1. Seized with anguish in her fear of death, Queen Esther likewise had recourse to the Lord.
2. Taking off her splendid robes, she put on garments of distress and mourning. In place of expensive perfumes, she covered her head with dirt and ashes. Humbling her body severely, she put aside all her festive adornments and left her hair disheveled.
3. Then she prayed to the Lord God of Israel:
4. My Lord, you who stand alone, come to my help; I am alone and have no help but you. Through my own choice I am endangering my life.
5. As a child I was wont to hear from the people of the land of my forebears that you, O Lord, chose Israel from among all peoples, and our fathers from among their ancestors to be your lasting heritage; that you did for them, all that you have promised.
6. But we have sinned, and for this you have handed us over to our enemies;
7. we have worshiped their gods, but you, O Lord, are just.
8. Dissatisfied with our bitter servitude, they made a pact with their idols
9. to abolish what you have decreed, to blot out your heritage,
10. to shut the mouths that give you praise, to quench the glory of your Temple and your altar and instead to let the pagans sing the praise of worthless idols, and idolize forever a king of flesh.
11. Do not give up your scepter, O Lord, to non-existent beings. Never let them gloat over our ruin, but turn their designs against themselves and make an example of our chief enemy.
12. Remember us, Lord; reveal yourself in the time of our calamity. Give me courage, King of gods and master of all power.
13. Make my words persuasive when I face the lion; turn his heart against our enemy, that the latter and his like may be brought to their end.
14. Save us by your hand; help me who am alone and have none but you, O Lord.
15. You know everything; you know how I hate honor if from the impious, how I loathe the bed of the uncircumcised and of any foreigner.
16. You know I am here under constraint, that I loathe the diadem about my brow when I appear in public; as a filthy rag I loathe it and do not wear it in private.
17. Your handmaid has never eaten at Haman's table, nor has taken pleasure in royal banquets, nor drunk the wine offered to their gods.
18. Neither has your handmaid found pleasure from the day of her promotion till now except in you, Lord God of Abraham.
19. O God, more powerful than all, hear the voice of those in despair; save us from the evil man's power, and deliver me from my fear.