Summary: The Prayer of Jabez assures us we can enjoy a fuller life as we become aware of the direction God is moving in our life.
The Prayer of Jabez”
First Chronicles 4:9-10
Are you ready for an adventure that will get you a better life, protect you and not cause you any pain?
That sounds like those old time sideshows of the elixir sellers who would peddle their medicine that was believed by the people who purchased it to hold the power to cure all ills.
In our text in First Chronicles, you can step right up and receive the elixir of “The Prayer Of Jabez” that seats you deep into the cavity of God’s desire and will for your life.
It’s a prayer that totally and absolutely leaves all trust in God’s hands.
When we read this short prayer, we suddenly see several unique things:
1. You not only receive, but you enjoy a fuller life that God desires for you to live.
2. You will learn to ask not for what you can get for yourself, but you will ask for only what God is willing to give.
3. You will become acutely aware of the direction God is moving in your life.
4. And you will seek God’s protection from the evil one.
Read First Chronicles 4:9, 10
Who is Jabez?
If you’re a genealogy buff, and you like to read the boring genealogy in First Chronicles, you see that Jabez is buried in a long list of genealogies and is from the tribe of Judah.
His spotlight in Hebrew history is only two verses.
In verse 9, his mother named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.”
In other words, his mother named him “pain” so he would always remember the pain he had caused his mother in childbirth.
All babies arrive with a certain amount of pain, but something about Jabez’s birth went beyond the usual; so much that his mother chose to be forever reminded of his birth by giving her son the name “pain.”
In biblical times, the name given to a person often meant the character of the plight of that person.
For example, the name Jacob means “supplanter” or “the one who tricks”, and we know that Jacob lived up to his name when he tricked his brother out of his birthright.
The name Jesus means “God saves” and through His life, death and resurrection, Jesus saves us from our sins.
Jabez has the distinction of having a name that literally means, “I gave birth to him in pain.”
His name would be a constant reminder that he caused pain to his mother.
What a plight to bear in life.
Many people subconsciously predict career success based upon a name; that is according to Dr. James Bruning, a psychology professor at Ohio University.
In his study, he found that girls with names like Emma or Carolyn were more likely to pursue occupations like nurses or hairstylists, while boys with names like Bruno or Duke were more likely to pursue occupations such as truck drivers or plumbers.
A fifth grader named Michael decided to run for President of student council at his grammar school.
During the campaign for the office of President of student council, Michael had to go to his pediatrician for his annual checkup.
His doctor, noticing all the campaign buttons Michael was wearing, volunteered that he, too, had run for President of the student council when he was in the fifth grade, but he had not won.
Several days later, the election at Michael’s grammar school was held, and he did not win.
When Michael got home that day, he told his mom, “Mom, it looks like I’m going to be a doctor!”
The first part of verse 9 says that “Jabez was more honorable than his brothers…”
Something must have happened in this man’s life that took him from his pain to his glory.
Jabez wanted to be more and do more for God, and I believe that’s the extraordinary thing in Jabez’s life.
Jabez has the distinction of being more honorable than those who lived around him.
Jabez went from being a pain to being more honorable!
In verse 10, Jabez cried out to God in prayer, saying, “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.”
The blessing part of verse 10 states that God granted him this request!
Jabez is distinctly remembered, not for some great accomplishment in his life, but for what he prayed.
His prayer to God became his unique distinction:
Jabez prayed for:
1. God to bless him.
2. For God to enlarge his territory.
3. For God to keep His hand upon him.
4. And for God to keep him from evil so he would be free from pain.
His 4-part prayer may not strike you as being an earth shattering prayer, but Jabez believed that God would hear his prayer and that God would answer.