Then I proclaimed a fast there at the River Ahava so that we might humble ourselves before our God and seek from Him a straight way for us, our little ones, and all of our possessions. So we fasted and sought our God about this, and He responded to our plea. (TLV) Ezra 8:21,23
Nosh: The fact that humility motivates God to move on our behalf is well documented throughout Scripture. In this case, Ezra needed assurance from God that he and the Jewish people with him, who together were undertaking a perilous and prophetic journey to Israel, were doing so with God’s favor and protection. Ezra was successful in getting that assurance because he knew that fasting in combination with heartfelt prayer would be viewed by God as authentic humility. He also understood that when humility is expressed in God’s presence, His eyes and ears are especially attentive and responsive to those prayers.