Summary: A look at the last 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!
Prayer of Jabez #5 –
“Keep Me from Harm…”
Today we wrap up our look at the prayer of Jabez.
We have spent the last few weeks looking first at the person of Jabez, and how he rose above his circumstances to become a man of honorable and noble character. So noble, that He caught the ear of God in praying a bold prayer.
This prayer asks for God’s blessing, His provision, His presence, and His protection.
And we looked at how rather than being a selfish prayer, it was a crying out to God for Him to move in his life and in his influence for God.
Today we are going to focus on the last part of the prayer, and as we have done over the last few weeks, I want us to read together the passage from 1 Chronicles 4, which is printed in your bulletin.
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.
This part of the prayer is a direct plea for God to intervene in his personal life. He wasn’t afraid to ask God to move, and neither should we.
I want us to take a look at this plea and how we can ask God to act, and expect Him to do it.
I want us to leave here today ready to live in the confidence that ready, willing, and able to protect.
First, let’s look at…
I. Why is this type of prayer important?
This will be the shortest section of our time this morning, because the answer is really very simple: we need to.
We need to pray this type of prayer or we run the risk of encountering situations where we will be without the spiritual resources necessary to win the battle.
We simply just need it. How’s that for deep spiritual thought, huh?
I’ve come to the conclusion that most of the most profound spiritual truths are some of the most simple.
And this is one of them. Pray this because you need to.
You will see in your outline that I have two phrases, “keep me from harm,” and “keep me from evil.” This is because different Bible translations use one of these two phrases.
The NIV uses the first, as does the New American Standard. King James and New King James use the second.
But rather than debate which is more appropriate, I thought we could learn something by looking at both versions, so that’s what we are going to do.
Let’s dive in, shall we?
II. “Keep me from harm…”
This is obviously a prayer for protection from harm.
Who here hasn’t done that more than once? We are all use to praying to God to keep us safe, and I think that’s okay. In fact, God answers that kind of prayer, and He does provide protection for His people.
There is precedence from Scripture, and I want to look at two examples of God’s protection.
A. Examples from Scripture:
1. Job (Job 1:9-10).
The first one is Job, and this is an example of God’s “long-term” protection.
Turn with me to Job 1: 9-10, which can be found on page 360 of the Bibles. Job is the book just before Psalms.
The setting here is that God is bragging on Job, and how righteous he is before God. Then Satan offers this rebuttal found here in this passage.
"Does Job fear God for nothing?" Satan replied. 10 "Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land.
God had been providing long-term protection for Job and his family.
One time I heard a pastor praying for me and my family along the same lines, asking God to put a hedge of protection around us.
And boy, I latched onto that like a bulldog on a mailman. And I make that prayer a frequent part of my prayers for my family and for you guys as well.
Ask God to put a hedge of protection around you and your loved ones.
Our next example is an instance of God bringing a miraculous instance of protection for the apostle Peter.
Turn with me to Acts 12:1-11.