The Prayer of Jabez
The Prayer of Jabez
Pastor Keith Hassell
Foundation Scripture: I Chronicles 4:9-10
I. Great talk has been generated by a book entitled The Prayer of Jabez written by Bruce Wilkinson. Let’s consider the man Jabez and his unusual prayer.
II. Who is Jabez?
A. He is a descendant of Judah
B. He gained the attention of the writer
C. Things started off bad for Jabez in life: Something about his birth caused his mother to name him “Jabez” which means, “He will cause pain” because she bore him in pain
D. He prayed an unusual one-sentence prayer
E. Things ended extraordinarily well for Jabez: God granted him what he requested
F. He was said to be more honorable than his brothers
III. The Prayer of Jabez
A. “Oh, that You would bless me indeed!”
1. Jabez dared to live beyond his personal limits
2. Great men of faith think and believe differently than the rest. Men of the Bible wrestled and sought God’s blessing. They understood that without God’s blessing they fail in life.
3. He left it entirely up to God how and when those blessings would come. He totally trusted God’s good intention toward him (Jeremiah 29:11).
4. Seeking God’s blessing will mark your life with miracles.
5. You enter heaven knowing you completely fulfilled the will of God.
6. We must ask (Matthew 7:7; James 4:2). Story of the boxes of blessing wrapped in heaven that were never claimed on earth.
B. “Oh, that You would enlarge my territory!”
1. This prayer is more than asking for more real estate. Jabez was asking for more influence, responsibility, and opportunity to make a mark for God.
2. If you are living your life for God and doing things His way, it is not only right to ask God for more, but also He wants us to ask Him for more.
3. Parable of the Talents (Matthew 14-30). The master expected a greater return for faithful investment.
4. Are you being faithful with the ministry God has given you? Then it is okay to pray, “Lord give me more ministry!”
5. Wrong equation: My abilities + experience + my personality and appearance + my past + the expectations of others = my assigned territory.
6. Right equation: My willingness and weakness + God’s will and supernatural power = my expanding territory.
7. To pray for larger borders is to pray for a miracle---it’s that simple. A miracle is a supernatural intervention by God to bring about something that would not have happened otherwise. Do we dare to ask and believe for miracles?
8. Pray for a lot of territory. Small requests don’t need God. They are safe and humanly attainable. When we ask, let us ask for territory that we know is a miracle of God.
C. “Oh that Your hand would be with me!”
1. This is the prayer that enables us to attain and hold the territory we have just asked to receive.
2. What happens when your opportunities outrun your experience and resources? What if the new opportunities require more of you than you can manage? What if you are overwhelmed?
3. What is that overwhelming feeling you feel? DEPENDENCE. We are supposed to have these feelings. We are now walking with Jesus. Actually the moment we don’t feel dependent is the moment we have stopped walking by faith. Living by faith is taking steps so large that we are guaranteed to fail…unless God steps in. Here’s what total dependence looks like:
a. It goes against common sense
b. It contradicts your previous experience
c. It seems to disregard your feelings, training, and need for security
d. It sets you up to look like a fool and a loser.
e. Yet it is God’s plan for His most honored servants.
4. Have you ever launched out over the edge to do something you know you can’t do, but you did it anyway? Wasn’t there a great feeling of confidence that God had stepped in and done something awesome?
5. “Your hand” has to do with God’s power and ability. It often speaks of the work of the Holy Spirit, the same Holy Spirit that turned the disciples around on the Day of Pentecost.
D. “Oh that You would keep me from evil!”
1. Reason: “That I may not cause pain!” Jabez started off with a legacy of pain and suffering. He did not want to finish that way.
2. This prayer is for maintaining a legacy so that it can pass on to the next generation with wholeness and healing.
3. When you take on new territory, you have invaded the devil’s turf. You will experience more attacks of the devil upon your life, family and ministry. Successes bring new opportunities for failure.
4. Model prayer: “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.”
5. Ask God to keep you from overwhelming temptation. When you face it, ask God for the grace to flee from it.
IV. Jabez was more honorable than his brothers.
A. Why did Jabez stand out more honorable than his brothers? Why did God grant Jabez his request?
B. God has favorites. He favors those who ask and trust in God’s good intentions toward them.