Summary: Learning the unlimited access to the Presence and Power of Almighty God.
The Prayer of Jabez
1 Chronicles. 4:9-10
Are you living the life God wants you to live or you just living life? God wants you to live a life of blessing.
In the Old Testament we discover a man who moved beyond living a life of everyday blessing, to living a life of abundant blessing. His name is Jabez. His name appears only 3 times in the Bible, in 2 verses, and in the long list of the genealogies, the who begat who’s. It is significant that what Jabez is remembered for is not some outstanding achievement, but a prayer. But out of all the people in this 9-chapter list of characters, he alone is lifted out because of the prayer that he prayed.
V.9 “ And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow.
V.10 And Jabez called upon the God os Israel, saying,Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast,and that thine hand might be upon me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And god granted him that which he requested. ”
What is so unusual about this prayer? Let’s look at the prayer piece by piece in order to discover why God was pleased enough with his prayer to have it forever recorded in scripture for our attention and instruction.
His prayer consisted of 4 parts:
1)He prayed that God would bless him.
2)He prayed that God would enlarge his coast.
3)He prayed that God’s hand would be upon him.
4)He prayed that God would keep him from evil.
The first point of his prayer is:“Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed.” What is a blessing? It is a specific gift from God, for a specific time and a specific purpose, to bring increase into our life.
Jabez sought God’s blessing on his life, he was not asking for more of what he could get for himself, he was crying out for the wonderful, unlimited goodness that only God can give. He wanted God’s best and believed that God wanted to give it to him. He remembered what the Lord said unto Abraham, (Gen. 12:2),“ I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great: and thou shalt be a blessing.” And when Jacob wrestled with God, (Gen.32: 26), when God told him to release him, Jacob said,“ I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.” God wants to bless us, but we have to want the blessing. We need to wrestle with God and not let go until he blesses us.
Jabez simply asked God to bless him indeed. Jabez did not tell God how to bless him. There is a form of prayer we call supplication—that is asking God for a specific need to be granted.We might ask God to heal us, forgive us, repair a broken marriage, keep our children safe from harm and so on. That is a prayer of supplication—asking God to supply our need—and we should pray those sort of prayers. But when we ask God to bless us, we are opening ourselves up to receive whatever God wants to give us!
And the only way we will receive the blessing God wants to give us is for us to ask for it. In (Matt. 7:7) Jesus said, “Ask, and it shall be given you, seek, and ye shall find, knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”(James 4:2) tells us, “ye have not, because ye ask not.” We have heard, “Good things come to those who wait”; but God’s word tells us: blessings comes to those who ask! Just think, what wonderous and unlimited blessing we miss out on if we don’t ask God to bless us everyday. In (I Cor.2:9),“ But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that Love him. ”
The problem is that we have come to a state of complacency in the Church, (Complacency: is a lack of feeling or interest, a place of satisfaction), that we don’t seek God’s blessing. We are preoccupied with ourselves, it’s all about us, we want more, and we want it faster, better and cheaper. Our lives have become shallow and self-centered; we worry about how we look,and what we have. So many people never have a purpose larger than themselves. We are too busy to be concerned with the things of God.
Let me ask a question, and be honest with yourself and with God, are you closer to God today than you were at the beginning of last year? If you are not any closer, you have missed the blessing! You need to pray that God would bless you and bring a new fire in your soul; a new passion for God; a new zeal for serving Him, a new desire to have your life be a blessing to the world. The surest sign that you are a growing Christian is that you have a growing desire for your life to be used by God.