Little is known of Jabez. The scripture tells us Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother named him Jabez saying, “Because I bore him with pain” 1 Chronicles 4:9. That’s all we know about this guy, however, his prayer made in the Bible. That was not coincidental. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 reminds us “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.“
So knowing he was an honorable man, we can understand why God included his prayer in His Book. Jabez’s prayer is one of my favorite. More so, it is inspiring to me because his confidence was rooted in total dependence on God, rather than in any strength of his own. He knew deep down where his help came from. He reminds us of a psalmist who wrote “I lift up my eyes to the mountains–where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth” Psalm 121:1-2
His prayer went like this: “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.” The writer let us in by writing “Jabez cried out to the God of Israel,”
So here are five helpful lessons we are learning from this prayer and how we can use in our own prayer life.
1. He cried out to the Lord.
Crying shows humility. Tough girls don’t cry. Most people view tears as a sign of weakness. It’s ok to show God your weaknesses for He knows them already. Plus His power is made perfect in our weaknesses (2 Corinthians 12:9).
2. He asked for the blessing.
He went after what was promised. There are countless God’s promises at our disposal however, most believers aren’t good at taking or receiving them. Most Christians are jumbling and mumbling about things God has already given us. Jabez knew the scriptures. He knew what God had promised. He kept himself honorable and went after the promises. He basically reminded God to do according to His Word.
3. He asked for the increase of his territory.
This is another promise God made. What Jabez did was repeating what he heard from God’s own mouth. Genesis 26:4 says “I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven and will give your descendants all these lands, and by your descendants, all the nations of the earth shall be blessed”
4. He asked for the hand of God be upon him.
We all know when God’s hand is upon somebody that person has everything. They have health, they have prosperity, they have wisdom and understanding. Ezra, Nehemiah, David as a few examples, gives us a glimpse of what’s it’s like to have “the hand of the Lord” upon us. Of course, these days we have the Holy Spirit inside of us. Jabez didn’t have Him. We truly need to learn from these people how to utilize what we have available.
5. He asked to be kept from harm so he will be free from pain.
Here he requested protection from anything that would cause him harm. He truly knew what he wanted.
The scripture tells us “And God granted his request” 1 Chronicles 4:10b. That means he was blessed, his territory increased, the hand of God was upon him and he was kept from harm so he will be free from pain. Who doesn’t want to live like that!
There are a lot of millionaires and billionaires in the world who are in miserable pain. They have large territories yet the hand of God is not upon them. That isn’t something any of us wants. What’s good having all that money and possibly large territories yet living in pain and without Jesus Christ? If you gonna be blessed then go for every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus.
30 seconds word of encouragement to those lacking.
When you ask God for something don’t say “I need rent indeed, that You could get me through this week.” No–ask big. Let us learn something from Jabez and ask God for things He made available for us. Your God is never busy for you.
Jabez went for the territory increase, he went for security service, he went for God’s own hand. That’s big. Another great example is Elisha. He went for “a double portion of Elijah’s spirit.” 2 Kings 2:9. That was big that even Elijah told him “You have asked a difficult thing.” But then he told him “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours.” In other words, nothing is too difficult for God IF you meet certain conditions.
I want to encourage you to ask big. Don’t be shy. Your heavenly Father is not broke. Ask and it shall be given you. But also remember this: Jabez was an honorable man. We need to play our part.
Share with us how you build your prayers.