“Now Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request”. 1 Chronicles 4:10 (NIV)
The Prayer of Jabez shows us 5 powerful ways to pray and how we can make it personal for ourselves and our loved ones.
Do you know the Prayer of Jabez? Most people who have heard of it think it is a prayer for money or power. But is it really?
Who was Jabez? What kind of man was he? Before we can begin to understand his prayer and why it is significant we need to know about this man.
Jabez was Jewish. In Jewish custom it was very common for a person’s name to have some kind of symbolism. The Bible says Jabez’s mother named him this because “she bore him in great pain”.
Sometimes a person’s name was used to foretell their future. Maybe his mother thought his life would be filled with pain or that he would cause pain.
But don’t overlook this one little sentence about Jabez found in verse 9 right before his prayer. The Bible says “Jabez was more honorable than his brothers . . .” 1 Chronicles 4:9.
Jabez was a man of great faith and prayer. He had a close relationship with God and believed His word to be true so he was not afraid to come to God and ask boldly for what he desired.
When you think of how many people lived during the time the Bible was written you know he had to be a man with an important role to play in history for his name and character to be mentioned specifically in the Bible.
This prayer starts out with Jabez “calling out to the God of Isreal”. What is the first thing we usually do when we need something?
A lot of times our first response is to worry and become anxious. Sometimes we talk to our spouse or friends and try to figure out things for ourselves.
But the first thing Jabez did was to call out out to God. He knew God, he trusted His power and knew that this was the most important thing he could do and his first step.
When we keep God first in our lives we have the peace of God that passes understanding.
Bless me indeed! “And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh that You would bless me indeed.” 1 Chronicles 4:10
Have you ever asked God to bless you? It has seemed to me that I was being greedy to ask for God’s blessing until I read this prayer of Jabez.
Do you feel that way too? Jabez didn’t. He asked God to “bless me indeed”! Like please God, pour your blessings down on my life. Open the doors of heaven and rain down your blessings!
I have to admit, I have never done that. Like I said, I’ve felt guilty asking for God’s blessing on me. Now asking God to bless my family and friends is a different story.
That’s easy to ask God to bless my kids and their lives! I want God to bless them “exceedingly abundantly above all I can ask or think”! Ephesians 3:20 (NASB)
Blessings come in all shapes and sizes. Some blessings are tangible. At times, God may choose to bless His people with financial blessings to help pay bills or meet a specific need.
Maybe it is providing a job or answering someone’s prayer about a spouse, a child or maybe providing a home or a car.
However, at times our blessings come in the form of unseen blessings. God gives us spiritual blessings and gifts and talents. As we use these gifts for God we can ask God to bless us in our work.
“And Jabez called on the God of Isreal saying . . .”enlarge my territory.” 1 Chronicles 4:10
What does that even mean in today’s world? Well for Jabez, he was asking God to provide for his family. Not just to provide the basics but to provide even more and to use him more.
Did you know you can ask God to provide for you in this way as well? The Bible says “You have not, because you ask not.” James 4:2 (NASB) plain and simple, right?
But then in the very next verse God says “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.” James 4:3 (NASB). I don’t believe Jabez was just asking God to give him more cattle so he could “compete with the Jones’s”.
Because of Jabez’s relationship with God he knew that God is the giver of all good things. Also, because of his relationship with God he wanted to have a greater impact on the world around him. He wanted to reach more people for the Kingdom.
Jabez was an honorable man, he wanted God to use him. His request was honorable and would give glory to God.
You can ask God to enlarge your “territory as well”. What does that look like for you? We all have aspirations for “more.” More responsibility, more money, better relationships with our spouse and kids. Maybe we need to asking God to enlarge our territory with our ministries.
Really we are asking God to use us in a bigger and more powerful way because we know that “every good and perfect gift comes from God” James 1:17 (NASB) and we are to use our gifts to serve Him.
When he asked God to “Let your hand be with me” Jabez was asking for guidance. We all need God’s leadership and guidance in our lives.
If we truly want to serve God and want His blessing on our lives then we need Him to lead us. We need God to give us direction. Left on our own we would be in a terrible mess.
Every morning before my day gets started I pray. One of the things I pray for is for God to lead, guide and direct me that day.
I know I am forgiven of my sins and I no longer have to live with the shame and guilt of past mistakes.
However, I am also keenly aware that I have, at times, made decisions without consulting God first and those decisions have had painful consequences.
So I definitely need God’s leadership and guidance not just in my day to day life but also in making big decisions.
Jabez asked that God would “Keep me from harm, . . .”. Isn’t this like what we ask for when we pray the Lord’s prayer asking God to keep us from temptation and protect us from evil.
That is what Jabez was doing. He was asking God to keep him from evil and keep evil from him.
We can do the same thing and we need to be! The Bible says “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1Peter 5:8 (NIV)
We need God’s protection from the enemy and we God to protect us from doing bad things and making poor decisions.
Jabez knew the meaning of his name. He knew his birth caused his mother pain and he did not want to be known as “pain” anymore.
Can you just imagine as a kid growing up with that name? I’m sure he was made fun of. This name could have even caused him to have self esteem issues.
I mean who wants to be known as “pain”? However I am glad that God chose to allow Jabez’s mother to name him this and to include it in the Bible. Want to know why I think God did this?
Jabez had faith in God. He was asking God to transform his life. God can do that for us too. Romans 8:28 “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
God can work in the pain and sorrows of our past, the broken things, to make something beautiful. He can transform our lives in such as way that no matter what our past has been like, it can be beautiful and filled with joy!
Now when I read this I am reminded of the beauty of God’s plan. His amazing love for us and how He really can and does bring beauty from ashes.
Because Jabez had such a close relationship with God and was a man of great faith with a strong prayer life he knew he needed God’s strength. He needed God’s leadership and guidance and above all he wanted to serve God.
Jabez had a desire to honor God and had a right attitude. His heart was right with God and so were his desires. Remember the Bible describes him as ‘honorable’. James 4:3 talks about our motives in prayer.
When our motives are not in line with God’s will for God’s glory then He will not answer our prayers the way we want. Do we want God’s blessings on our lives? Of course, we all do. But first we must examine our hearts and our motives.
We must recognize who God is and His place in our lives. When our heart’s desire is to honor and glorify God then He will give us the desire of our heart.
To enlarge our territory is to have a heart like Jesus to love and care for others. To help lead others to the Kingdom.
Wouldn’t this be a wonderful prayer to pray for our husbands and to pray over our children?
I’m not saying God will not bless us with financial blessings, He very well may. But what are we going to do with those financial blessings? Are we asking because we want to impress others?
Do our prayer request reflect the will of God in our lives?
I want to encourage you today to write this prayer in your prayer journal and print out the free Prayer of Jabez. Begin praying this prayer every day over your life and the lives of your loved ones.
Watch God work in your lives and transform you from within. God knows what we need before we even ask but we have to do our part and come to Him with our needs and request.
This shows our dependance on God and our trust in His love and providence.
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I’m praying for God to enlarge my territory with this ministry! You can help by sharing and I sincerely appreciate it 🙂
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