And Jabez was more honourable 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. (1 Chronicles 4:9-10)
It doesn't matter whether you are in the church or not... everyone wants to be blessed materially, emotionally, physically and spiritually. But for the person who does not know God, it can be a hard thing to obtain. However, the child of God has been ushered into an overflowing river of promises that God is wanting to pour out on his children... if they are obedient and just ask Him.
Why is it that some seem to come short of it. How come some are mightily blessed of God and some are not? The answers may vary, but hopefully this study on Jabez' prayer may answer these questions for you.
WHO WAS JABEZ?
The Bible does not give a lot of information on who he was, but only what kind of situation he was born out of. His mother named him Jabez, saying, "I bore him with sorrow". I believe that his mother lived in a very sorrowful time period of her life. Life must not of been good for her and her family.
Jabez grew up living some kind of life before God. The only clue to this is that the scripture says he was "more honourable" than his brethren. That is a very high standard to be placed on a child of God! That means he lived holy before God and therefore had a right to pray the prayer he did.
It may seem that Jabez' prayer is selfish, but Jabez didn't just ask for riches only, but he asked for devine fellowship with his God. When he called on God... he invoked the blessings of God on himself by acknowledging that God is the only one who can do what he was about to pray.
I don't necessarily believe that he just came up with this prayer on his own, but that God might of whispered or impressed him to pray this way. Let's look at the prayer... And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying...
"Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed"
The blessings that he requested was an all-around type of blessing. He wanted God to bless his life in every way. He wasn't just asking for his needs to be met, but wanted God to bless his entire life ("bless me indeed").
This type of blessing is above and beyond what he could do for himself. These types of blessings are blessings that only God can give! Whenever we try to bless ourselves, we will always settle for second best. For God's blessings are blessings that come from an open window in heaven that He opened and not man.
ENLARGE MY COAST!
"and enlarge my coast"
It is very simple to see that Jabez was asking God to enlarge his living quarters. Maybe he wanted more land to own. Maybe he was currently living in a poor situation or some other place that wasn't desirable. Remember... he is praying for things he doesn't have or cannot provide for himself.
Many think he was only referring to spiritual ground. And I think this is applicable to spiritual growth. But, I also think he is referring to his possessions and where he lives too. It is alright to pray for God to increase our land and possessions, because God desires us to be blessed as long as we seek the kingdom of God first.
BE WITH ME!
"and that thine hand might be with me"
I think this is best part of his prayer because it affects his relationship and protection with God. This is why I do not think he was praying selfishly. He wanted God to be with him!
There is nothing more dear to God then for us to want God to be with us in all things. Jesus said... "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. (John 15:7)"
When God is with us, we have all kinds of privileges such as... anointing from God, healing, blessings spiritually and materially, strength in battle and most importantly... forgiveness when we fall.
Oh that men would seek first the Kingdom of God! For He loves to bless His children that follow and obey him.
KEEP ME FROM EVIL!
"and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me!"
The Lord taught us to pray (Lord's prayer), "deliever us from evil." Jabez was no different. He must of been around evil doers that would of vexed his soul. Maybe there were false brethren that mocked him for his stand for God.
There is nothing that grieves our lives more than the evil that can get into our lives. Evil spirits can attack our mind and try and kill any faith we may have. But Jabez didn't ask God to stop the evil, but he asked him to "keep it from him." The evil was always present, but Jabez was praying for anointing so he could live above it!
So we can see that Jabez was asking for material, emotional, spiritual and devine favor upon his life. Now let’s look at how we can pray it.
PRAYING THE PRAYER
I do not believe in that "name-it and claim-it" doctrine where if you want it... you can have it. On the contrary, there are some conditions to praying a prayer like this.
Numbers #1-#2 (above) are obvious to obtain the promises of God, but I want to look at the key (#3-#4) to living and obeying God... "being led by his Spirit"
Being led of the Spirit is how God "orders our footsteps in the path of his will". God leads us in paths of righteousness to fulfill His will in our lives. It is a step by step process. Each time you pass a test or phase that God is trying to teach you, He blesses you and then brings you into another phase.
You cannot pray the prayer of Jabez unless God leads you into that phase of your life. If God wants to "humble you and allow you to hunger" (Deut 8), then it is obvious that it is not time to pray the prayer of Jabez. As you will see in Deut. 8 & 28. A wilderness usually precedes a promise land blessings.
We cannot just claim every promise we read. Promises such as salvation etc.; we can claim now!, But "conditional" promises are usually told to us by God in the Spirit. It is up to us if we allow God to change us so we can receive these promises.
The same process works for the prayer of Jabez. Praying the prayer is easy when it is God's will and timing. When you pray the prayer of Jabez, you must break through a faithless barrier. Any doubt that God wants to bless, MUST be removed in order for the prayer to work.
"And God granted him that which he requested."
Why did God "grant his request"?
Once your life is where God wants it to be, then God can answer any prayer that you pray.
And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. (1 John 5:14)
Most Christians today think that just because they read something in the Bible, that it is automatically for them at that moment in time. But yet, they pray and nothing happens... why?
God will only hear prayer that is in accordance with His WILL and TIMING. Our will may be now, but God's will is usually at another time. Now understand; that God sets things up to cause us to desire his will. In turn we pray and then God answers.
Remember this process...
I hear so many preach, "ask, knock, seek" etc... and I fully believe this is applicable in all situations if the promise has been extended to you. As we "ask and seek", God checks our motives and rearranges things in our lives to bring us to a place where we can be blessed, if it is His and timing. But be prepared, God may say no!
As long as we are not trying to bring the promises of God to pass on our own power and we submit our will to God, then God can grant us the prayer of Jabez!
When God brings you into the fulfillment of these blessings, you will praise him for his goodness, and the blessings will just keep coming and coming as long as you stay close to Him.
Oh God Bless Me Indeed!!