Journey to Daily Prayer – Day 9
Thursday in First Week of Lent
“Ask, seek, knock, pray”
If you look for Esther 14 in your Bible, you won’t find it—unless you have the Apocrypha. Esther is the story of a Hebrew maiden who becomes Queen of Persia and whom God uses to protect the Jews from extermination. Esther 14 is interspersed between Esther 4, when Mordecai, her uncle, tells Esther about Haman’s evil plan to exterminate the Jews; and Esther 5, when Esther receives her husband, King Ahasuerus’ favour to protect the Jews. Esther 14 thus is an Apocryphal prayer where Esther pleads with the Lord for victory over her enemies. Purim, the Jewish festival, celebrates this story of God’s victory. Esther’s story teaches us a lot—her humble posture, her utmost reliance upon God, and her abhorrence of unholiness. But what is most applicable is the certain knowledge that we have spiritual enemies seeking our death. Peter reminds us, “your adversary the devil prowls like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (I Pet 5:8) So, what’s our response? To ask, seek, knock, to pray—because how much more will our Father in heaven give good things to us who ask him. (Mt 7:11) But what are “good things”? Luke’s version of “ask, seek, knock” says “how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Lk 11:13) God our Father deeply desires to give us his Holy Spirit. And we need his Holy Spirit don’t we, to overcome our spiritual enemies, to overcome sin, the flesh and the devil, who seek to destroy us? Therefore, ask, seek, knock, pray for God’s Spirit to strengthen you as you overcome sin, the flesh, and the devil in your life.
Strengthen us, O Lord, by thy grace, that in thy might we may overcome all spiritual enemies, and with pure hearts serve thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.