The Prayer of Jabez

Today’s blog post is inspired by the Biblical passage that the best-selling book,The Prayer of Jabez, was based on.  This book has been an inspiration to many people, and I encourage you to read it too.  Let’s start where I started, with the Biblical passage itself.

1 Chronicles 4:9-10 “There was a man named Jabez who was more honorable than any of his brothers. His mother named him Jabez because his birth had been so painful.  He was the one who prayed to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!” And God granted him his request.”

I love this passage because it tells us several thing about Jabez (who could be like any of us) and about God.

First we have Jabez.  It says that he was named because his birth had been painful.  What a label to walk around with for your name!  It certainly started his life off rough, but Jabez didn’t let a label or his past stop him.  He still prayed and lived an honorable life.

Now, when we look at Jabez’s prayer, we see a request to be used by God, to be guided by God and to be protected by God.  Jabez doesn’t ask for millions, or to be king or to have God change his name so his life will be easier.  He simply asks God to be actively present in his life.  Just to clear up confusion, when Jabez asks for a larger territory, what he’s really asking for is more opportunities from God to bless and help others.

The cool part is that God grants Jabez’s request!  Jabez asked, and God granted!  This always surprises readers of Jabez’s story, but it shouldn’t.  Jabez didn’t ask God for riches and fame, instead, his prayer is similar to Solomon’s, in that he requested wisdom and guidance.

My encouragement to you today would be that you too ask God for a blessing in your life.  But don’t pray for 1 million dollars, your brother to get well or for something specific or done exactly as you want it.  The part that worked about Jabez’s prayer, is that it expressed what Jabez wanted, but left the ‘how’ up to God.

What ‘hows’ do you need to leave up to God in your life? (share below)


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