Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “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.” And God granted his request. 1 Chronicles 4:10
Most people do not have any issue with praying for God to do miracles. They go earnestly before the Lord when they need healing from a serious illness, favor for a failed business or when they are struggling with their finances. Indeed, when a marriage is in trouble, a Christian couple would not hesitate to pray and ask for prayer to save that marriage. Yet, many believers do not think it is necessary to invite God into the small details of their lives.
God wants to be involved in every area of our lives. He wants to help us plan a birthday party, put together our resumes and go shopping with us. He does not mind going with couples on date nights. The Lord is in the kitchen with us when we are cooking and helps us watch the dishes. He is with us when we are doing the laundry or ironing our clothes. God knows what we need. He can discern our thoughts and knows what is on our minds. We cannot and should not try to hide anything from Him because He is all-knowing.
Indeed, God is our very present help at all times. He sees our limitations, knows our weaknesses, and understands our fears. At times we forfeit the favor of God because we think what we need or going through is too insignificant for God to get involved. Our health, wellness, peace of mind, productivity, fruitfulness, elevation, and joy are God’s priority.
Today’s text highlights the prayer of Jabez. This short but powerful prayer offers many insights into our relationship with God. Not much is known about Jabez. The Bible simply says that “Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain” (1 Chronicle 4:9). We do not even know why he prayed that prayer.
The prayer includes four parts. First, he wanted God to bless him. Blessings are subjective to individual needs and spiritual awareness. For some people, being able to mow the lawn is a blessing, though that may be a burden to someone else. The point here is to know that the blessings of God are evident in small matters as well as in the more significant accomplishments.
Second, Jabez wanted God to increase his territory. We are not sure what territory he wanted God to increase. But Jabez’s prayer is for victory and prosperity in all his endeavors. Jabez wanted his life to reflect divine favor as evidenced by an increase in his territory.
For some people, an increase in their territory may mean a new career or business. It could be a restored or repaired marriage. Maybe it is a victory in a legal battle or a promotion. Some people are praying for God to increase their territory by helping them to purchase their first home. Whatever the territory you may need God to increase, don’t hesitate to ask Him to do it.
Third, Jabez wanted God’s hand to be with him. This was Jabez’s way of asking for the guidance of God and His strength to be evident in his daily existence. Believers need God’s hand to be evident in their daily existence. From the time we wake up to the time we go to sleep and everything in between, we need God’s hand to be with us. Parents of younger children need God’s hand to help them deal with the challenges of raising children. People who are caring for loved ones who are sick or physically challenged need God’s hand to be with them. Those who are frustrated with their current employment, their finances, their relationships, or simply struggling in their spiritual walk can eagerly ask for God’s hand to be with them.
Lastly, Jabez wanted God to keep him from harm so that he will be free from pain. The name Jabez means “sorrowful,” or “sorrow maker.” Thus, Jabez uses a play on words in the last part of prayer to ask God to rescue him from his fate and change his destiny. This suggests believers can pray for God to neutralize generational curses and repair dysfunction in families. Yes, whatever family-related or social trauma a person may have experienced can be overcome and defeated.
God sees and cares about the victims of sexual abuse, incest, and molestation. He listens to the prayers of the victims of sex trafficking. He is with those who are forced into gang activities or are in prison for making a bad decision. He is the legal representative for those who are wrongfully charged and convicted. Our Lord always cares, always helps, and is always present in the life of all his children.
Questions for Personal Reflection
Why is it important to invite God’s presence in every aspect of your life?
What lessons have you learned from the prayer of Jabez about inviting God in your life?
Prayer- Blessed Lord, I think you for your unfailing presence in my life. I need your Spirit to permeate every area of my life. I invite you to take control of the minor and major issues or needs that I have. May your loving hand continue to be with me and guide me through the vicissitudes of life.