Sunday, July 26, 2009

Jabez' prayer

Last Saturday, I had the privilege of acquainting with a person named Jabez.
Fr. Mario Bije, SVD introduced me to Jabez’ prayer.
Fr. Mario told me, he thinks he has been given the gift of prayer-healing.
Jabez, the priest says, is peculiarly special.
Among his brothers, Jabez was more honorable.
Yet, Jabez was born from pain.
I don’t know how many mothers would name a son, Jabez.
Jabez means giving birth to a child in pain.
I am not sure if the “pain” that Jabez brought was labor pain at the time of his birth that his mother suffered.
Or it could have been the pain of shame brought about by his birth, perhaps due to having been born without a known father, or out of wedlock.
Jabez is special because he petitioned the Lord in a prayer.
And the Lord granted his petitions.
If the Lord grants your prayer, you must be special.
The prayer of Jabez has become a model prayer for many.
To many, the prayer has done wonders.
As a matter of fact, Jabez’ simple prayer was even subject of a book that became a best seller.
The prayer of Jabez goes this way:
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.”
In this two-sentence prayer of twenty nine words, Jabez prays for four things, that the Lord generously granted.
First: prayer for blessing. Jabez asked the Lord to bless him.
Oh that you would bless me,” asked Jabez in his prayer.
Second: prayer for influence.
Jabez then asked the Lord to “enlarge my territory
This is not a request for physical territory like expanding land ownership, for that is the work of land-grabbers.
Jabez’ request was that the Lord grant him greater influence among others.
Third: prayer for power.
Then Jabez asked the Lord “Let your hand be with me”.
This is a prayer seeking God’s hand that is all-powerful.
Fourth: prayer for protection.
Jabez asked the Lord for protection by asking, “keep me from harm so I will be free from pain
So Jabez’ short prayer is a prayer for blessing, influence, power and protection.
The Lord granted these requests to Jabez.
I like the prayer of Jabez.
Its simple, crisp, direct, frank, straight-forward.
Why don’t you make Jabez’ prayer, your prayer too?
(The prayer of Jabez is found in 1 Chronicles chapter 4 verse 9).

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