Summary: We must want to be more and do more for God.
S: Prayer of Jabez: blessing and vision
Th: Prayer: A Passion for His Presence
Pr: WE MUST WANT TO BE MORE AND DO MORE FOR GOD.
?: How? How does this happen?
TS: In order to be more and do more for God, we must confront three situations as revealed in the life of Jabez.
The _____ situation we must confront is…
RMBC 13 January 02 AM
Do you find that God answers prayer?
ILL (devil pay for it)
There is a story told of a wonderful, elderly, Christian lady who had very little money and lived in a rundown house, but despite her situation she was always giving praise to the Lord. Her only problem was with the old man who lived next door. He was constantly trying to prove to her that there was no God.
One day, as the old man was walking by this lady’s house, he noticed her through an open window. She was kneeling in prayer. So he crept over to the window to see if he could hear. She was praying, “Lord, you’ve always given me what I’ve needed. And now you know that I don’t have any money, I’m completely out of groceries, and I won’t get another check for a week. O Lord, somehow will You please get me some groceries.”
The man had heard all he needed. He crept away from the window, ran down to the grocery store and bought a basket full of groceries. He then raced back to the woman’s house, set the bags down on by her door, rang the doorbell, and hid behind the shrubs.
You can imagine how the woman reacted to seeing all those groceries. She threw her hands over head and cried out, “Thank you Jesus! You answered my prayer! I was out of food and now you have overflowed my shelves.”
About that time the old man jumped out and said, “I’ve got you now. I told you there was no God. It wasn’t Jesus who gave you these groceries it was me.”
The woman lifted up her arms again and shouted “Oh thank you Jesus! You sent me all this food and made the devil pay for it."
Well, I certainly believe that God answers prayer, and He does it in a variety of ways!
1. This year’s theme is “Prayer: A Passion for His Presence.”
One of my goals for us as a congregation is that we would not only grow in our practice of prayer, but that we would grow even more in what is at the heart of prayer.
For what the heart of prayer is our acknowledgement of the relationship we have with God.
It is simply talking with God.
It is the desire to be in His Presence.
It is a passion for God.
To remind us of our dependence…
2. Our theme verse for the year is the prayer of Jabez (I Chronicles 4:10).
“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 free from pain.”
“Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” (NKJV)
The popularity of this prayer has been remarkable over the past year.
In fact, the book written by Bruce Wilkinson, was on the bestseller’s list for many weeks.
What has been interesting, but also disturbing, is the secular world’s interpretation of the prayer of Jabez.
Some have claimed it is all just a farce.
They have prayed the prayer and nothing significant has happened.
Others have claimed it is just a tool for the “health and wealth” gospel.
I believe such evaluations completely miss the point.
The prayer of Jabez is not some magical formula or mantra that is to be repeated.
It is not something that is to be memorized perfectly word for word and said every day.
It is not like Aladdin’s lamp where you rub it and a genie comes out and gives you your wishes.
We are mistaken if we think this way.
I do believe, however, that the prayer of Jabez contains precious principles that are useful for us to consider, study and pray.
Prayer is meant to be an expression of the heart, not a matter of repetition.
It is a gift to us to communicate to a God who watches over us and cares for us.
It is a privilege to speak to the matters that are upon our heart.
I believe that the prayer of Jabez, used properly, will help us to do that very thing.