Tag Archives: Esther

Praise protocol

images-1Esther didn’t just leave a sticky on the fridge.

Even though she was queen, she couldn’t just address the Persian Emperor casually. She had to dress appropriately, prepare some meals, and then make the formal petition. Haman, the enemy of the Jews, was done for.

funny-133There’s a parallel in prayer. When you go before the Emperor of the Universe, you might want to observe certain protocol (we Americans know nothing about protocol, but the rest of world does!). You might want to prepare your heart with praise. “I will enter His gates with thanksgiving.”

ATT001904You might want to “enthrone” God first. There’s a place for addressing God as our Daddy, and there’s reason to dismiss much of the religious ritual used by dead and dying churches. BUT, we ought not be overly casual with the Almighty and err at the opposite extreme.

If you present yourself before the Queen of England, a 6’4″ guy will brief on correct behavior. You probably don’t want to use vulgar language and expect a high five. So too before God, enter with confidence to His presence, but go in with praise!

Soon enough

 

If you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, it may just be a long tunnel. Don’t despair and tap out. God is not pummeling you. He’s not your enemy, laying mines to blow you up along the path. The picture of the angel of the Lord with sword drawn ready to strike Balaam is not you.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” — Jer. 29:11 NIV. In all of the canon, this verse echoes into the future and into the past. From Genesis to Revelation, this one scripture rings forth. Its context: God had just punished the Jews, sending them into Babylonian captivity.

They’re confused, bewildered, overwhelmed. The punishments seem unbearable, the virtual extermination of God’s people on Earth. When they have no hope, God delivers this prophecy: Have hope. In the captivity, God prospered and favored the Jews (look at Mordecai and Esther). Then, God returned them from captivity (look at Ezra and Nehemiah).

God’s thoughts for us are likewise to prosper us. When you feel shell-shocked, look up to God with hope in prayer. He will prosper you soon enough.