Prayer in Proper Perspective
Jabez was more honorable than his brothers; and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked.
Jabez was more honorable than his brothers; and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.”
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
Pain motivates us to pray. But is it the reason we pray?
Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border,
We all want to have prosperity.
Do we have God’s perceptive of prosperity?
Are we trying to get God to serve our god of prosperity?
What is God’s perspective of prosperity?
For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles— assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ,
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Prosperity motivates us to pray. But is it the reason we pray?
and that your hand might be with me,
We desire God’s manifest presence.
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
How do we practice the presence of God.
We discipline our minds to include him in all that we do.
We discipline to work not for man or ourselves but for him.
Presence motivates us to pray. But is the reason we pray?
and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!”
Evil Brings pain.
We desire protection.
What kind of protection do we desire?
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.
You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked.
no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent.
So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
Do we desire protection from the judgement of God?
Do we desire God’s discipline?
And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”
Protection motivates us to pray. But is it the reason we pray?
What are our motivations for prayer?
You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
What is the reason we pray?
We pray to connect with the Creator of all things.
Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places. To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments.