I’d like to thank Jesse Gardner for his series on holiness. It’s certainly a topic that deserves more attention and I appreciate his thoughtful approach to it.
Bruce Wilkinson wrote a popular book about The Prayer of Jabez. Some folks have used the pray like an incantation, but it does set forth a wonderful example of prayer, despite its being abused.
1Ch 4:9-10 And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow. (10) 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! And God granted him that which he requested.
We don’t know much about Jabez – his name only appears three times in the Bible. But God did tell us a few important things about him.
First, notice that he had a rough start. Something in his mother’s life caused her to give him a name that means grief or sorrow. The Bible doesn’t tell us what her circumstances were, but they were the outstanding feature of Jabez’s entrance into the world. Thank God, you can finish better than you start. You’re not limited by your past. By faith, you can rise above your history.
Second, he was honorable. He was weighty, noble – more so than his brothers. When God says you are honorable, it’s usually because you live right. As we have seen, living right has an impact on getting your prayers answered.
Third, Jabez made his requests known to God. He had desires and he expressed them to God in prayer. This, as we have seen, is crucial to having your needs met.
Phi 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
Jam 4:2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
The things Jabez requested were the kinds of things God wants His children to have:
- True blessings from God
- Greater opportunity and responsibility
- Deliverance from evil
These requests were according to God’s will, so God heard them and answered them.
1Jo 5:14-15 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: (15) And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
What About You?
- Does your character remove the roadblocks to answered prayer?
- Do you make your requests know to God?
- Are you asking according to the will of God?