1 Chronicles 4:9-10
9 Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother named him Jabez saying, “Because I bore him with pain.” 10 Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm that it may not pain me!” And God granted him what he requested.
I began preaching about the man Jabez in 1983. I still have my sermon notes from when I first challenged the people of the church I was pastoring, to pray the Jabez Prayer. Later a famous book would be written about him. Today I want to challenge every Wingman to study this man and his prayer and dare to pray the way Jabez prayed.
Like Jabez, regardless of your personal circumstances, you can dare to pray for something and expect something that only God could do.
I can remember specifically the amazing answers I have experienced as a result of praying this prayer. It is not just saying words. This is not magic formula. It is a guideline to big praying. As a result of this prayer, revival came to our church and continues to this day.
Found in the midst of all the “Begats” there is a hidden gem about a man named Jabez. Out of hundreds of names listed this man stood out, he was different, and in fact he was “more honorable” than the others. “Honorable” means that he was different. The word also has the idea of more than enough. He wasn’t satisfied with the status quo. Mediocrity was not accepted by him. He wanted more than just to get by and exist. His mother named him Jabez, which means pain or sorrowful. We aren’t told specifics about why he was named Jabez; perhaps he was born with a physical problem that would bring him pain; or perhaps his birth brought pain someway. Whatever the reason, all of his life he would be reminded of the pain every time someone called his name. What pain or issues are you facing?
One line in verse 10 tells us what made the difference in Jabez’s life. “Now Jabez called on the God of Israel.” Prayer turned things around for him and prayer will turn things around for you. Prayer caused him to overcome, and it will do the same for you.
There were six elements to his prayer that made it effective:
- He Prayed Believing: He had faith that God would hear and answer his prayer.
- He Prayed Specifically
- He Prayed with a Right Motive: His motive was to glorify God.
- He Prayed with Consistency: Jabez continued his praying until an answer came.
- He Prayed with Urgency: He cried out to God.
James 5:16b –The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
- He Prayed with Expectancy: He fully expected an answer from God.
Taking his prayer, I encourage you to use this paraphrase and make it a part of your daily prayer time:
“Lord, bless me indeed. Do something in my life so big that it is obviously from you”
“Oh that thou wouldst bless me indeed…”
“Bless” means the favor of God. That word also has the idea of kneeling. The key to God’s favor is through prayer. The word “Indeed” means “No Doubt.” In other words, he is praying for something that when the answer comes there is no doubt that God did it.
“Lord Increase my influence and opportunities for You”
“…and enlarge my border.”
Jabez wasn’t satisfied with average. Enlarged borders meant more real estate, which in turn meant more influence and greater opportunities for God to use him. Enlarge means to multiply or increase.
“Lord, I need the sense of Your continual presence and direction”
“…and that Thy hand might be with me…” He is inviting God to control his life. “Lord I need You!”
He is asking for God’s continual direction for every step and that He would experience the awareness of God’s presence.
“Lord, protect me and keep me from falling into Satan’s traps”
“…and that thou wouldst keep me from harm…”
Jabez was requesting divine protection. He needed victory over temptation. “Keep” means to observe. He wanted the Lord to see him through the trials, temptations, and troubles that come upon those who are serious about living out their faith. He didn’t want to grieve God or be filled with sorrow over giving into temptation. Jabez understood that he was not above giving into temptation. Neither are we.
The verse ends with this: “And God granted that which he requested.” God answered his prayer. God is still answering prayer!
Why not pray this prayer for the next 30 days:
“Lord, bless me indeed. Do something so big in my life that it is obviously from You. Lord, increase my influence and opportunities for You. Please give me the awareness of your continual presence and direction. Protect me and keep me from falling into Satan’s traps.”
Wingman, this week, I dare you to pray this prayer! It could transform your life.