Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | June 13, 2015

June 13, 2015 “Praying To The Point”

“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.” (1 Chronicles 4:10)

Good Morning Friends in Christ Jesus!

A few years ago, Bruce Wilkenson authored a book based on this prayer from the book of 1 Chronicles entitled “The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking through to the Blessed Life”. In his book, Wilkenson makes this recommendation:

I challenge you to make the Jabez prayer for blessing part of the daily fabric of your life.”

 I believe that Bruce Wilkenson is on to something here. Jabez was not a great military leader renown for his prowess in battle. He was not part of a royal bloodline. He was not a miracle worker or even a prophet. But of him, scripture notes,“he was more honorable than his brothers.” (1 Chronicles 1:9). This is the only reference of him in scripture, but we learn much from it. His name literally means “he makes sorrowful”, but his prayer tells us a different story. In his prayer he asks four things of God: (1 ) blessing; (2) help in his work (enlarge my border); (3) Be with him in all he does; (4) keep him from evil, harm, and pain.  He prayed right to the point! Praying in this manner, Jabez acknowledged God as the true center of his life, his work, and every aspect of his daily living. He prayed specifically for God’s protection from harm and pain. We live in a fallen world which is filled with sin and its dangers, and it is important that we ask God to protect us from the inevitable evil that comes our way. In fact, Jesus taught his disciples, and us, to pray the same thing when he said Deliver us from evil. Along with God’s protection and deliverance, we must also participate by avoiding evil motives, desires and actions in our own hearts and minds. Therefore, not only must we seek God’s deliverance from evil, but also ask God to guard our own thoughts and actions. Paul put it like this: “Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8). Our faithful God will keep his end of the deal as we reciprocate in keeping ours.  Jabez prayed, and God granted his request. Expect nothing less in your own life as you pray like that, for God is faithful and knows how to give good gifts to those who seek him.  Let’s pray!

Lord God; You are the giver of good gifts. We, too  ask your blessing. We, too, pray that you would enlarge our boarders. We, too, pray for your abiding presence. We, too, pray that you would deliver us from evil and the pain associated with it. This is our prayer, and to your Holy Name be glory and honor now and forevermore. Amen

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