We are your chosen people, so listen to my prayer and be gracious to us. Turn our misfortune into joy so that we may live to sing your praises. Save us from death so that we can keep on praising you."
And all the people of Israel prayed loudly and earnestly because they were sure that they were going to die.
Queen Esther, in deep agony, turned to the Lord.
She took off her splendid robes and put on garments of mourning and grief. Instead of her rich perfumes, she put ashes and dung on her head. She did all she could to destroy any dignity in her appearance. She let her tangled and uncombed hair hang down over her body that she had always taken such care to beautify.
She prayed to the Lord God of Israel, "My Lord and King, only you are God. I am all alone, and I have no one to turn to but you. Help me!
I am about to risk my life.
O Lord, as long as I can remember, my family has told me how you chose Israel from all the nations and how in ancient times you singled out our ancestors to be your people forever. You have kept all your promises to them.
"But we sinned against you. You handed us over to our enemies because we worshiped their gods.
We deserved your punishment, O Lord.
But our enemies are no longer satisfied just to see us in slavery. They have made a solemn promise to their idols
not only to destroy the people who praise you, but to do away with your Law and to remove forever the glory of your house and altar.
They want the whole world to praise worthless idols and stand in awe of mortal kings forever.
"Lord, these gods are nothing; do not surrender your power to them or give our enemies the chance to laugh at our downfall. Instead, turn their evil plans against them, and make an example of that man who first planned our destruction.
"Remember us, O Lord. Come to us in this time of trouble. Give me courage, King of all gods and Ruler over all earthly powers.
Give me the right words to say when I go in to face Xerxes, that savage lion. Change his heart so that he will turn against Haman, our enemy, and destroy him and his gang.
Come to our rescue, O Lord. Help me; I am all alone, and I have no one to turn to but you.
"You know everything, Lord. You know that I hate the honor I receive from these Gentiles. I detest the thought of having sex with any of these uncircumcised heathen.
But you know that I have no choice. I hate the crown I have to wear as queen on official occasions. I never wear it unless I have to; it's as disgusting as last month's rag.
I refuse to eat at Haman's table or honor the king by attending his parties, and I have never drunk any of the wine dedicated to his gods.
Since I came here, the only thing that has brought me joy is my worship of you, Lord God of Abraham.
"Almighty God, listen to the prayer of your people. Rescue us from these evildoers, and take away my fear."
Queen Esther prayed for three days. Then she took off the clothes she had been wearing and put on her splendid robes again.
In all her royal splendor, she prayed again to her God and savior, who sees everything. Walking like a queen, she left her room accompanied by two servant women, one of them escorting her by the arm and