Not very long ago, this prayer became very popular in Christian circles.  It is a prayer of supplication which acknowledges James 1:17 that every good and perfect gift comes from above.  From these verses, we learn the summary of the life of Jabez as well as his request.


Jabez was more honorable than his brothers.  I take this to mean that Jabez followed more closely to the Word of God and was more obedient to what God revealed to Him.   I would liken it to what was said of Noah in Genesis 6:9. “A just man, perfect in his generations, a man who walked with God.”  

He received his name because his mother bore him in great pain.  This relates somewhat to his final request that he not cause pain.  The pain that resulted from his childbirth he could not control, but as far as he could control, he did not want to be a source of pain to others.

He prayed to God and trusted Him to bless his efforts, enlarge his territory, and direct his paths.

God granted his request.


Bless me

Is it ok to ask God to bless you?  That might depend on what it is your are asking him to bless.  It must be tied to two things.  His perfect will and Your obedience to it.  Romans 12:2 says “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”  What that tells me is that we can know God’s perfect will if we will renew our mind through prayer and the Word of God.  Therefore, if we ask according to His will, it is perfectly acceptable to ask for His blessing.  Whether your prayer concerns religious or secular ideals, it is ok to ask God to bless our efforts.  If you are a Christian businessman, it is ok to ask God to bless your enterprise.  If you are a Christian singer, it is ok to ask God to bless your voice.  If you are a Christian parent, it is ok to ask God to bless you as you raise your children.  Whatever the nature of the request, if it is genuine and asked with humility and in accordance with God’s plan for your life, definitely ask for and seek his blessing.  I would rather have him with me, than to do it by myself.  As Moses prayed, “Lord, if your presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.”

(2)  Enlarge my Territory

When we ask God to enlarge our territory, we are asking God to increase our sphere of influence for His Kingdom.  When we are asking for more territory, we are tapping into the heart of Christ whose vision was to reach the whole world.  Jesus said to “make disciples of all nations”  and “preach the good news to all creation”, and to be his “witnesses to the ends do the earth.”  Therefore, this is a prayer God loves to answer.  He wants us to dream BIG.  William Carey the great missionary said it this way, “Expect great things from God and Attempt great things for God.”  Listen, God has a plan and purpose for you, but He does not expect you to accomplish it on your own.  Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches.”  What is the job of a branch?  To stay closely connected to the vine.  And what will that do?  Enable it to increase its territory by bearing much fruit.  God wants to expand our influence and our ability to reach His destiny for us.  We should ask for it.  

(3)  Direct my Paths

Jabez prayed for God’s hand to be with him.  He knew what Jesus later proclaimed about Himself that “He is the light of the world.”  What does light do?  It illuminates the path that we must follow.  God knows the way for us to be most successful.  He can help us reach our goals and dreams.  We must ask him to reveal the way for us and trust Him enough to follow even when the way is crooked, narrow, or too dark for us to see it.  It is enough to know that He knows where we are going and that He would never lead us astray.  Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd and I know my sheep and am known by My own.”  David wrote that “The Lord is my Shepherd and that He leadeth me.”  Isn’t it wonderful to know that He is leading you?  Will you follow Him?

(4)  Keep me from evil and from causing pain

I love this part of Jabez’s prayer.  It reminds me of the prayer Jesus taught us… “lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from evil.”  But, I love the heart of Jabez.  His desire was that he not cause pain in the lives of others.  He wanted to bring joy, peace, and love, but not cause pain.  Wouldn’t it be great if nothing we said or did ever caused pain in the life of those we love?  I don’t know about you, but sometimes my words and actions have caused others pain and I have even done so intentionally.  So, I think this is an awesome idea.  To actually pray that my life would not bring pain, but joy.  That the word of my mouth may be uplifting to others and not destructive to them.  That I may build up and not tear down.  That I might be a stepping stone and not a stumbling block.  

So, Jabez prayer is a good model for us to follow today.  If for no other reason, because God granted his request. I believe if we study God’s Word and obey it while praying that God will lead us and bless us with the motivation of influencing others for His glory so that we might spread love and not pain.  That is a prayer He loves to hear and loves to answer.  

Daily Bible Verse

Ezekiel 30:4 - "And the sword shall come upon Egypt, and great pain shall be in Ethiopia, when the slain shall fall in Egypt, and they shall take away her multitude, and her foundations shall be broken down."

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