The Prayer of Jabez
If you are like me, it may have been awhile since you read through the Old Testament book of First Chronicles, especially the first nine chapters. In those chapters, you will find over 500 difficult-to-pronounce names recounting the genealogies of the Hebrew tribes. This is bed time reading only if you want to get to sleep quickly! However, hidden in the middle of this long list is an extraordinary prayer - The Prayer of Jabez.
Thanks to a little book by the same title written by Bruce Wilkinson, president of Walk Through the Bible, this prayer is getting a lot of attention. It is a prayer of wonderful simplicity, and yet powerful promise. Surprisingly, right in the middle of a bunch of names, we find the briefest of biographies about a man who wanted to be different, and his prayer that transformed his life. It is found in I Chronicles 4: 9,10.
Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called him 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." So God granted him what he requested.
You have now read all we know about Jabez. He's never mentioned again in the Bible. Yet what we do know is amazing. Here is a guy who was named 'Pain.' (The Hebrew meaning of Jabez). Can you imagine what it was like growing up with your name meaning pain? In spite of the poor start, he was determined to be different from those around him. He decided he was going to be more honorable than his brothers. He was not going to cause others pain, and he was going to live a life that could only be explained by what God did.
Jabez prayed four simple things. We will look at each of them in more detail the next two weeks. They don't seem that remarkable at first glance, but each phrase is a paradigm shift. If you would like to read how others have been effected by this prayer, check out the website at: www.prayerofjabez.com.
Scripture: I Chronicles 4:10 - "Oh, that You wold 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."
Action Point: Ask God to make you an honorable person. Pray Jabez's prayer for your life today.
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