian, Hadessa assumes a Persian name, Esther, in order to hide her identity as a Jew. The king eventually takes Esther as his wife; a real Cinderella story! Except the story doesn’t end there.
A man named Haman was bent on taking revenge for his ancestor’s genocide on the entire Jewish population in Persia. Haman convinced King Xerxes that the kingdom would be better off without the Jews and he was Xerxes’ guy to see the job done. And so a decree was made that the Jews would be executed throughout the country. I’m sure you can imagine the kingdom was in an uproar and the Jews were absolutely devastated with grief. Who would save the Jews?
Mordecai sent a message to his charge, Queen Esther, and implored her that she was in a position of power to do something about this. If she didn’t, Mordecai had faith that someone else would help the Jewish people, but also believed that she was placed in the palace for a reason. What Mordecai was asking of her wasn’t a simple request. To go to the king without his explicit invitation to do so meant almost certain death. How could she save her people?
“Go and get all the Jews living in Susa together. Fast for me. Don’t eat or drink for three days, either day or night. I and my maids will fast with you. If you will do this, I’ll go to the king, even though it’s forbidden. If I die, I die,” Esther 4:15-16 (MSG).
Fast for me.
I love how her vulnerability is also her strength in this moment. She didn’t have a grand plan to outmaneuver her enemy but what she did have was her tribe (the people closest to her). And together with her tribe, they set themselves to do some spiritual pre-game warfare. And that, my friends, made all the difference.
During our church-wide fast, I encourage you to reach out to the people who are closest to you and have them come alongside you in your prayers and petitions to God. Be vulnerable like Esther– you don’t need to fast alone! May you and your tribe press in and expect breakthroughs and answered prayers. I’m with you!