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.