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The Prayer of Jabez

Daily Reading: 1 Chronicles 4

 

Jabez was more honorable than his brothers; and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.”  Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked. (1 Chronicles 4.9-10)

 

Devotional Thought: Jabez, a little known figure in the Old Testament, has one claim to fame: The Prayer of Jabez.  In his prayer, we learn that prayer...

·       Reveals honor.  Jabez was honorable.  Part of his character was that he knew to give honor to the Creator and Redeemer.  Prayer places us in right position to God.

·       Rises above pain.  Jabez' mother bore him in pain.  Pain is often a catalyst to better things.  In this case it was a catalyst to call upon God.

·       Reaffirms the faithfulness of God.  Jabez called upon the God of Israel.  Embedded in that statement is the realization that God is "Our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come."

·       Requests blessings.  Jabez was not shy in asking for the blessings of God.  Nor should we be shy.  God knows that we are needy creatures.  He is not offended when we ask for his help.  Jesus said we are to ask, seek and knock so that we can receive, find, and enter.

·       Receives increase.  Jabez asked that his border would be enlarged.  Ancient borders indicated a person's potential and responsibility.  Jabez wanted greater potential, so he took on greater risk for greater reward.  Our prayers should stretch us!

·       Relies upon the hand of God.  Jabez realized what the Psalmist later wrote, "Unless the Lord builds they house, they labor in vain that build it."  We work hard, but we need God to work through us!

·       Retreats to the mercies and protection of God.  Jabez found shelter in God.  God is our refuge and strength, a stronghold in the day of trouble!

 

God granted what Jabez asked.  Are you asking great things from God?  "We have not because we ask not."

 

Prayer: "Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!" Amen.

 

Psalm of the Day: 31.14-18

14 But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, "You are my God."

15 My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors!

16 Make your face shine on your servant; save me in your steadfast love!

17 O LORD, let me not be put to shame, for I call upon you; let the wicked be put to shame; let them go silently to Sheol.

18 Let the lying lips be mute, which speak insolently against the righteous in pride and contempt.

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