Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Esther's Prayer: Fear

“And save me from my fear!” 

Esther had good reasons to be afraid. Even though she was King Ahasuerus' queen, she was in grave danger. Not realizing that his queen was actually Jewish, the king had agreed to Haman's plan to exterminate the Jews. Now Esther's foster father, Mordecai, has given her a task only she can perform. She is to go before the king and plead for her people. 

But there's a catch. No one can come into the king's presence without having first been summoned. To do so is to risk death unless the king extends his royal scepter to the visitor. Esther has no way of knowing if the king will welcome her, but she agrees to try, even if it means losing her life.

Even so, she's still terrified, and at the end of her long prayer, she exclaims, “And save me from my fear!” She turns her fear over to God and asks Him to deliver her from it. The Greek word here is rÅ«sai, which carries overtones of healing, freedom, protection, and rescue. Esther recognizes that her fear is as much of an enemy as those trying to kill her people (she uses the same verb when she asks for deliverance from them!), but she also understands that she can't overcome it on her own. Only God can save her from her fear.

The same is true for us. Like Esther, we fear many things, and sometimes we let our fears overcome us so they begin to control our minds and hearts. But no good can come of this. This kind of crippling fear will hold us back and perhaps even harm us spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically.

So we must follow Esther's lead and cry out to God for help. Every time our fears threaten to overwhelm us, we should pray, “And save me from my fear!” We should give over our fears to God and put our trust in Him, knowing that He will deliver us if we let him. And then we let go and we carry on, for God will take care of us in His great love.

Lord, save me from my fear.

(Greek definitions come from Perseus-Tufts.)