The Prayer of Jabez

Today’s Passage – 1 Chronicles 3 – 5

Second Milers also read – John 3 – 4; Psalms 26 – 30; Proverbs 6

“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”. (1Chronicles 4:10)

I have got to admit that these first few chapters of 1 Chronicles are not my favorite portions of Scripture to read.  Oh, don’t misunderstand, these genealogical passages are very important, and God has good reason to include them in the Bible; but they don’t make for very interesting reading.  However, nestled in the midst of this rather dry recollection of families and names is a prayer request made by a man named Jabez.  Now we don’t know anything about this man except for this prayer which is recorded here; but we also know that God granted him that which he requested.  Let’s take a look at the prayer:

1  He prayed that God would prosper him.  He depended on God for that prosperity.  He recognized that God was the source of all blessing.  His prayer required a great deal of faith which we know is pleasing to God.

2  He prayed for protection.  Again, he knew that anything could happen to him; but he also knew that nothing could happen to him without God’s permission.  He asked God to put an hedge of protection about him.

3  He prayed for peace of mind (happiness).  Not every situation we face in life will be pleasant to us; but God’s people should be a very happy people.  We have a lot to be happy about.

I have often thought that this prayer was selfish.  He didn’t pray for others; he didn’t pray for the glory of God; he didn’t pray for the salvation of the world; he prayed for himself; yet God answered him.  Maybe God likes it when we come to him in childlike faith.  I guess God enjoys blessing us.  Don’t misunderstand, I don’t think that God appreciates a spoiled brat, always begging for things they want; and always griping about what they don’t get; but I bet He enjoys blessing us.  I know I enjoy doing things for my kids, just because I love them.  Maybe, we should try praying a prayer like Jabez.


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