THE PRAYER OF JABEZ is a prayer God is emphasising to the Body of Christ at this time. Those who make this part of their regular prayer life testify to amazing answers.
1Chronicles 4:9,10: 'Now Jabez was more honourable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez (PAIN!), saying, 'because I bore him in pain.'
It seems that the circumstances of his birth were painful, both for himself and for others, and his mother prophesied trouble and pain would mark his life. By our natural birth we are all born into sin and curse and this is our destiny unless we do what Jabez did. He did not settle for an ordinary life. He did not go the way of the world and be dominated by his natural destiny.
He knew the God of Israel was a God of deliverance and salvation and he called out to God. He is a man that stands out in a long list of names in this chapter.
But His life was changed because of one prayer, a cry of his heart to God:
'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.'
God is no respecter of persons. If He answered Jabez's heartfelt prayer, He will answer yours too. The prayer is recorded for your benefit!
Let us all pray this prayer for ourselves and for the Church. Ask and expect great things from God:
Let us look at his Prayer.
(1) 'Oh, that You would bless me indeed.'
This is a prayer of a hungry man who wants more of God. He is desperate for God's blessing. Jesus said: 'Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled' (Matt 5:6).
You must DESIRE God to fill you and put His anointing upon you. He wants to bless you! Jabez knew that without it his life would come to nothing - pain for himself and pain for others. The blessing of the Lord is SUPERNATURAL FAVOUR upon your life, which accomplishes what no amount of natural human effort can.
(2) 'Oh, that you would enlarge my territory.'
This is a prayer for growth, both personally in the effectiveness of his work and ministry. Jabez wanted to mark a mark for God. He wanted to be enlarged. God had commanded Israel to possess the land and we too are called to possess (lay hold of) everything God has prepared for us. Jesus said there was a shortage of labourers. He wants to increase the sphere of our ministry, to touch the lives of more people, to open doors of opportunity for us, but we must pray for this:
'Lord, please expand my opportunities and my impact in such a way that I touch more lives for your glory. Let me do more for you!'
Ask and expect great things from God.
(3) 'Oh, that Your hand would be with me.'
The great thing about expanding and moving out for God in ministry is that you soon reach the end of your ability. You have to depend on God's power, and in the next part of his prayer Jabez calls out to be filled with the Spirit to fulfil his ministry. As a result you experience God's power flowing through you. Dependence on God results in completeness as He fills us (2Cor 3:5,6). The hand of the Lord refers to God's power and presence on you (Josh 4:24, Isa59:1, Acts 11:21). We should pray that: 'God would grant me, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that I might be filled with all the fullness of God'(from Ephesians 3:16,19).
(4) 'Oh, that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!'
As you pray this prayer of Jabez and move forward in God to possess your land, you will encounter spiritual resistance and temptation (to be proud for example), so it is important to be alert to this and pray. The key prayer we should always pray is to be delivered from temptation and evil (Matthew 6:13) because a lot of temptation and failure is unnecessary and avoidable if we would pray this. Of course, there are some attacks you can't avoid and must overcome in His power (Eph6:10-18). Jabez main concern in this is that he would not live up to his birth-name -pain! For when we yield to evil we cause pain to God, to those around us and bring harm God's cause. Those who stop moving forward in God and back-slide or settle for a easy and safe life discourage others.
Jabez prays that he would not be like this. He this because he does not want to be a one-day wonder. He wants his fruit to abide. He wants to possess the land of God's blessing, not just visit it, but he can't without God's help, so he prays this prayer of protection against counterattack.
We must pay this regularly to maintain our progress in God and have His protection from satan's devices, for many start well but then get pulled away by satan's distractions or pressures.
Because of this prayer the Bible says Jabez stood out:
'Jabez was more honourable than his brothers.'
God is looking for more Jabezs' (see 2Chron 16:9).
'God granted him what he requested.'
His prayer launched him into an outstanding life in God. This prayer will lay the foundation for a life of blessing and greatness in God. As you continue to pray it, an increasing cycle of blessing will be released into your life.
'Oh, that You would bless us indeed.'
Lord we desperately need your SUPERNATURAL FAVOUR upon us. Embarrass us with Your blessing.
'Oh, that You would enlarge our territory.'
'Lord, please expand my opportunities and my impact in such a way
that I touch more lives for Your glory. Let me do more for you!'
'Oh, that Your hand would be with us.'
'Grant us, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through Your Spirit in the inner man, that we might be filled with all the fullness of God' (from Ephesians 3:16,19).
Lord we can't do it in our own strength, but let Your Hand be upon us and let signs and wonders take place in our midst.
'Oh, that You would keep us from evil, that we may not cause pain!'
Deliver us from temptation and evil (Matthew 6:13)
that we might not fall and be a discouragement to others.'