The book of Esther shows how history was changed by the practice of fasting.
A man named Haman had gained great political position and power in the Persian Empire. He persuaded the king to send forth a universal decree for the destruction of all the Jewish people within the confines of his empire on a certain day. Their response to this crisis was to turn to God with fasting and prayer.
The Jewish people knew what to do. They knew the way to humble themselves before God was to fast. What was the result? In Esther 5:1–3, we read these words:
On the third day [of prayer and fasting] Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the palace, in front of the king’s hall (…) Then the king asked, ‘What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be given you.’ (Esther 5:1–3 NIV)
Esther went in with her request and she changed the entire course of the history of the Persian Empire. The critical turning point was the three-day period when Esther and all the Jews in Susa fasted and sought God. Then their destiny was changed.
Esther is a beautiful pattern for us today. God is looking for men and for women like Esther who realize the critical nature of our situation and turn to God with their fellow believers in prayer and fasting. Prayer and fasting can still call forth divine intervention on behalf of His people and the critical situation in the world today, just as much as it did in the days of Esther.
This Reflection is taken from: