Monday, February 2, 2009

The Prayer of Jabez

by Monica Hernandez

Many of us have read Bruce Wilkinson’s bestseller “The Prayer of Jabez” and have been inspired by it. And turning to the Scriptures we read: “And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me” (1 Chronicles 4:10, KJV). Here Jabez is making a simple request to God, asking for what is already his, and the Scriptures say that God granted Jabez that which he requested.

What is so remarkable about this prayer? It is a simple plea, concise and uplifting, directed to God, with no reference to vengeance on his enemies or bemoaning his plight. This indicates that Jabez was well grounded and balanced in thought, words and understanding, and is a fine example for us to follow.

Analysis of this faith-filled prayer shows that it addresses three of our most basic needs: (1) prosperity, (2) the hand of God in our lives, and (3) the grace of God to keep us from evil that we might not be hurt.

Asking for prosperity is simply asking God to release that which is ours for He has given to each of us a portion, and it is divine. Asking for the hand of God in our lives is simply asking for His rule, power and wisdom because He sees and knows how all things must work. And asking that God keep us from evil that we might not be hurt is the same as the ending of the prayer Jesus gave to His disciples - that which we call the Lord’s prayer.

Is it selfish to ask the Lord to “enlarge your coast?” No, not at all. It is more selfish not to pray for others or not to share our prosperity with others, than it is to ask the Lord to prosper us, for prosperity is our heritage. Jesus taught that “we must ask, seek and knock and we will receive, find and have the door opened to us.”

The Scriptures also teach that “we receive not because we ask not...” and “delight thyself in the Lord and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”

The Prayer of Jabez is a statement of humility, recognizing that God is All-Power and the Giver of all things, spiritual and material, thus giving glory unto God.

Thank God, He is the Giver of every good and perfect gift and there is more than enough of every good thing in the Kingdom of heaven for everyone on this earth.

Suggested Readings: 1 Chronicles 4:10; Matthew 6:9-13; Matthew 7:7-8.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: God is my Source for all things spiritual and material.

Coming soon: "Questions You Wanted to Ask." This is a collection of questions I have been asked over several years in “The Revealing Word Bible Class” about the Bible and life in general, and the answers given. Keep visiting this blog and watch for it.


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