Daily Devotional

Average reading time is about 3 minutes

“Go and get all the Jews in Susa together; hold a fast and pray for me. Don’t eat or drink anything for three days and nights. My servant women and I will be doing the same. After that, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. If I must die for doing it, I will die” (Esther 4:16, GNT).

Researchers have studied the effects of prayer for decades, and one of its more interesting aspects is its influence on human emotion. There is mounting evidence that prayer helps people become more forgiving, especially toward people they pray for. It also increases self-control; for example, people who often spend time in prayer are more likely to keep a cool head when faced with an anger-provoking situation. People who pray regularly are also more likely to avoid drinking alcoholic beverages or engage in other harmful activities, and they are less likely to suffer depression.

Furthermore, prayer can reduce stress. In those who face money challenges, praying for others reduces the stress caused by those financial burdens. And in those with anxiety problems, prayer tends to alleviate overall anxiety and its symptoms.

Esther had to be feeling some twinges of anxiety during those three days of fasting. After all, it was illegal for her to go into the palace to see the king without an invitation from him. It could have landed her in serious trouble. In a worst-case scenario, she could have even been executed. Because of the urgency of the situation, she was willing to take that chance—but not without fasting and prayer.

Through prayer, God strengthened Esther and gave her the wisdom to devise a plan for saving her people. She was then able to move forward boldly. Esther’s experience demonstrates the tremendous value and importance of prayer.

Are you facing a daunting situation? God’s Word advises: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6, 7). Through the gift of prayer, He will be with you in every circumstance.

Dear Lord, help me to lean on You more fully and receive the blessings of Your presence through prayer.

For Further Study: Esther 4; 5:1–3; James 5:16

Daily Devotional Verses

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