Entry 48 The Prayer of Jabez
Jabez, a descendant of Judah, was an honorable man whose name meant sorrowful, because his mother suffered great pain giving birth to him. His prayer contains four urgent requests. First, he asked for God’s blessing, “Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed”. Jabez acknowledges that God is the source of all blessings, that He keeps His promises He made to his forefathers, and Jabez asks for God’s grace. Secondly, he prayed that God would enlarge his coast. Jabez asked for an expansion in territory, for victory and prosperity in all his endeavors, that his influence would be great in the earth, and that his life would be marked by increase. Thirdly, he asked for the presence of God’s hand to be with him in all areas his life. Jabez asked for God’s guidance and strength to be evident in his daily existence. “And that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me!” is the fourth request in Jabez’s prayer. He wanted to be delivered from evil and under God’s protection from harm. He did not want to cause pain to others, nor did he want to endure unnecessary pain from bad decisions. The purpose of Jabez’s prayer was to live beyond to sorrow of his beginning toward a blessed end. And God granted him all that he requested. When we trust God with these areas of our lives, He will bless us indeed as well. He will make our latter days greater than our former ones, and He will give us double for our trouble. The success that Jabez enjoyed far outweighed his sorrowful beginning. And when we pray this prayer, God will do the same for us, considering us more honorable for asking Him for great success rather than trying to achieve it all on our own.
The bible instructs us to meditate on the word of God daily.Introspection is an important form of mediation. It allows us the opportunity to examine and observe our own mental and emotional states and processes. We all should take out time regularly to look inside of ourselves. When man sinned in the beginning in the garden of Eden, the first question God asked him is,”where are you?” We need to regularly assess where we are mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally, professionally, academically, relationally, socially, and financially.Life can easily become mundane and purposeless if we don’t make introspection an important part of our existence. God wants us to know, understand, and love ourselves, so that we can get to know and love Him. We are made in God’s image, and fashioned after His likeness. We are, like our Creator, multifaceted, and complex being. And the more we explore ourselves the better we can relate to others. We can learn to appreciate each others differences while celebrating how much we all are the same. This blog was designed to help us take this journey of self exploration together while mediating on God’s Word. God reveals Himself to us through His word when we take the time to be in His presence. Our thought life controls and directs every other area of our lives. If we have “stinking thinking” about ourselves our lives and our future, we give Satan the opportunity to dominate and destroy us. When we think on those things which are good, we open the door for God to do great and mighty things in and through us. Each week this blog is designed to help us develop a positive thought life, and to increase our knowledge of the revelation of God’s word, and to consequently build our faith in God. The first step to right and better behavior is having the proper belief system. When we believe the truth of God’s word, the fruit of right living is bound to follow. Everything that exist began as thought, idea, or meditation. Prayerfully this blog will help the reader be intentional about introspection so that we can imagine,think, and become all God has created us to be.
Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight #48
The Voices of Praise was established in Florence, New Jersey at Nothing But the Word Church in 1995 by the Founder and Director Cindy Barber. The group prepared songs written and arranged by Cindy Barber, and recorded their first project in 1999. The anointed voices climbed the charts and received heavy air play, allowing them to appear in New Artist Showcase for GMWA and be top picks for leading industry magazines. They have shared the stage with gospel greats from Vickie Winans to Bishop Paul Morton, and they continue to minister locally and abroad.
Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight #47
Born in Dover, Delaware, Donald Ashley grew up in a Bible-believing, spirit-led home where gospel music was an integral part of his life. At an early age, Ashley sang on the church’s youth choir, later singing solos, and venturing out to minister at local churches. He joined his older brothers at age 20, touring the country and receiving national attention for their musical abilities. Ashley lends his talents to a variety of venues from boxing matches to gospel television programs. He wrote original songs, and scripts for theatrical productions, and joined with local artists which lead to his release of his first recording project. Donald Ashley gathered gifted voices from the Delaware area to form the group known as Donald Ashley and Millennium, writing and producing all the songs in their debut project.
Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight #46
Out of her hometown of Philadelphia, PA, Terri Champion is a gospel singer and recording artist. She is an evangelist of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and has served as a Praise and Worship Leader. Champion has been influenced by gospel greats that include Donnie McClurkin, Shirley Caesar and the Clark Sisters. Champion continues to minister wherever God’s people are in need.
Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight #45
Known as a Prophetic Minstrel, Pastor Hersey Lee Coles is a songwriter, producer and gospel recording artist. He is the founder of 1 Accord Ministries, and has appeared on many Christian television broadcasts. Coles is dedicated to God and family. He has learned that the best way to minister is out of a true relationship with God. Coles continue to minister in song locally and abroad.
Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight #44
Chris Graham has a praise and worship gospel style, with elements of funk and jazz. The younger of two boys, Graham grew up with a gospel music foundation where he was influenced by a variety of gospel artist. He learned a lot as he as he traveled with his mother who sang soprano with the Clara Ward Singers and Marion Williams when his was young. Graham has served as a minister, Praise and Worship Leader, and Mass Choir Director, and continues to minister in song wherever God’s people are in need.
Tri-state Local Gospel Artist Spotlight #43
Alex Ingram is a musician, songwriter, producer, and minister of music. While attending Strawberry Mansion Junior High School in Philadelphia, the late Gabriel Hardeman Jr., then the director of the Gospel Ensemble began to nurture Ingram’s talents. He later became the musical director for the Gabriel Hardeman Delegation. While attending Overbrook High School in Philadelphia, Ingram played for the Overbrook Gospel Singers and the Overbrook Jazz Band. He has served as minister of music for many local churches and have recorded with and written songs for many local and national artists from Elder Goldwire McLendon to Edwin Hawkins Music and Arts Seminar.
Entry 47 The Lord’s Prayer
Jesus gave us an example of how to pray. We can never go wrong following Jesus’ patterns. He taught us to pray this way: “Our Father which art in heaven”. This makes it clear who we are talking to, the relationship we are to have with Him and where He abides. Having that intimate Father and son relationship, we are to boldly approach the throne of grace for ourselves. “Hallowed be thy name”; we are to come to our Heavenly father in awe with praises and thanksgiving in our hearts. “Thy kingdom come”, this is the portion of the prayer that has not occurred yet, as Satan has stolen the dominion of earth from the first man Adam. “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” this will happen with the second Man Adam, our Messiah returns again to take us with Him. In heaven there is consistent praise, love, joy, peace and rest. God’s desire is for the whole earth to be filled with his glory like it is in heaven in our world contaminated by Satan with sin, death and destruction. Jesus told us to ask God to “give us this day our daily bread”. God provides the grace and mercy we need for each new day as we feed on His holy word. He takes care of our physical needs as we rest in Him every day. “And forgive us our debts Lord, as we forgive our debtors” refers to our relationship with each other. With the measure of mercy and forgiveness we distribute to others, God will give to us. If we have a problem with our brother God wants us to leave our gift at the altar and try to make amends. “And lead us not into temptation”, speaks to the fact that God will not allow us to be tested above what we are able but will with the temptation provide a way of escape so that we can bear it. We must pray that God “deliver us from evil”. Man’s heart is inherently wicked because of our fallen sin condition, and no good thing is in the flesh. But if we ask Him, God can deliver us from the evil of the world, and the evil of our sin nature. “For thine’s is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever Amen”. All authority, power, and praise belong to God, and it is our job to give it to Him daily. God is God whether we believe him, serve Him, worship Him or not. And one day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord of lords forever, Amen, and it is so.