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THE FOCUS OF THE PRAYER OF JABEZ

In the year 2000, Bruce Wilkinson of Walk Through the Bible Ministries turned the obscure character in 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 into an international phenomenon with his little book, The Prayer of Jabez. Not only did it become a runaway hit and a longtime New York Times bestseller; it became a franchise. During it’s heyday, you could go to a bookstore and buy the Jabez book, and The Prayer of Jabez for Women, The Prayer of Jabez for Teens, The Prayer of Jabez for Kids, The Prayer of Jabez Devotional, The Prayer of Jabez Journal, and The Prayer of Jabez Leather Edition, not to mention Jabez music, T-shirts, hats, posters, coffee mugs, calendars – and even a Jabez mouse-pad for your computer. Without a doubt, this obscure Bible personality is now a bona fide star. But even though Bruce Wilkinson has done much to affirm the divine blessings that come to righteous people who practice believing prayer; there have been some unfortunate side effects to Wilkinson’s remedy for pain. One of the issues is the fact that The Prayer of Jabez has put the spotlight on the wrong person the text. I submit to you that this text is about God, not Jabez. It’s not about the prayer of Jabez; it’s about the sovereign, holy, wise, faithful, and gracious God who answered Jabez’ prayer. And the message about God that this text proclaims is good news for every believer, not just Jabez: The Lord God is still in the blessing business!

From a sermon by H.B. Charles Jr., The Life God Blesses, 5/22/2012

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