Summary: Message discussing the first petition of the prayer of Jabez.
Note: some of the illustrations in this series are not acknowledged - this is due to the loss of my notes, not out of a desire to deny the sources. Thank you!
The Prayer of Jabez #2
“Oh, That You Would Bless Me…”
Introduction - Review
This morning we are going to continue exploring the prayer of Jabez, that Old Testament pray-er who asked God for big things.
Before we get into the message, I want to take just a few moments to review what we covered last weeks.
Jabez’s name means pain, and so Jabez had to overcome what could have been a life of bitterness to become a man of noble character. More noble than all his brothers, in fact.
He lived during the time of the judges, after Joshua had died, and while the Israelites were trying to expel the Canaanites from the land.
We mentioned that this prayer is not a tool of the name it and claim it, health and wealth gospel, but rather the plea of a man who was asking God to act to help him fulfill the work God had for him.
Rather than a demanding of God, it was an admitting of Jabez’s powerlessness, and a reliance of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who had originally received the promise that Jabez was actually part of – the blessing of many descendants.
Before we go on, let’s take another look at the prayer, and I would ask that you read aloud with me. The prayer is printed at the top of your sermon outline.
Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, "I gave birth to him in pain." 10 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 free from pain." And God granted his request.
Today we are going to focus on the phrase, “Oh, that you would bless me.”
I want to say here that I am leaning heavily on the book, The Prayer of Jabez, by Dr. Bruce Wilkinson, for help in developing this and the following messages. In fact, some of what you hear will be directly from the book, though I’m hoping that my own masterful sermon-making will mask when that is!
My purpose this morning is to encourage you to not only ask for God’s blessing, but to do so with and air of expectation and faith in the mighty God of Scripture.
And in doing that, I want to do things just a little differently. You guys all know the game show “Jeopardy,” right? You are given the answer, and you need to come up with the question.
Well, today we are going to play that as we get through our outline. I want to point out three things regarding asking for the blessings of God. So let’s move on, shall we? The first answer is…
I. Yes. – question: Is it right to ask God for blessings?
In helping us get a grasp of that, I want to look at three things about blessings. The first is…
A. Definition of blessing.
I think it is a good idea to get a handle on this blessing business, so we don’t come away with the wrong idea.
Before we can ask for God’s blessing with confidence, we need a clear understanding of what the word means.
We hear “bless” or “blessing” intoned from every pulpit. We ask God to bless the missionaries, the kids, and the food we are about to eat. It’s something Grandma says when she hears you sneeze.
No wonder the meaning of blessing gets watered down to something vague and meaningless like “Have a nice day.”
No wonder so many Christians aren’t as desperate as Jabez was to receive it! Are you desperate to receive the blessings of God?
Oh God, make it so in MY life, I beg!
To bless in the Biblical sense means to ask for or to impart supernatural favor.
When we ask for God’s blessing, we’re not asking for more of what we could get ourselves.
We’re crying out for the wonderful, unlimited goodness that only God has the power to know about or give to us.
This kind of richness is what the writer was referring to in Proverbs when he said, “The Lord’s blessing is our greatest wealth; all our work adds nothing to it.” (10:22 – TLB)
Get past the clichés of “blessing.” Get into the heart of the matter.
But one of the things to keep in mind is that we need…
B. The correct attitude.
I want to point out something about Jabez’s prayer. He left it entirely up to God to decide what the blessings would be and where, when, and how Jabez would receive them.