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She was just an ordinary girl.  Esther had no famous or well-connected relatives.  In fact, she and her people were living as a minority in a foreign land where they had been taken by a conquering enemy army; yet, today her name is synonymous with faith and courage.  The short book that bears her name tells a story of divine deliverance—a message that is very much relevant to our day when once again a plot has been hatched in Persia to destroy the Jewish people.

Esther became queen of the Persian Empire without the king or anyone in authority knowing that she was Jewish.  This was on the wise advice of her guardian Mordecai, who instructed her to hide her ancestry for the sake of her future.  Not long after Esther became queen, an evil man in a high government position named Haman, motivated by his hatred of Mordecai (who refused to bow before Haman because he would only bow before God), devised a scheme to destroy the Jewish people.

Haman presented the king with a distorted picture of God’s Chosen People.  He falsely accused them of disobeying the laws of the Persian Empire and suggested that destroying them would promote order and stability throughout the realm.  To further sweeten the deal, Haman offered to pay a large sum of money to the royal treasury to cover the expenses of exterminating the Jewish people.  The king went along with the plan, setting a date for the destruction of the Jewish exiles living in the 127 provinces that made up his kingdom.

When Mordecai received this news, he began fasting in sackcloth and ashes, along with Jewish people throughout the Persian realm.  There seemed to be no hope for them, but God was at work behind the scenes.  Mordecai sent word to Esther that the time to reveal her heritage had come and that she should use her position as queen to plead for the Jewish people to be spared.

When she pointed out that entering the king’s presence without an invitation was a capital offense, Mordecai made his famous declaration that God had put Esther where she was “for such a time as this.”  Esther courageously went before the king, and God granted her favor in his eyes, and he spared her life.

Esther asked the king and Haman to come to a private meeting.  Then she asked them to return a second time, and finally revealed to the king the evil that he had unknowingly agreed to support.  The king’s wrath was kindled against Haman, and he ordered the evil plotter to be hung on the very gallows that Haman had constructed to have Mordecai executed on—and provided the Jewish people the opportunity for self defense.  The Jewish people were spared from destruction.  Even to this day, this wonderful miracle of deliverance is celebrated as the Feast of Purim.  Esther remains a wonderful example of what we can do when we fully rely on God.

As I read this story again recently, I was struck by something that doesn’t often receive a great deal of attention.  Esther did not face her moment of crisis alone.  Here was her response:  Spiritual battles are not meant to be fought alone.  Before Esther entered the king’s presence, risking her life to plead for her people, there was a massive campaign of prayer and fasting on her behalf.  The deliverance of Israel depended on the power of God, and the people of God sought His face and His help together.  That is a perfect description of the work of the Jerusalem Prayer Team. 

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The Jerusalem Prayer Team with Dr. Michael D. Evans exists to build Friends of Zion to guard defend and protect the Jewish people and to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. We pray for peace in Jerusalem because the Scriptures tell us to in Psalm 122:6. The Jerusalem Prayer Team was inspired from the 100-year long prayer meeting for the restoration of Israel held in the ten Boom family home in Haarlem, Holland. We are committed to encouraging others to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and God's Chosen People. Jerusalem Prayer Team members are also members of Churches United with Israel, Corrie Ten Boom House, Friends of Zion Heritage Center and Jerusalem World News. The Jerusalem Prayer Team mailing address is PO BOX 30000 Phoenix, AZ 85046 or you can call us at 1-888-966-8472. The Jerusalem Prayer Team is a dba of the Corrie ten Boom Fellowship. The Corrie ten Boom Fellowship is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization and is registered with the IRS, Fed Tax ID# 75-2671293. All donations to CTBF (less the value of any products or services received) are tax-deductible as allowed by law. Donations made to the Jerusalem Prayer Team are put to work immediately and are not refundable.