Summary: Sometimes we pray fruitless prayers for several reasons. So, what works?
Prayer That Works!
Sometimes we say fruitless prayers for several different reasons. Today we will be talking about PRAYER THAT WORKS!! Now that I Have your attention beloved the scripture reading is 1 Chronicles 4:9-10.
Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “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!” So God granted him what he requested. ~1 Chronicles 4:9-10
Nowhere else in the Bible does it say God granted him what he requested... lets break this prayer down .
° In verse 9 it says now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. That is very important to note. He found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
If your living in unrepentant sin, God does not hear you. John 9:31 says, “Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.
Are you in repentance or do you refuse to obey the Will of God that you come to repentance? You must not be living in sin. Jesus came to save us FROM our sins. He didn't come to save us IN our sins.
Let’s look further.. Jabez called on the GOD of Israel. So he has God's attention because he was IN repentance. AND HE'S CALLING ON THE LORD IN FAITH KNOWING GOD WILL ANSWER HIM. Sometimes we ask but we don’t believe God if He will answer this particular prayer.....like Jesus said, "Oh ye of little faith" Why won’t God answer a prayer if we doubt?
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a Rewarder of them that diligently seek him. ~Hebrews 11:6
So we must seek Him diligently. Seeking Him is like the game we played as kids, 'Hide & Seek'. One would hide and the rest would seek (go to find) them.. it’s the same with God. We must desire to seek His face...who is God's face? Jesus is God's face. So we must diligently seek Him. And have faith that He will reward us.
What else? Let’s look at Jabez‘s prayer. What was he asking for?
“Oh, that You would bless me indeed,". Being truly blessed is when God looks upon you and is pleased with your love for him. How can we know we Love him? Jesus said it best in John 14:23.
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. ~John 14:23
Keeping His words is keeping His commandments. There is 10 of them in Exodus 20. And Jesus magnified them in two:-
LOVE YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART SOUL MIND AND UNDERSTANDING AND LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.
LET'S MOVE ON TO THE NEXT REQUEST.
Enlarge my territory IS basically Jabez asking God to enlarge what the Lord wills for him.
Say you have a ministry and you want Jesus to entrust you with more; you would ask Him, "Enlarge my territory". Or if you wanted to be more involved in your church, you would pray, "Enlarge my territory" and then you'll talk to your pastor. Remember this; cutting the grass or washing the windows or bus ministry are very important. Someone has to do this.
Next we have..... "that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!"
Jesus confirms this in the Lord’s prayer in Mathew 6:31. He says. "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen."
Note here also that Jesus prays TO his father as we ought by saying FOR YOURS IS THE KINGDOM POWER AND GLORY forever AMEN
(NIV TAKES THIS PART OUT)
IN THE START, TELL GOD HE IS SO HOLY AND THAT YOU LOVE HIM AND THANK HIM FOR HEARING YOU.
AS I SAID, HE DON'T HEAR EVERYONE.. ONLY THOSE WHO SEEK HIM AND ARE IN REPENTANCE. IN THE END GIVE HIM GLORY AND HONOR AND PRAISE FOREVER AND AMEN
CONCLUSION: WE HAVE TO PRAY ACCORDING TO THE WAY GOD EXPECTS. HE'S THE BOSS AND SHOULD BE IN THE DRIVER'S SEAT OF YOUR LIFE. IF HE'S NOT, THEN GET OUT THE CAR, HAND JESUS THE KEYS AND GET IN THE TRUNK. YOU CAN'T DRIVE AND EXPECT TO BE BLESSED. AMEN!