Updated: May 11
Good evening everyone, I hope you are all well, and enjoying our 52 days of prayer. I know I am
Yesterday was a day of reflection for those that are following along, how did you find this? Why not comment below and share one take away you have had from the past week.
I am excited to tell you about the next prayer in our 52 days of prayer journey.
Our prayer starts in 1 Chronicles Chapter 4. Did you know that a chronicle is an account of historical events presented in the order in which they occurred. There are two books of chronicles in the bible, when we read/study these books it is hoped that they will give us an understanding of the overarching history of God's people right from the beginning. Chapter's 1 - 3 is the family lineage from Adam to the Royal line of David and the House of Jesse, it highlights the various kings and chiefs who have reigned over the tribes of Israel.
Like I've said tonights prayer starts in Chapter 4 where we continue to read about the descendants of Judah, and it is here we meet Jabez.
We know very little about Jabez, his life is summed up in just two verses, the first tells us why he is called Jabez and that he was more honourable than his brothers. And his second verse is his prayer to God, which I think it tells us about his character and priorities in life.
Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.
Jabez starts by asking God to bless him. Jabez knew that Gods blessing would make him rich, not necessarily as in rich with lots of cash or the best crop or animal or in today's eyes the latest car or trend (earthly rich) but emotionally, spiritually rich. He knew that all things come from God and that Gods blessing upon him, would also extend from him to others through his works and deeds. Jabez also was not asking for anything specific in terms of blessing just that he would be blessed, in essence he is saying to God, let his will be done in this. I think this makes him humble, servant hearted and God focused.
Jabez then asks for his territory to be enlarged, this could mean his literal territory, where he lives, who he sees and works with, but it could also be to expand his heart, his purpose, his usefulness. Either way none of these I believe are for Jabez personal gain.
Jabez asks for God to be with him, Jabez knows he cannot do it alone, that he needs God and to be in community with him. Look at how we right now in the middle of a pandemic and we are finding the power of community to be essential, that when we are alone for a substantial period we can lose connection with others, we find it hard to be without the ones we love and it can be harder to do things with joy and pleasure that you would normally have when doing them with others.
Finally Jabez asks for protection. He knows that the world is full of struggle, trials, he is not naïve about it, his was called Jabez because his mother bore him with sorrow. Maybe he was seen as a burden rather than a blessing to his own mother. Jabez knew that life has both good and not so good elements to it, he doesn't ask to not experience it, he just asks for protection to get through it.
Jabez prayer is short, succinct and to the point, he spoke from his heart which is all God asks from us.
The best part is that God granted his request. He does the same for us today although they may not be how we expect or imagine them to be. That's what I like about this prayer, Jabez has no expectations , no specifics things he is wanting, he just calls out to God makes his request and carries on. How often to you make a request to God and expect the outcome straight away? Instead why not just pray to God with no expectations, nothing specific just straight from your heart. Why not take a few a moments to do that tonight.