Summary: What did Jabez expect from God when he prayed? What did he receive from God? Examine with me the prayer of Jabez and how his example of faith can help increase our faith.
The Prayer of Jabez
Text: I Chronicles 4:9-10 And Jabez was more honorable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow. And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested. (KJV)
Jabez’s prayer was…
I. A prayer of passion
He used words like “OH” and “indeed.” He was desperate before God to get an answer to his prayer.
A. He prayed fervently.
His prayer was not an anemic bed-time prayer that he had been repeating since he was six. He prayed with a fervor that showed he really wanted an answer from God.
B. His prayer was focused.
He knew what he needed from God and was not afraid to ask for it. He focused his attention on getting an answer from God.
II. A prayer for blessing
What kind of blessing did he want? What is a blessing? Often we ask God to bless the missionaries, the food, the neighbor, our grandparents, etc. Your grandma says, “God bless you” when you sneeze.
What kind of blessing was it that Jabez sought from God?
Biblically speaking a blessing is God’s supernatural favor. It is the riches of grace that are so great that only God can comprehend them. God has a storehouse of such blessings just waiting to be given to those who will simply ask for them. Notice that Jabez did not tell God what kind of blessing to give him. He left that decision totally in the hands of God Who knows all things. God knows what blessing you need. Ask for them and trust Him to give you His blessings that will be just what you need in His perfect timing.
Jabez prayer was not like the popular false teaching that you can ask God for any material wealth you want and expect to get it. Asking God for a blessing simply means settling for nothing less and nothing more than God’s very best for you.
III. It was a prayer for Growth
Jabez asked God to expand his “coast.”
A. He wanted to rise above his past.
His name means, “pain” or “he causes pain.” Whatever circumstances surrounded his birth must have been very traumatic for his mother to give him such a name. No doubt his name was a cause for much embarrassment for him throughout his childhood. He likely had very low self-esteem. But somehow in spite of his past, he realized that if God could bless him he could rise above all of that.
B. He wanted to take more territory for God.
If we ask God to increase our circle of influence for Him, he will always answer that prayer.
In our personal lives, we need to ask God to bring people daily into our paths that we can influence for Christ.
Let’s ask God also to increase the circle of influence of this church. He is already doing so, but I believe that this is only the beginning. Let’s ask Him for more. He will expand our influence just as far as we will let Him. If we want to limit Him to 25 people being influence by this ministry, then that is all we will have. If we plead with God to spread the influence of this church to all of Pell City, the God is ready to do so. Let’s plead with God to give us Pell City.
Pastor Paul Pierpoint lists the following things that will hinder growth:
“Growth is hindered when:
1. we are unwilling to evaluate the quality of our testimony and service to God.
2. we think negatively about any change.
3. we are reluctant to break out of our comfort zones.
4. when our objectives are not clear
5. when there is a lack of personal goals for spiritual conquest.”
He goes on to give some spiritual goals that need to be set in our daily lives:
1. Develop a deeper prayer life.
2. Take more time for the study of God’s Word
3. Be more sensitive to the personal and spiritual needs to those around me.
4. Become more alert to the opportunities for witnessing.
IV. A prayer for God’s power and protection in his life
“That thine hand may be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil.”
A. We can do nothing on our own.
B. When we begin receiving God’s blessing and taking new territory for God, the enemy is going to turn his focus defeating us. Notice that Jabez prayed for God to keep him from evil. In the Lord’s prayer, Jesus set the same example when He said, “Deliver us from evil.” We can never presume to be able to fight the enemy alone. Many people fall into unnecessary temptation just by being careless. It is important to pray that God will keep us from falling into unnecessary temptation.