“On that night the king could not sleep. And he gave orders to bring the book of memorable deeds, the chronicles, and they were read before the king. And it was found written how Mordecai had told about Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs, who guarded the threshold, and who had sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. And the king said, ‘What honor or distinction has been bestowed on Mordecai for this?’ The king’s young men who attended him said, ‘Nothing has been done for him.’” Esther 6:1-3
Before Esther went to the king, she asked Mordecai and other friends to fast and pray. Here we see that God was working behind the scenes. The king wakes up and just so happens to get out the chronicle scrapbooks. Then he just so happens to find the situation where Mordecai saves the king’s life by reporting a murderous plot. At the time the plot took place, nothing was done for Mordecai. But when the king finally discovers this info, he wants to honor Mordecai.
And more behind the scenes background–Haman had been busy plotting to kill Mordecai and the Jews.
Now after a rough night’s sleep, the king wants to honor Mordecai. So who does he go to for advice about how to honor him? The one and only king’s BFF-Haman—of course!
God woke the king up, drew his attention to Mordecai, and worked in the king’s heart to honor him. At the same time, He was softening the king’s heart toward the Jews before he even heard of Haman’s evil plan from Esther.
Spoiler alert: In the end, the Jews are saved. Mordecai gets honored and promoted, and Haman gets hanged!
God does so much behind the scenes of our lives that we don’t see. I constantly underestimate the power of prayer. Fasting is also very important. Fasting is a demonstration of getting serious with God.
I think this is a reminder for us to take prayer VERY seriously and make prayer our first resort. We can’t have a ‘fast food’ prayer life. We need to slow down, take time to pray and fast. If we really want to see a difference in our lives, families, jobs, friendships, ministries, we have to make prayer the number one priority in our lives. There is no substitute for prayer. There is power without prayer.
We need to be consistent to pray, and not give up so easily when the going gets tough. I have learned from experience that when I start to get down to business praying for a specific situation or person, the battle almost always gets worse before it gets better. Ephesians 6:12 says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
When we pray, we are shooting directly at Satan and his band of brothers! Do you think he’s just going to take that sitting down? Do you think you can stir up a hornet’s nest without any repercussions or fallout?
What do many Christians do when the battle starts to heat up? We stop praying. We throw in the towel. We wave the white flag of surrender.
We give up.
Christians, we need to learn how to fight where the battle really is–on a spiritual realm. So many of us our fighting everything that comes our way on a physical realm and we are getting absolutely nowhere. We are spinning in circles and getting our hind-ends kicked. And the devil just sits back, pops some popcorn, laughs, and watches the show.
Not only do we need to learn how to fight, but we need to keep fighting–to persevere, keep wielding our swords.
Warning–You ARE going to get shot at. You might get wounded and bloody. Why do you think God gave us a mighty armor and powerful weapons?
Because we are at war!
Warrior, remember WHO you are. More importantly, remember WHOSE you are!
If we fight on God’s side, we fight FROM victory not FOR victory. Because the battle is His, the battle is ours.
The single most important thing we can do to make a difference in our own lives and in the lives of others is PRAY. Without prayer, our best efforts will fail. We can do nothing apart from Him. John 15:5 says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
So today, let’s commit to pray. To carve out unhurried time with the Lord. And not only to pray, but to commit to pray for the long haul. To pray specifically, aligning our prayers with God’s Word.
God IS always working behind the scenes, even when we can’t see what He’s up to.