Est 8:3-8 Esther’s Intercession CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
In Est 8:3-8, Ahasuerus gave Esther and Mordecai approval to write a decree “for the Jews,” [Est 8:8] since the king could not “reverse” Haman’s decree to exterminate the Jews. The decree they prepared allowed the Jews to defend themselves against their enemies on the day that Haman’s decree went into effect. In like manner, God will not get rid of hell until it is cast into the lake of fire [Rev 20:14]. However, he made a “decree for” us whereby we can defend ourselves against hell by receiving Jesus Christ as our Savior. Every person who has not yet been saved by faith in Jesus Christ is heading to hell [Matt 25:41]. But you don’t have to go there if you will receive Jesus Christ. You can get out from under the condemnation of the old “decree” by getting saved under the new “decree.”
In this passage, though, we are going to preach about Esther’s intercessory prayer that led to the king’s decision to grant Mordecai and Esther the power to write the decree for the Jews. Esther’s intercessory request serves as an example to us. In intercessory prayer we come to the Lord:
Desperate – Est 8:3 – Esther “fell down at his feet.” When she petitioned the king for her people she was desperate. David, when he was praying for Bathsheba’s child that they conceived together, “lay all night upon the earth,” [2 Sam 12:6]. He was as helpless and as low as he could get. Even on the seventh day, when the child finally died, David had to arise “from the earth.” He was desperate for God to save that child’s life. Our Lord, when he prayed in Gethsemane, first knelt to pray [Lk 22:41] and then “fell on his face, and prayed,” [Matt 26:39].
Broken – Est 8:3 – Esther “besought him with tears.” That’s the way David prayed in Ps 39:12. He said, “Hold not thy peace at my tears.” Paul shed many tears for the Ephesians [Acts 20:19]. Timothy’s tears were known to Paul [2 Tim 1:4]. Jesus Christ, during his earthly ministry, “offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears,” [Heb 5:7]. Our eyes are much too dry when it comes to praying for others. We weep for ourselves, occasionally. But rarely, if at all, for others.
Submitted – Est 8:5 – Esther said, “If it please the king…and the thing seem right before the King.” Esther was concerned that her request was according to the will of the king. When we pray for others according to the will of God, we have confidence that “he heareth us” and that “we have the petitions that we desired of him,” [1 Jn 5:14-15]. Jesus, in Gethsemane, prayed, “not my will, but thine be done.” The beautiful thing about praying according to the will of God is that God’s answers are better than our requests. Esther requested that Haman’s decree be reversed. Ahasuerus did better than that. He allowed the Jews to defend themselves, which allowed them to kill their enemies in self-defense. The outcome was far better than Esther had hoped.
Beloved – Est 8:5 – Esther said, “if I have found favor in his sight… and I be pleasing in his eyes.” It helps us all to remember when we pray to the Lord that we are accepted in the beloved [Eph 1:6]. Your past does not limit your access to God today. However, just make sure that you keep yourself clean. Keep from regarding iniquity in your heart [Ps 66:18]. That could seriously hinder your prayer life.
Resolved – Est 8:6 – Esther said, “how can I endure to see the evil that shall come unto my people?” Esther’s request ended with a tremendous resolve to get the king to do something about Haman’s decree. In essence, she said, “There’s no way I can leave here without an affirmative answer; I can’t endure to see my people destroyed.” This is the same resolve that led Paul to pray for and preach to the Jews the way he did [Rom 10:1; 9:1-3]. This is the same resolve that Jesus had when he prayed and died for us. One of the greatest examples of this resolve, when approaching the Lord, is the Syrophonecian woman in Matt 15:21-28. She wasn’t leaving Jesus until she was assured that her daughter was healed.
Conclusion: when we pray for others, we must remember Esther’s request for her people. If we were more desperate, more broken, more submitted, and more resolved, as God’s beloved to approach him on their behalf, we might find our prayers more fervent and effectual.