I Chronicles 4:10
And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve thee! And God gave him that which he requested.
One of the hardest portions of the Bible to get through on your way to reading God’s Word in its entirety, is the first nine chapters of I Chronicles. Let’s be honest, that’s a lot of names!! In our verse today, God gives us a treasure buried in all of these genealogies. My study Bible gives it its own heading, “Of Jabez, and his prayer”. To understand verse 10, we must read verse 9. The name Jabez means he makes sorrowful or he causes pain. Imagine having your mother name you that because your birth was so difficult. Imagine being reminded of that pain and sorrow every time your name is spoken.
Jabez determined to live differently than the definition of his name. He was more honorable than his brethren. Before we even get to his prayer, we understand through his example it is possible to overcome your past, your pain, and other people’s perception of you. His prayer, I believe, was proof of the power that enabled him to overcome. It is important to understand that his prayer is not a series of magical words that bring power and prosperity to whoever repeats them. His prayer points us to his God who has the awesome power to change his curse to a blessing, his pain to joy, and his past to a glorious future. As with all Biblical prayers, the prayer of Jabez should cause us to focus on the power and glory of our Heavenly Father. Here is what he asked of God…
- Prosper Me – bless me indeed
that others may see Your lifechanging provision
- Propel Me – enlarge my coast
that others may see Your lifechanging purpose
- Protect Me – thine hand might be with me
that others may see Your lifechanging power
- Prevent Me – keep me from evil
that others may see Your lifechanging peace
Jabez prayed for the same things we should ask God for every day. We need God’s blessings. We need God to reveal to us what He wants us to do. We need God’s protection. We need God to keep us from the evil that is all around us. I encourage you to go read the model prayer Jesus gave His disciples in Matthew 6:9-13. You will be surprised at the similarities. I hope Jabez has been a blessing to you and will encourage your prayer life.