Monday, April 22, 2013

Jabez: A Prayer for Today

The Prayer of Jabez: Blessing, Increase, and Protection

The prayer of Jabez (the Scripture, not the book!) is one of my favorite prayers in the Word of God to meditate on.  Here's what 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!"  So God granted him what he requested (1 Chronicles 4:9-10).

I like looking at the aspects of this prayer because it wasn't just for Jabez and it isn't something that is in the past; we can have the same things Jabez asked the Lord for!  Skipping down to his actual prayer, Jabez begins to ask the Lord to bless him.  I can't remember the last time I simply asked the Lord for His blessing. I declare in church each week that I am full of the Blessing of the Lord, but when did I last ask Him to bless me?
Looking at the next sentence, Jabez asks for his territory to be enlarged.  Now, there are a number of opinions as far as what is meant here, but for the purposes of today, I would like to suggest that it can mean increase our literal acreage, the number of people in our church, our sphere of influence with others, our family size, assets and more.  What area do you need increase?
The next two sentences I believe go hand-in-hand.  Here Jabez is asking for the protection of the Lord and for God to keep evil from him.  Especially with the recent events in our country this month, it is practically essential that we pray that portion!  
What areas of your life need protection?

  • Finances?
  • Relationships?
  • Health?
  • Addictions?

Finally, Jabez asks one last thing:  That I may not cause pain. How many times have I unintentionally said or done something that hurt, offended, or angered others?  This actually happened recently (and drew me back to the Prayer of Jabez!).  I honestly did not mean to hurt my friends, but through my words, I did.  I'm pleased to report, though, that the Lord healed that rift, and we are all okay once again.  But if I could have avoided the hurt and pain and mistrust at all, I certainly would have preferred that instead!

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