Summary: There are many prayers in the bible. One small and "difficult to locate" prayer was made famous through the best selling book "Prayer of Jabez". If we look beyond the skepticism and commercilisation of the book and the concept, there are some valuable les
I have read this story from the Sermon Central website
A woman was at work when she received a phone call that her daughter was very sick with fever. She left her work and stopped by the pharmacy to get some medication for her daughter. When returning to her car she found that she had locked her keys in the car. I am talking about when the cars had manual locks and not the electronic locks of today which prevent such problems. She was in a hurry to get home to her sick daughter. She didn’t know what to do, so she called her home and told the baby sitter what had happened and that she did not know what to do. The baby sitter told her that her daughter was getting worse. She said, "You might find a coat hanger and use that to open the door." The woman looked around and found an old rusty coat hanger that had been thrown down on the ground, possibly by someone else who at some time or other had locked their keys in their car. Then she looked at the hanger and said, "I don’t know how to use this." So she bowed her head and asked God to send her some help. Within five minutes an old rusty car pulled up, with a dirty, greasy, bearded man .The woman thought, "This is what you sent to help me?" But, she was desperate, so she was also very thankful. The man got out of his car and asked her if he could help. She said, "Yes, my daughter is very sick. I stopped to get her some medication and I locked my keys in my car. I must get home to her. Please, can you use this hanger to unlock my car?" He said, "Sure." He walked over to the car, and in less than one minute the car was opened. She was overjoyed and through her tears she said, "Thank you so much! You are a very nice man." The man replied, "Lady, I am not a nice man. I just got out of prison today. I was in prison for car theft and have only been out for about an hour." The woman was even more joyful and with sobbing tears cried out loud, "Oh. Thank you God! You even sent me a Professional."
All of you might have heard numerous sermons on prayer. The bad news this morning is that you are going to hear another sermon on prayer. After yesterday’s session , I am sure some of us, atleast some of the men must be in a mood to pray more. Or am I speaking only about myself here? Jokes apart, I believe that during this time of disturbance and persecution, prayer is one thing that is required a lot. Be careful though, not to be praying for only the persecuted, please do pray for the persecutors too. They are God’s creation too, and God loves them, and wants them to be saved too.
All of us struggle at times with what to pray for. All of us believe that we serve a prayer answering God. However, I am sure no one in this congregation are naïve enough to assume that prayer is a blank cheque that Jesus has given us. (after all Jesus did say “ ask in my name and it will be given to you isn’t it?) I am reminded about what Pastor Vasudevan tells us about God’s response to Prayer, Viz, 1: Yes, son , here it is, take it 2: Not what you ask for, but I have some thing better for you, 3. Not yet son, you are not ready for it yet, and 4: You must be joking.
If at times we do not know what to pray for, there is good news for us. We do not need to struggle, the word of God tells us that the spirit will help us in what we want to pray for. Romans 8:26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
There are many prayers in the Bible. The Book of Psalms is the most known and most read ones. For today’s meditation, I am going to take a very small prayer probably not known to many people, unless you have heard about or read the Book “Prayer of Jabez by By Dr. Bruce Wilkinson, published way back in 2000. What I am going to speak about is largely adapted from that book, with some of my own studies thrown in.
I want to look at this from the point of view of Leaders. Now.. before you shrug and decide that , if this is for Leaders, it is not for you.. hold on a minute. Let me remind you of the definition of Leaders that I have quoted multiple times from John Maxwell. He defines Leadership as influence, so what has that got to do with me, you ask… The truth is , once you accepted Jesus Christ, you accepted his instruction to influence other’s lives, hence you accepted a leadership position. If you do not believe me, go and read John15:16. Jesus is not giving us a chance, he says, “You did not choose me, but I chose you, so that you can bear fruit..” Now some of you might extend the argument saying that Jesus was talking to his disciples and not to us common Christians. Well.. we can go on running away from it, but the fact is that we are called in to influence others, and thus we are called to be leaders