Let me ask you a question, do you often have trouble in forming a prayer to God? Don’t we sometimes just try to get the right words in our prayer, or try to make it something God will take notice of? I want to look at a prayer that a lot of people probably have never looked at or read. It is found in 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 (New King James Version) and is called the “Prayer of Jabez.” It says, “Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bore him in pain.” “And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, Oh, that you would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that your hand would be with me, and that you would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” I love the next sentence, “So God granted him what he requested.”
I find it interesting as well as important that this gem of a prayer is found hidden in the middle of a few chapters of nothing but the genealogy of several families. Did God want us to dig this gem out as a great example for us to ponder over? It is short, only two verses, but packed with power and authority that we can apply to our own lives. Do you need a spiritual breakthrough in your life? Do you have a need that haunts you as you try to find the answer? This gem of a prayer can be your launching pad into the blessings of God in your life and the life of your family.
First of all, who was Jabez and what was he about? His name was given to him by his mother and it means, “He will cause pain.” Wow, how would you like that name for yourself? You will find little else about Jabez in the entire Bible except in these two verses. Important reason to pay attention to his prayer. According to scripture, he had lived a more honorable life than his brothers had. We get no information about his brothers, but we know that God looked at him as an honorable man.
We find Jabez “calling out,” to God, literally a man of fervent prayer, crying out morning, noon, and night to God. He was not going to give up on his desire for God to bless him. In his pounding on the doors of heaven, he did not call out to the “God of Jacob,” (the one who delivers out of trouble), but to the “God of Israel.” (the one who blesses and multiplies His people) We know that God delights in giving good and perfect gifts to His people but we many times come before His Throne with timidity in our spirit. We need to take our position as a child of God, one that has the inheritance of the Kingdom for our benefit, covering our spiritual and physical life. Scripture says God delights, say that in capital letters, DELIGHTS in giving good gifts to His children.
The prayer Jabez proclaimed was simple but profound, it was challenging God to act on his requests. He was honorable in all his ways and this gave him favor with God. Are we honorable in all our ways? Is God ready to pour forth into our pleadings or is He waiting for us to be honorable before Him? There seems to be a give and take in this pounding on heavens door and the response Jabez got from God. He was seeking from God all the promises of the Bible. He was standing for all that God had to offer, saying, “indeed” bless me. He was reckless and daring in his forcefulness before God. I do not think he was ready to take no for an answer. He even asked God to enlarge his territory, meaning almost anything he wanted it to mean. What does it mean for you? Is your life in a rut? Do you want a deeper walk with God? Are you tired of living on the defensive side of life? Would you like God to help you get on the offensive side of your life in body, mind, and spirit?
How did Jabez accomplish this blessing from God? He asked, “that your hand would be with me.” He was inviting the full, unhindered power and presence of God to be flowing through him, at ALL times. He was literally saying that he wanted ALL God had for him or he was not moving forward. He drew a line in the sand so to speak. He cried out again and asked God to keep him from sin and evil, not allowing Satan to trouble him. What an impactable and profound statement before God. He wanted no part of sin, not wanting to bring sorrow to others. He was determined to not reap the effects of sin. Do our lives reflect as honorable to those around us as well as to God? If not do not challenge God in prayer as Jabez did.
Having more faith each day is not a bad thing, it will continually draw us into the presence of God. Jesus said that He came to give us life, and abundant life, body, soul, mind, and spirit. Take the stance that Jabez took, firmly plant yourself as an honorable person before God and your fellow man. Do not forget the statement at the end of Jabez’s encounter with God, “So God granted him what he requested.” Ask for big things from God, He is greater than your problem or need.
Have a blessed day.