What have I learned lately? You’d think since I’m no longer homeschooling I wouldn’t be learning much these days. Not true! I am doing a Bible study on the book of Philippians and am also reading lots of blogs and books by other authors while promoting my new book. I have been amazed at the things I’ve learned that have planted little seeds of wisdom in me.
One book I am currently reading is The Prayer of Jabez by Dr. Bruce H. Wilkinson. Who is Jabez and what was his prayer? Jabez was just an ordinary man who is mentioned in a tiny section of the Bible. In the long list of names in I Chronicles 4, suddenly there is a break and Jabez and his prayer are mentioned. In verses 9-10, it says: “Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested.”
Jabez is not anyone of great significance. From the beginning of his life he was kind of marked because the mere mention of his name reminded folks that he caused his mother great pain while she was in childbirth. He was, however, more honorable than his brothers and I suppose it made God want to grant his request. This prayer inspired the book written by Dr. Wilkinson.
I started praying this prayer at the beginning of September because I wanted God to do amazing things in my life and in the lives of my family members and friends. I didn’t start praying it because I wanted God to give me wealth or popularity. I wanted God to bless me with whatever He wants to bless me with. I want Him to enlarge my territory because that will enlarge His territory. The more people find out about me, the more I will be able to spread the Good News about Him to the world. I want His hand to be with me because I can’t imagine walking through this life without Him. And I truly want Him to keep me far from evil and to guide me along the right path so that I do not sin against Him and so I do not cause my friends and family to follow me down the wrong path.
As soon as I began praying this prayer, God started answering it. It’s not a magic prayer. What it is though is a prayer that opens your eyes to the blessings of God that are already there in your life. It makes you watch out for opportunities in which you can tell others about Him. It makes you be more conscious of the traps that Satan tries to set up for you. It makes you see that as a child of the Father, you have an inheritance that compares with no other and blessings that are right there at your fingertips. James 4:3 says,“You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.” We can ask God to bless us and to protect us and to enlarge our territories and to be with us always and when we ask with pure motives and with a desire to make Him be glorified, He will answer according to His will.