Today’s readings are all about interior disposition. What is outside begins inside. This is true at the remotest level, even in the material realm (that which we discover through science). For example, the surface tension of water, an observed property, begins on the molecular and even atomic level, with hydrogen “bonding.” In the same way we see the mortal anguish inside of Esther propelling her to intense prayer to the only One in Whom she has recourse: the LORD. She asks the Lord to put in her mouth persuasive words, that God’s Spirit will speak through her. She asks the Lord to turn the heart of the one to whom she speaks, so that her plight will be heard by him. So not only is the Lord moving and speaking through the heart of Esther, but also the one who has the earthly authority destroy her and her people. It is God who moves hearts.
This is why intercessory prayer is so important. When we pour out our heart’s desires to the Lord, it is He who listens and makes things happen! Psalm 138 says, Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me. God builds strength within us to be His hands and feet, to make things happen! It is He who turns hearts, most especially our own, when we ask Him. A clean heart create for me, O God (Ps 51:12a).
Finally, in the Gospel Jesus completes the teaching of the law and the prophets, saying, do to others whatever you would have them do to you, and, ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. God places holy desires in our hearts so that we will ask Him to fulfill them, both for ourselves and for others. The Spirit gives life to all our being and prays through us to make God’s will manifest in the world. He has given us the freedom in our will to seek Him; we have the choice to open our spirit to His Holy Spirit, like Esther did. And our intercessory prayers put into motion His desire for others to do the same.