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The Esther Anointing: Becoming a Woman of Prayer, Courage, and Influence

The Esther Anointing: Becoming a Woman of Prayer, Courage, and Influence

by Michelle McClain-Walters


Learn More | Meet Michelle McClain-Walters

Introduction

You Were Made for More

Can you imagine an all-female army—women marching in complete synchronization with the cadence of the Holy Spirit—moving together in unity with distinction and dignity to advance the kingdom of God?

I believe that this is a season when the beauty and power of women will be on display. Decades of oppression will come to an end. Satan knows that when women discover their true identity in Christ, his evil kingdom will come to an abrupt end. I believe the body of Christ will see a manifestation of what Psalm 68:11 declares: “The Lord gives the command; the women who proclaim the good tidings are a great host” (nas). A strategic time in human history is coming when God will give a command, and an army of women who proclaim the good news will arise in the earth.

Not at all like the feminist movement, this new breed of women will not attempt to carry out their mission copying the dress and behavior of men. No, quite the contrary. These women will be arrayed in the softest silk and elegant high heels. They will be armed with resolve, wisdom, and true discernment, understanding that the true enemy has been Satan and not men—or one another. They will embrace their femininity as being a blessing and gift from God. I believe that we are this new breed of women.

The devil has blurred the lines and devalued the power of being feminine. We don’t have to hide our feminine qualities and compete with men to accomplish our purposes. We must develop a clear understanding of who God created us to be. We must get a clear vision of God’s ideal and make His standards the standards by which we live. We can’t buy into the lies that say male standards are the standards we must emulate to gain respect, fulfill our purposes, and find our identities in this society. Only Jesus has the key to our true identities.

God did not create women to do everything men can do. Equality does not mean sameness. Equality means each person is valued at the same level as another for their unique contribution. In fact, the very differences we have are our greatest strengths when recognized and used effectively instead of being at odds with one another. The Word of God clearly teaches us that men and women are meant to be partners in life—not just in marriage. When we come together in unity and mutually respect and depend on each other’s unique gifts, we begin to express the complete image of God in the earth.

Men and women alike were created in God’s image and likeness. Our society changes its expectations of us from generation to generation. This is why it must be His Word alone that we use to correct the distortions and devaluing of the differences between men and women. His Word for us does not change.

Women were created to express God’s rule and reign in the feminine form. God has mantled women with the gift of leadership to influence and impact the world for good. God created women to be nurturers. We were designed to influence and inspire those in our sphere with godly wisdom and gentle encouragement. We are helpers. We support and champion dreams and visions.

Godly femininity is nonthreatening and does not seek to intimidate. Godly femininity is power under control.

From Inferiority to Influence

There is a great move of the Holy Spirit among women. Women all over the world are feeling a passion welling up within their spirits that says, “I was made for more.” God is liberating us to move from a place of inferiority, competition, and fear to a place of power, influence, and courage. No longer are we feeling the pressure to put on “fatigues” to impersonate the masculine, but we are being healed and delivered from tradition and religion that have held us captive for centuries.

The Lord is releasing His favor and grace upon us to fulfill His purposes in the earth. The question is: Will we submit to the process of being trained and commissioned to fulfill these purposes?

We are being called to use our gifts and talents to impact our society—to preach, teach, pray, prophesy, and deliver nations. God is empowering us to follow His ordained direction. We are arising and influencing the world in ways we have never done. Women are rising with a new level of determination, courage, and unwavering faith. With this newfound resolve, we must be prepared and positioned properly. We must examine how God wants to raise us up to influence the kingdom and the world. I believe the combination of prayer and action will be two major keys to women influencing their spheres of authority.

Women are some of the most valuable, untapped resources. We are God’s secret weapons. Light is shining, and favor from God is being bestowed on women to be all that they can be. God is establishing godly women with authority and positioning them with influence that will bring freedom to societies throughout the earth. Godly, grace-filled women are being positioned to overthrow the plans of the enemies.

When I think of this supernatural shift God is causing in the lives of women, I think of my friend and colleague, councilwoman and apostle Kimberly Daniels. In her college days Apostle Kimberly was the fastest female sprinter in the nation. She then joined the military and became one of the fastest female sprinters around the world! Then her life took a turn, and she spiraled into a life on the streets. But God stepped in, and her destiny was reversed. What was meant for bad became one of her greatest assets in the kingdom: through this process of life being the fastest woman sprinter in the nation to living life on the street, Apostle Kimberly gained the ability to relate to people from all backgrounds. Through her ministry she shares her testimony globally and has led many to miraculous salvations, inner healing, and deliverance. She has a bachelor’s degree in criminology, a master’s degree in Christian education, and a doctorate in Christian counseling. But she didn’t stop there.

In 2011 Apostle Kimberly was elected to the Jacksonville, Florida, City Council, receiving almost ninety-three thousand votes while managing her own campaign. She did in two months what her opponents who campaigned for two years could not do. Her election results were miraculous and historical. With both her church, Spoken Word Ministries, and her position on the city council, Apostle Kimberly is currently influencing her city in both the spiritual and political realms.1 She is a modern-day example of the full manifestation of the Esther anointing.

What Is the Esther Anointing?

There is a pivotal time in Esther’s story when her past and present converged and her anointing was pressed out and revealed. At that point of convergence was where God, the great apothecary, took all of the bitter and sweet experiences of Esther’s life and crushed them together under the oil of the Holy Spirit to produce what I’m calling in this book “the Esther anointing.”

The Esther anointing is a grace that is being bestowed upon women to influence the current culture for the purposes of the kingdom of God. The anointing of Esther is one of courage and righteous boldness exercised with great wisdom to confront injustice and deliver a generation from destruction. Modern-day Esthers will have a humble, grace-filled, teachable spirit acquired through submitting to the process of the Lord. Many of the modern-day Esthers have been in places of obscurity, seemingly hidden and forgotten by God. But suddenly they will be taken out of the comfort zone of life and placed in positions where they have to speak a new language, learn a new culture, and overcome gender prejudice.

God, in His infinite wisdom and uniquely designed school of the spirit, has been equipping them for such a time as this. He uses every crisis, every injustice, and every victory to work together for their good; they have been learning obedience from the things they have suffered. They have been serving the purposes of God in wilderness-like places, learning to submit to authority in order to become women of authority.

Bitterness will not be the undertone of this company of Esthers, as Song of Solomon 8:5 asks the question, “Who is this coming up from the wilderness leaning [and depending] upon her beloved?” These women will be motivated by the love of God, leaning on His strength and abilities. They will not be intimidated by natural laws or deterred by the opinions of men. The fear of the Lord and hatred for the enemy will be the driving forces of these Esthers.

Many of these women will demonstrate authentic beauty, embrace their identities, and manifest the power of God in feminine form. They will develop strategic, holy alliances with male mentors, as Esther did with Hegai and Mordecai, to demolish division and competition between men and women.

These modern-day Esthers will have an anointing to gather people around the purposes of God. They will understand the times and seasons of God. They will facilitate gatherings of fasting and prayer to plead for life before the courts of heaven and earth.

The anointing of Esther is one of influence, righteous boldness, wisdom, femininity, and favor. This favor that modern-day Esthers will carry is not for selfish gain. They understand that God’s favor is to be used for their assignments in the earth. It’s by God’s favor that they are able to bring forth granted petitions even by ungodly civil authorities. This favor causes policies, rules, regulations, and laws to be changed and reversed for the advantage of kingdom. (See Esther 8:5.)

Are You a Modern-Day Esther?

Where are you today on your own journey? Are you discounting the significance of your life because you are a woman? Have you lost hope in seeing the promises of God fulfilled in your life? Maybe you are thinking there have been so many terrible things that have happened in your life that God could never use you. Maybe you’ve said to yourself, “I’ve made too many mistakes.”

The entire framework of the Esther anointing is rooted in a reversal of destiny. The Esther story is an example of how at one crucial moment in history the covenant promises God had made were fulfilled, not by His miraculous intervention but through completely ordinary events. The Esther story could be your story. God will take ordinary events in your life to fulfill some extraordinary promises to you. The Book of Esther is full of hidden hope. It is the one book in the Bible that does not mention the name of God, yet the message of God’s grace and redemption permeates each word. On the surface it appears as though God is absent, but Esther’s story proves that He is always at work behind the scenes in our lives to cause us to walk in our destiny in the earth.

This book will discuss the ways God reveals destiny to His leading ladies who keep Him as their priority. It will identify character traits that you must develop in order to fulfill your destiny; lead you to know how, when, and where your unique gifts operate best; show you how to uncover and guard against snares that will keep you from boldly walking in your assignment; and give you the motivation and encouragement you need to move into a place of significance.

Like Esther, you will learn how to yield to the call on your life and submit to the Holy Spirit’s purification process. Esther went through a season of preparation physically and spiritually. You will see how her respect for prayer and fasting made her the humble vessel God used to rescue individuals, turn circumstances, and deliver nations.

Esther was a woman of clear judgment, courage, and self-sacrifice. Esther was lifted from exile and poverty to being queen. She did not allow her background to determine what God could do with her future.

If you sense you have an Esther anointing bubbling up on the inside of you, join me in the pages of this book as we discover what you have been designed to influence.

The greatest thing that can happen to you in life, the greatest source of empowerment you can have, is when you discover your position in the prophetic unfolding plan of God. This will be your unique factor, what you are anointed to do. My prayer is that you get acquainted with your anointing and become more and more aware of what you are here to do.

Declarations and Prayers to Activate the Esther Anointing

I declare in the name of Jesus that I will arise as a mighty woman of God from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept me—I will rise to a new life!

I declare that this is a season when old things are passing away and all things are being made new in my life. God is calling me to active duty in His heavenly army.

I declare that this is a time when the heavenly Father will make all of my God-given dreams and aspirations come to fruition.

I declare that this is my time and season to accomplish and live in God’s ordained purpose and destiny.

I declare that I will arise from fear and embrace the courage of the Lord.

~
    Oh Lord, I thank You that You are an extraordinary God who will accomplish extraordinary things through me. I release myself from self-imposed limitations. I break every limitation that the enemy has placed upon my life. Lord, Your Word says, “Loose thyself . . . O captive daughter of Zion” (Isa. 52:2, KJV), and in the name of Jesus, I loose myself from every limitation, barrier, obstruction, and demonic mind-set that has kept me from meeting my full potential. No longer will I be deceived and trapped by traditions and the opinions of men. I was created for greatness! I was created to be God’s glory carrier throughout the earth.
    I will arise and be radiant with the glory of the Lord. Let the glory of the Lord shine through me. I am a beaming lighthouse of hope for many who sit in gross darkness.
    Lord, give me words of wisdom that will guide and influence many. I will not remain silent! I break every demonic conspiracy designed to keep me silent! I won’t let past failures and disappointments keep me silent. I will open my mouth wide, and God will fill it.
    God, give me ideas, insight, and concepts to bring deliverance to many. You have anointed me to impart grace to those in my sphere of influence. The words I speak will release life to a hurting generation.
    I am not in this world by chance. I’m not in this decade by chance. I’m not reading this book by chance. I am a modern-day Esther! I stir up and activate the Esther anointing through prayer. I embrace my inner and outer beauty. I decree that the power of femininity is being awakened inside of me.


Chapter 1

Taken: From Trauma to Triumph

    So it was, when the king’s command and decree were heard, and when many young women were gathered at Shushan the citadel, under the custody of Hegai, that Esther also was taken to the king’s palace, into the care of Hegai the custodian of the women.
      —Esther 2:8,
      emphasis added

I 'm intrigued by the passive tense in the phrase “was taken” in the verse above. In fact, this verb can mean “taken by force.” The word taken indicates to be fetched or acquired like property. The edict went out across the land, and the king’s guard was dispatched to gather the young girls. One minute they were at home with their families; the next minute they were whisked away to the palace and placed in a harem. Their lives were suddenly interrupted. The Persian Empire didn’t care whether parents had other plans for their daughters. Remember, “Resistance is futile; you must be assimilated.”

It’s easy to dismiss Esther as a lucky young woman who won the heart of a king. Most people view the story of Esther as one of romance, but I would like to offer a different viewpoint. Esther was a woman with a tragic background. Both of her parents had died, and she was adopted and cared for by her cousin Mordecai, who advised her to keep her Jewish identity a secret. In fact, to call the process of collecting the women a competition is a little misleading since none of the “contestants” would be going home afterward. These women were slaves, whose lives were not considered their own. The king wished to add to his collection of living dolls; those chosen would live in secluded splendor for the rest of their lives, even if they were only rarely taken out and played with. How is this romantic? This is more in line with modern-day sex trafficking than a beauty pageant.

Imagine if you were going about your day and suddenly a government official comes and, for all intents and purposes, snatches you off the street. Why? Because the king, who is known for killing people at a whim, wants a new wife since he banished the first one. The previous Queen Vashti refused to show herself before the king and his guests after he requested her presence so that he could show off her beauty. (See Esther 1.)

Allow me to personalize this story:

Esther, whose name to her family and kinsmen was Hadassah, was living at a time soon after the nation of Israel was conquered by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, who had then been conquered by the Persian Empire. While some of the Jews had been allowed to return to Jerusalem, Esther’s family was part of a group that decided to stay in Persia. Within their modest, tight-knit communities, many of these families kept all the Jewish laws and traditions, similar to how they must have tried to live in Egypt in the time of Moses. This is part of what angered Haman and caused him to devise an evil plot to kill all the Jews in Persia. He did not like that they refused to assimilate into Persian culture.

But as a young girl, Esther’s concerns were far more innocent. She may have had dreams of being the mother of the Messiah as many Jewish girls did. She was probably around the age that most Jewish girls got married, around twelve or thirteen. She was raised in the Jewish tradition and was taught about the one true God. She was a member of the Benjamite tribe, so the Law of Moses would have forbidden her to intermarry with other cultures. So when the edict went out and the soldiers came to collect Esther, she must have known her life was going to be very different.

Being in line to marry the king of an opposing, enemy nation was against everything she had been taught and raised to believe. I imagine that her plight was similar to that of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

I can’t begin to personalize the fear and despair this young girl must have felt being stripped from her family, knowing that she would be forced into behaviors or practices that went against her beliefs about marriage and maintaining sexual purity. Virginity was a single woman’s honor. In this place, this palace, all of that would be stolen and violated. Can you imagine her pleading with God as she was captured and rushed off to the “house of women,” begging Him for miraculous deliverance?

These occurrences in Esther’s life were unfair. She was indeed a victim. But her story offers hope to all women who have faced traumatic, life-altering situations and trouble of any kind that God can work through fears and dangers to accomplish your destiny.

Out of the Ashes

Have you ever felt as if your destiny has been taken? Maybe when the opposition seems unbeatable, you wonder if God cares. You may feel alone in the world with its suffering, injustice, and pain. You are not alone. God promises to never leave you or forsake you, nor does He send harm to come upon His daughters. There is a very real enemy who seeks to steal, kill, and destroy all your hope. He doesn’t want you to know or even fulfill your destiny. He will do this by causing you to blame God for the evil that the enemy sends into your life. And let me go further than this; we have the power to choose as well. Do we continue to live as victims or do we take on the righteousness and salvation of Christ and live as victors?

What do you do when life becomes too tough? You may think: “What can I do with all my troubles and baggage to help anyone else? How could my life, reputation, comfort, and future be used to rescue others?”

Great faith often emerges out of desperation and anguish, and people who perform brave deeds always battle fear and inadequacy. The hand of God is at work in the lives of His people. Just as He used the circumstances in Esther’s life, He can also use the decisions and actions in your life to providentially work out His divine plans and purposes for you.

We can trust in the Lord’s sovereign care over every aspect of our lives. God is invisibly at work, making even life’s greatest disappointments and tragedies a link in a chain of good things yet to come.

We cannot see the end of things from the middle, and we must walk by faith, not by sight. The Lord will bring a greater good, His perfect plan, out of all the frustration we feel and out of all the evil we experience. When all is said and done, God uses even injustice to fulfill His promises to us. God is present in every scene and in the movement of every event, until He ultimately and finally brings everything to a marvelous climax as He proves Himself Lord of His people.

Trauma is defined as a very difficult or unpleasant experience that causes someone to have mental or emotional problems usually for a long time. As you start to see yourself through God’s eyes, you’ll begin to sense the depth of His love for you—and the limitless beauty He’s placed within you—although you have seen ashes before you’ve seen beauty. Let Him replace your emptiness and pain with His rich and deeply rooted love.

This is your moment to be healed and set free. The Lord will give you beauty for your ashes. Ashes refer to the adversities in life, and beauty refers to how the Lord can turn around those adversities that He may be glorified.

I want to declare to you, woman of God, that everything can be taken from you including your dignity, but the power to choose what attitude you have toward the traumatic events that have happened to you will never be taken away. Beyond the pain in life, there is always a silver lining and light at the end of the tunnel.

With the Odds Against You . . .

God is not limited by the same things that may limit us in our natural, everyday world. He operates beyond all limitations—past failures, lack of resources, poor upbringing. God takes whatever we have and applies His love and favor to it and lets it soar, causing you to excel in the most unlikely situations. Here’s an example from a young woman who experienced this very thing:

    “The vision is for an appointed time.” The passion to help, protect, and empower orphans and vulnerable children burned within me since I was a little girl. However, when I expressed my desire, family and friends thought I was strange and lived in a fairy tale world. But I never got discouraged. It was all I wanted in life. Nothing else I was doing in life could satisfy or replace this passion. It was what I felt I was born to do.
    The odds were against me. I knew no one who shared the same passion I had except for Mother Teresa. I had no resources, no money, and didn’t know where to begin.
    Many years had passed, but during those years I never gave up hoping and dreaming. In 2003 I was invited to join a team on a mission trip to three countries in Africa with Apostle John Eckhardt (overseer of Crusaders Church and IMPACT Network). I visited Swaziland, Mozambique, and Zambia. While in Zambia, the Lord said to me that here is where I would feed His sheep. I was elated to hear this.
    After talking with some of the natives and hearing the plight of orphans and what I could do to help, I immediately began the process of becoming a nongovernmental organization (NGO) to be called Daughters of Zion International. Every year after 2003 I would travel to Zambia, leaving my job in Chicago on unpaid leave to stay in Zambia for three months so I could become familiar with the culture, establish relationships, and check up on the small projects we had begun.
    From 2003 to 2009 through our Bare Necessities Project, we fed sixty-five families comprised of orphans and the grandmothers as guardians. There were over two hundred children benefitting from this program. We gave food, clothes, shoes, laundry detergent, and personal hygiene toiletries to these families every three months. The project ended as the grandmothers were empowered through mini-finance loans to start small businesses to continue providing for their families.
    In 2008 I opened a school, Zion Academy, in one of the poorest communities in Zambia called Mtendere. This community is overpopulated with orphans and vulnerable children. Children were at risk of being abused because the only businesses that were operating were house bars and clubs. I couldn’t bear seeing these children suffer like this.
    Both the children and parents were happy the school opened. The children were fed two meals a day and were provided with uniforms and school supplies. For some, those two meals were the only meals they ate. They were able to learn and play in a safe environment. We even had to purchase school shoes for many of them because their parents had no income.
    Unfortunately the school closed after two years because the landlord wanted more rent than what the property was worth and more than what my budget could afford. All was not lost. We brought uniforms and school supplies for the forty children that attended, and they went to government-funded schools.
    December 2010 I transitioned to Zambia to live and to work full time with the ministry. Currently we are operating a home for little girls who are orphaned and have been abused or abandoned. We receive children who were infected by the HIV virus at birth and those who were severely malnourished. By the grace of God they are doing well and have recovered a great deal in health and spirit.
    I am grateful to God for the love He has given me for the less fortunate. I am humbled and honored to be chosen for such a rewarding ministry. I am grateful for prayers and support we receive.
      —Shani Britton
Declarations and Prayers to Heal Trauma and Activate a Spirit of Triumph

I declare that my light has come. No longer will I sit in darkness, for the Lord is releasing heavenly revelation and illumination to me. My purpose is getting clearer.

I am a woman who has mental, emotional, and spiritual fortitude. New strength is arising within.

I choose to move forward in the face of trauma. I will sustain a sense of personal meaning in life. I will not be destroyed by the events that happen to me. I receive inner strength to overcome.

I declare that I will not let difficult or traumatic events define and derail my destiny. I will not allow a spirit of bitterness, hurt, and unforgiveness rule my life. I refuse to have a victim’s mentality.

I am strong and able to withstand opposition. I will continue blessing and serving the Lord and others even in the midst of storms and crises.

I am the arrow of deliverance that the Lord is polishing to strategically shoot out from His quiver.

I am a woman who is able to bear up under pressure and adversity.

I am conspicuous, distinguished, outstanding, and preeminent. I will shine bright like a diamond for the King of glory.

~
    Lord, You are my refuge and my strength, my very present help in a time of adversity. I embrace Your healing and deliverance. You are the glory and the lifter of my head. The brightness of God’s countenance is turned toward me. I am the apple of Your eye, and the favor and glory of the Lord will arise over me. Lord, clothe me in a mantle of dignity and strength. In Jesus’s name, I pray. Amen.

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