Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: Pray Like Jabez!

0 Flares 0 Flares ×

woman-prayingThe prayer of Jabez, found in I Chronicles 4:9,10,  was catapulted to national recognition in the year 2000, by author Bruce Wilkinson, whose book “The Prayer of Jabez” sold nine million copies in two years, spawning several other books as well as a complete line of Jabez merchandise…everything from backpacks to Christmas ornaments.  The simple prayer, prayed by one who was “more honorable” than his brothers contained four requests of God:

  1. blessings
  2. an enlarged border
  3. the presence of the hand of God
  4. protection from evil, thus, grief.

We are given few details about how the life of Jabez turned out, but we know it was good because the scripture tells us that God granted his petitions. Unlike Bruce Wilkinson’s urging that you pray the exact words of Jabez for thirty days and certainly unlike his promise that you will see miracles occur on a regular basis if you do, I want you to encourage you to pray like Jabez. I want to pray like Jabez.

  1. Jabez’s spiritual requests outnumbered his pleas for physical blessings. I hope my petitions are largely spiritual because temporal blessings are so “over” when this short life is done. I want my heart to be on heaven (Colossians 3:2). I want to love Him with all my heart, soul, strength and mind (Luke 10:27). When I do, my prayers will be consumed with what consumes me.
  2. Jabez’s prayer was borne heavenward from a heart of honor. Integrity is critical as I approach God. I cannot fool God with my words or my bowed head before Him. He knows what is beneath the “pious” look. May I seek my God with honor. Any attempt at duplicity is wasted on God. He knows.
  3. Jabez wanted any other blessings to be only in conjunction with that of “the hand of God”. If I can learn to pray for blessings that will facilitate my clinging to His hand, then I will, in turn, make choices that keep me in partnership (a covenant relationship) with my God. Let me not pray for my children to win in their competitions or scholastic endeavors; let me pray for whatever outcome will help them spiritually. Let me not pray for a raise in salary; let me rather pray for the pay level that will facilitate my faithfulness. Let me not pray for “miracles” in my daily life; but rather for daily trust in the One who miraculously gave me life’s written ultimatum; the timeless standard for behavior and acceptance with Him.
  4. Jabez prayed for protection from evil. Some may believe that Jabez was praying to be kept from danger. I believe he was praying to be kept from wickedness. (The Hebrew word “ra rah,” translated “evil” could signify either. ) While God may have limited the affliction and trials of Jabez, it seems more plausible that Jabez was asking, as Christ instructed us to ask “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Certainly the end of the plea “…that it may not grieve me,” would be a fitting close had Jabez been praying for spiritual protection. Certainly the hand of God being with Jabez would have been contingent on his desire to avoid sinful activities. But the most compelling reason I believe Jabez’s request was for protection from wickedness, is the fact that the passage tells us he was a man of honor. Men of honor are much more likely to pray for greatness of character than ease of circumstances.

So, pray like Jabez. There are lots of similarities in this short prayer and the one Jesus gave us as a prayer template in Matthew 6:19-21. You are not promised the supernatural in thirty days. But cling to the hand of God as you pray. Miracles are coming your way. After all, hearing a trumpet that’s audible to the whole world, meeting Him in the clouds, entering into His joys, and sitting around a throne in a land of fadeless day forever..??!…That’s supernatural!

(Don’t forget the podcast tonight at 7 CST.)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
0 Flares Facebook 0 Twitter 0 Google+ 0 Email -- Pin It Share 0 0 Flares ×

You Might Also Like

    0 Flares Facebook 0 Twitter 0 Google+ 0 Email -- Pin It Share 0 0 Flares ×