Pray Like Jabez
“Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “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.” And God granted his request.”
– 1 Chronicles 4:9-10
A few years ago, a famous author wrote a small book that sold millions. The author was encouraging people to pray the prayer of Jabez so that God would bless them. People rushed to bookstores and cleared the shelves when the book came out. But I wonder if we may have missed a very important nugget in this prayer.
Verse 9 begins by saying that Jabez was “more honorable than his brothers.” What does that mean? Was he kinder, loving, more forgiving than his all brothers? The next verse gives a clue. He asked God to bless him and enlarge his territory, but he also prayed that God would keep him from hard (or evil) so that he would be free from pain.
Was Jabez asking God to not allow any harm or evil in his life or was he asking God to keep him from doing any evil or harm? I believe Jabez was asking God to help him not commit evil or harm to anyone. And the reason Jabez didn’t want to commit evil or hard is it would grieve his soul when he did it. The Bible tells us that God granted him that request.
I wonder if we prayed that God would help us not commit evil or harm to others, would He also grant us that request? If we prayed, “God please keep me from gossip, jealousy, and slander,” because it grieves us when we do it, would God grant our requests?
God not only helps us do good, but He also helps us from doing harm when we ask. Are there any areas in our lives where we are causing more harm than good? Let’s ask God to reveal those areas to us and help us to do good instead.
Pray: Lord, please show me areas in my life where I’m doing harm rather than doing good. Please help me to do what is good. Grieve my heart for the things that grieve Your heart. Protect me from hurting Your heart and mine. In Jesus Name I pray.
Women’s Ministry Director
First Baptist Broken Arrow