The Prayer of Jabez

1 Chronicles 4:9-10

9And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bare him with sorrow”.

10And 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.

Here is,

The reason of his name: his mother gave him the name with this reason, Because I bore him with sorrow, v. 9. All children are borne with sorrow (for the sentence upon the woman is, In sorrow shalt thou bring forth children), but some with much more sorrow than others.

Usually the sorrow in bearing is afterwards forgotten for joy that the child is born; but here it seems it was so extraordinary that it was remembered when the child came to be circumcised, and care was taken to perpetuate the remembrance of it while he lived.

That it might be a continual memorandum to herself, to be thankful to God as long as she lived for supporting her under and bringing her through that sorrow. It may be of use to be often reminded of our sorrows,

Jabez’s name in Hebrew means “pain”! His mother delivered him in great pain and she never let him forget it. She named him Pain so that he would always remember what he had done to his poor mother.

It seems as though Jabez came from a family, with a very out spoken mother.

But in spite of all that, he overcame the obstacles created by his upbringing. The Bible says that he was an honorable man — more honorable than the rest of his family. Why was that?

We find Jabez in a long list of genealogies; it goes on for nine chapters in the book 1Chronicles.

But he is there like a shining star in this long list of anonymous characters. It is significant that what Jabez is remembered for is not some outstanding achievement, but a prayer.

He did not win a great battle or erect a great building. He simply prayed a prayer. But out of all the people in this nine-chapter list of characters, he alone is lifted out because of the prayer that he prayed.

What is so unusual about this prayer? And why have preachers been talking about it for centuries? Why was God pleased enough with his prayer to have it forever recorded in scripture?

His prayer was in four parts: 1) He prayed that God would bless him. 2) He prayed that God would enlarge his territory, or his borders. 3) He prayed that God’s hand would be upon him. 4) He prayed that God would keep him from evil.

1st of all ~Jabez may had remembered Gods promise to father Abraham.

Genesis 12:2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

Jabez sought the blessing of God that he might be a blessing to the world.

There is nothing wrong with praying for God to bless us, especially if it is for the purpose of being a blessing.

Nether is It wrong to pray for material blessings. If you want to have more so that you can give more, then that is an acceptable prayer.

If you want to be able to give more to missions or an outreach program so that people will come to know Christ, then pray for material prosperity.

If you want wisdom so that you can help other people then pray for wisdom, ~~

~~ James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

But if you just want more wealth in order to spend it on yourself, your prayer will probably not be answered.

If you want wisdom so you can feel smarter than other people, your prayer probably want be answered.

If you want success, or want to be a leader, so that you can lord it over others, your prayer will not be answered. But if you want to serve others with more talents and resources, then pray for those things in order that your life may be a blessing.

Jabez also remembered his ancestor Jacob who wrestled with God. When God told him to release him, Jacob said Genesis 32:26 And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.

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