There is a guy named Jabez who is mentioned in the bible who prayed a prayer saying, “Oh that you would bless me 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!” (1 Chronicles 4:10)
It’s a simple and powerful prayer of a man whose mother had named him Jabez because she had borne him in pain. This meant that every time his name was called, Jabez and everyone else was reminded that he had been a source of hurt and pain. The interesting thing is that Jabez did not allow the stigma of His difficult birth or whatever pain surrounded it to prevent him from becoming an honourable man, or from coming to God and believing for good things to happen in His life. For it’s in His simple prayer and His heartfelt asking and believing that Jabez’s miracle was unleashed and his life and story was changed.
Jabez it seems knew something that perhaps many people don’t. He believed that he was important to God, that He could talk to Him, that God would be with him even in the painful times and that He wanted to and would bless him.
I realised as I read Jabez’s prayer recently to our youngest son that even though I know God wants to bless us, to expand our territory and to protect our lives that I can sometimes not really expect him to bless or increase my life in particular. This thought has been challenging me over the last few days… why don’t I expect God to bless me? The answer perhaps is to be found in where I have been looking. Instead of looking at where I haven’t increased or feel I am lacking I would be better to direct my attention to where God has blessed and brought increase in my life. To look at where He has protected, cared for and prevented pain. For when i search for where His hand of blessing has already been revealed I will be far more likely to ask and expect God to move and act on my behalf again.
Jabez also expected God to bless him because he would have grown up reciting and remembering all the times where God had shown Himself strong on behalf of His people. He would have celebrated the numerous feasts, celebrations and memorials that His people recognised throughout the year; in that God was not only powerful but also that He loved and cared for them too.
Perhaps we would also benefit from remembering all that God has done in our lives and in the lives of so many others. He performs miracles every day – He provides, cares for, leads, guides, and overrides the natural order of things to fulfil his Word. He still speaks and seeks to reveal Himself to us everyday.
Jabez’s prayer is recorded in the bible for a reason and I believe it’s there because God wants us to know that He desires to bless us and that He longs for us to come to Him and pray.
Today I encourage you to ask; ask according to God’s Word, and like Jabez call upon God 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!”
Then expect God to grant your request.
“Ask, and it will be given to you, seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”(Matthew 7:7-8)
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”(Hebrews 13:8 NIV)
Prayer:Lord thank you that you desire to walk with me through every part of my life and that your plan is to bless and increase the good things in my life. Please help me to let go of any disappointments in my past, and to instead remember all the places where you have shown your love and revealed your hand. Thank you for your blessings being released in my life today. In Jesus name Amen.