But even after she had made her decision, Esther did not act immediately. Instead, she took some time to prepare. Esther, “seized with deadly anxiety, fled to the Lord.” She dissolved into penance, removing her royal robes and donning mourning garments, covering her tangled hair with ashes and dung, refusing to touch food or drink, and praying long and hard for God's favor.
Esther called on God for help, realizing that she was all alone. She remembered the Lord's past aid and prayed for a new deliverance for her people. She acknowledged their sinfulness and her own abhorred position in the king's household, and she declared her total dependence on God.
The queen's preparation paid off. She refused to jump into anything without first humbling herself before God and speaking to Him intimately in prayer. Only then, when she had completely placed herself and her mission in God's hands, did she dare to approach the king, dressed in her highest finery but also with the confidence that she had done everything she could to prepare for her dangerous, and ultimately successful, task.