Do you remember “the prayer of Jabez” – recorded in the Old Testament? There was a popular book years ago called “The Prayer of Jabez.” All that we know about Jabez is included in his prayer in just two verses of Scripture in I Chronicles 4:9-10. But what it a prayer it was!
Jabez prays to God for prosperity – “Oh, that You would bless me, indeed!” What a great example to us – to pray for prosperity in finances, with our family and our spirituality.
Jabez prays for progress – “…and enlarge my territory…” While it is possible he may have wanted God to enlarge his land holdings, I believe his greater emphasis was on enlarging his spiritual capacity, spiritual ability and spiritual influence. Each of us has an influence on others.
Jabez prays for power – “…that Your hand would be with me…” He wanted the power of God to enable him to live righteously, to serve the Lord and to reach others with God’s truth.
He prays for purity – “…and that You would keep me from evil…” Jabez wanted to be kept from evil thoughts and deeds. To this day, we pray, “Lead us not into temptation.”
Finally, Jabez prays for pleasure – “…that I may not cause pain!” He wanted to be a blessing and a pleasure to God and man – and not the source of bringing pain to anyone.
The touching capstone to his prayer is the fact that God answered it! “So God granted him what he requested.” What better epitaph could a man have on his life?
I was impressed with the spirituality of American Olympic athletes Simone Manuel and David Boudia, who believe God gave them a public platform for the purpose of bringing glory to Him. Like these Olympic athletes, we should each follow the example of Jabez.