“3 Esther again pleaded with the king, falling at his feet and weeping. She begged him to put an end to the evil plan of Haman the Agagite, which he had devised against the Jews. Then the king extended the gold sceptre to Esther and she arose and stood before him.‘If it pleases the king,’ she said, ‘and if he regards me with favour and thinks it the right thing to do, and if he is pleased with me, let an order be written overruling the dispatches that Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, devised and written to destroy the Jews in all the king’s provinces. For how can I bear to see disaster fall on my people? How can I bear to see the destruction of my family?’ NIV

I wonder, are many of us sleep-walking?

Here is just one statement from ‘the Spectator’s’ news update for Monday 27th January 2021:

‘More children have been admitted to hospital for mental health reasons than for medical reasons during the pandemic, according to the President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.’

This is just one sad facet among many of the crisis we are facing. Ought we not to give ourselves a good talking to, shake off lethargy, and get into the place of prayer where we can make a difference?

The intolerable should drive us to intercession:

How intolerable do things have to become before so many in the church stop ‘talking a good game’ when it comes to prayer, and actually get on to the field of play?

‘The church that is not praying is playing.’

There were certain things Esther could not ‘’bear’’ (6), and they drove her to use her position to intercede. She came before the one who had the authority to change things. She did so with intensity. I’m sure you noticed.

The intolerable fuels intensity in intercession:

Esther was desperate. She ‘’pleaded’’; she ‘’begged’’ (3). She fell at the king’s feet and wept. She humbled herself before him. Listen to her words. She recognised it was important to sincerely say, ‘Your will be done’. But she was nevertheless clear and fervent in her asking. Things had to change. (See James 5:16b).

The intolerable leads to intense intercession which in turn changes history:

A book title comes to mind: ‘Shaping history through prayer and fasting.’ I also think of Walter Wink’s famous phrase: ‘History belongs to the intercessors.’

PRAYER: Lord, pour upon your church the spirit of prayer.