Summary: Discussion of the third petition 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 #4 –
“Let Your Hand Be With Me…”
January 20, 2002
We continue our look at the prayer of Jabez, as we seek to understand how God works through prayer, and how He works in the lives of people who pray to a God who is able to do all things.
Next week we will conclude this series, and then the following week I will have a message regarding the sanctity of human life. This week is Sanctity of human life week, but I don’t want to break the continuity of our time studying this prayer and the implications in our lives.
Also, I think you would agree with me that human life is sacred every week, amen? So we won’t be swimming too far upstream by waiting a week, okay?
Today we look at the third part of Jabez’s request, “Let Your hand be with me.”
I am excited about what this can mean for us, and I think you will be, too.
Please read along with me the passage we have been looking at these past weeks. It is printed in your sermon outline, and I would like us to read this aloud.
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.
We began our series by taking a peek at the person of Jabez, noting that his name was one that could have tied him to a life of bitterness, because his name is the Hebrew word for pain. Yet He chose to rise above his name to become a man of noble character.
In looking at the prayer, we saw that the first part, where Jabez asks for God’s blessing, rather than being a selfish prayer, was actually a crying out to God to shower Jabez with everything God had for Him, realizing that without the blessings of God, he had no hope of accomplishing the task before him.
Last week we looked at the second part, “enlarge my territory,” and said that this was more than a request for more land, it was also a request for more responsibility and influence.
And I challenged you to consider what would happen if God were to expand our territory by using us to reach 10 percent of our area for Christ.
I brought out the plans for the church building, and you no doubt saw them as you entered the church today. I put it there to help trigger your thoughts and prayers that God can do big and mighty things through this church. We spent some time discussing the vision of your leadership, and how they have not given up on influencing people for Christ.
And today we will look at Jabez’s cry that God’s hand would be with him.
In looking at this part of the prayer, I want to cover a few aspects of God’s hand and how that should impact us. I want us to leave here today excited about asking God to be involved in our lives and our service for Him.
Jabez recognized that if God were to grant His requests regarding blessing and expansion of territory, he would need the hand of God to help him handle it all.
Jabez sought God’s hand in his life because he knew how desperately he needed it. Simply stated, He knew his limitations. He knew that his strength alone was insufficient for the journey of a life dedicated to all that is right and good. So he plead with God for His presence to be found in his life, for His divine strength, perfect guidance and protection
And I am convinced that not only is God beginning to bless our church, but that He is beginning to expand our territory as well, as people see us taking stands on hot issues, and as He allows us to interact with people outside out normal circles of influence.
And I want to give you something you can hang onto and take to the bank when exploring the possibilities of new blessings and new territories, and as we contemplate the work God has for us.
I am going to point to a lot of different Scripture today, so be ready to jot down some references as we go along, okay?
The first thing I want to cover today is…