PRAYER OF JABEZ
9 Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” (1 Chronicles 4:9)
Notice the reason his mother called him Jabez, because she bore him in pain.” The word Jabez means “He will cause pain”
Now that’s not a nice thing to say – it’s like cursing someone – speaking negative about someone. It’s like saying, because I had pain when you are around, I will call you ‘painful’. Because I had a loss when you were around or when you were born, I will call you ‘bad luck – manhoos’.
A name sticks for life. All your life and even after death people will call you and remember you by that name. Maybe it is not so much in today’s times but in the olden times a name is what defined a person. Listen carefully to what the Holy Spirit says: Don’t let someone else’s experience define who you are and who you are going to be. Let God alone define who you are and what you are going to be in life. Hallelujah!
Today let us see how Jabez overcame the negativity that was surrounding him right from his birth. It is not easy but Jabez overcame it and this is the reason we need to study it carefully.
10 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 4:10)
Notice the words, “Jabez called on the God of Israel” – this simply means that he prayed – He prayed not to just to anything but to the living God. There is a principle here: For any prayer to be fruitful, it must be directed to the right person.
The prayer of Jabez is composed of five parts:
- Jabez asks God to bless him
- Jabez asks the Lord to enlarge his territory or area of influence
- Jabez asks the Lord’s presence to be with him
- Jabez asks the Lord to keep him from all evil
- Jabez asks the Lord that he would not be the cause of pain to anyone
The First Point
“Oh, that You would bless me indeed,” – Jabez asks God to bless him
There is nothing wrong in asking God to bless you. Its only when you are blessed can you be a blessing to someone else. God told Abraham in Genesis 12:2 “I will bless you and make you a blessing.”
The problem with many people is that they have been told by some religious people not to ask God for blessings. So these people don’t ask God for blessing but instead turn to banks, relatives, politicians and God knows who for their blessing. If the purpose of your blessing is larger than you – you surely qualify for God’s blessing. So today with tears you must cry out: “O Lord of heaven and earth bless me today, In Jesus Name.”
The Second Point
enlarge my territory – Jabez asks the Lord to enlarge his territory or area of influence
This is taking the limitations off God in your life! Jabez was saying, “God, “I will not limit what you can do through me.” Remember, it is we who limit the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Today ask the Lord to enlarge your territory – expand your borders.
In a time of great discouragement, God spoke through the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 54:2 saying, “Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes” (Isaiah 54:2).
God wants you to see beyond the circumstances. He wants to enlarge your life if you will join him by praying and believing for his blessing.
The Third Point
that Your hand would be with me – Jabez asks the Lord’s presence to be with him
the hand of God means the presence of God. Moses the man of God knew the secret. There was a time when Israel had hurt God terribly This when Moses intercedes and says,
Ex 33:15 Then he said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.
When the hand of God is upon your life then you don’t require anyone or anything else.
The Fourth Point
and that You would keep me from evil – Jabez asks the Lord to keep him from all evil
Sin doesn’t just affect us, it affects those around us. Jabez had grown up with the title of “one who causes pain” – but he knew God alone could set him free of that label.
Lord Jesus taught us the same thing in Matt 6:13
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
The Fifth Point
that I may not cause pain – Jabez asks the Lord that he would not be the cause of pain to anyone
Here Jabez is directly praying against what he was called all his life. All his life he was called a ‘pain giver’ now he prays against what has been spoken over his life. He prays the opposite: that he would never cause anyone pain. By praying in this manner he was breaking the power of negative words spoken over his life.Back to Bible Commentary