The Prayer of Jabez

A number of years ago a book came out called “The Prayer of Jabez”.  I was given a copy and I read it.  There was a bit of a push to recommend saying the prayer daily as a means of effecting change.  I am not much of a person to jump on a bandwagon and do something simply because it is popular.  I am also not a big fan of memorized prayers so I did not do anything with it at the time.

Imagine my surprise when I was reading in my devotions this past week and felt the Lord prompt me to use this prayer as the basis for the message this week.

I Chronicles 4:9-10

Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” 10 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.

I.  That You Would Bless Me

There is nothing wrong with asking for God to bless us.  Actually, it is good to recognize that all blessings do indeed come from God.  These blessings come in many forms.  I wonder if we even recognize the blessings that we do receive?  Or if we are so focused on what we haven’t received, that we don’t appreciate the blessings that God has given us?

II.  Enlarge My Territory

This does not mean simply give me a bigger house, or a more important job.  We should think beyond ourselves.  It is not all about us.  We should try to broaden our influence and have an impact on more people for the kingdom of God.  This can take place in our personal lives, our church, the missionaries that we support with our giving and our prayers and in other ways.  If we lift our eyes to the horizon we will be surprised at what impact God can have through our lives.  Let us enlarge our territory and look beyond ourselves.

III.  Your Hand Would Be With Me

I am reminded that among the last words of Jesus to His disciples was “I am with you always.”  (Matthew 28:20)  God is with us to guide, provide, protect and encourage.  He is an ever present help.

IV.  Keep Me From Evil

Certainly we desire God to protect us from evil.  There are different forms of evil, natural evil, human evil, and supernatural evil.  They are all bad and God is able to protect us from them.  If we are caught up in evil, God is able to see us through.

It is also appropriate to think of this as a prayer to keep us from doing evil.  We are not perfect and we need the help of God to do what is right.

V.  That I Might Not Cause Pain

Jabez is a word that means “He will cause pain”.  Jabez did not want to live up to his name.  Our desire should be to be a blessing to others, not to cause them pain.  May God use our lives to build people up, not to tear them down.

I am still not one to jump on a bandwagon or to recommend memorized prayers.  However, many people have found that saying the prayer of Jabez regularly has been very helpful in their lives.  Whether you choose to regularly use the prayer in your devotions is up to you.

I do think that we can all learn a lesson from the themes that it presents.

These are the sermon notes from 2/8/15.  Any advertisements that might appear are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.    

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