Saturday, October 29, 2016

A Powerful Prayer

1 Chronicles 4:9-10 Jabez was more honorable than his brothers.  His mother named him Jabez saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.”  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 freed from pain.”  And God granted his request.

In the book of 1 Chronicles, among the genealogies of the clans of Judah, we find a note about a great but little known man named Jabez.

Initially, Jabez must have been a sad man.  His name means to grieve or to be sorrowful.  He asked God to free him from pain.  He asked God to do a number of things for him.  One might think his petitions were selfish.  But a great deal is covered in his short but powerful prayer.  By asking God to bless him and to enlarge his territory, he was asking for the capacity to be a greater blessing to others. He was also asking God to make him happy for that is one of the definitions of being blessed.

The man definitely prayed in faith.  Why else would God grant his request?  We are told in Hebrews 11:6 that God is pleased with faith, and the Bible says that Jabez was more honorable than his brothers.

I am impressed with Jabez’s prayer, and I believe it is a prayer that we should pray for ourselves.  No matter what arena we find ourselves in – family, ministry, or business – God desires to bless us and to enlarge our territory.  It is good for us to pray like this.  We should also pray that God will keep us from harm. 
God the Father loves us and desires for us to walk in all of his blessings.  We don’t have to be sad in life.  We can hold on to the words of this prayer and hold on to Jesus.  We can witness the rays of sunshine dispelling all that’s grey.  We can expect the Lord to bless us each and every day.

This does not mean our lives will not be painful at times – it will.  But our Lord wants us to believe for good things to happen to us and through us.  He wants to bless us to be a blessing.
The next time you’re feeling down, remember Jabez’s prayer, and put your hope and faith in the Lord.  God will bring you to a new level of blessing in your life, and you will have a greater capacity to help others.

Dear Father God,

I give you my cares and concerns and I ask You to bless me.  I ask You to enlarge my territory in every area of my life.  I ask You to be with me and protect me and deliver me from pain.  In Jesus name I pray.  Amen.

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