The Prayer of Jabez
Q: I prayed the Jabez prayer for a long time and nothing really changed. Did I do something wrong?
I read The Prayer of Jabez by Bruce Wilkinson years ago but somehow I screwed up the entire meaning of it. The prayer has 4 parts:
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
I completely missed 4 out of 4, that’s 100% INcorrect! To top it off, I stopped saying the words of the prayer when I got too busy with work. Some how, I thought it all had to do with m-o-n-e-y so every time I prayed these words I thought about financial blessings. You would bless me with money indeed, enlarge my financial territory, Your hand would be with me and my money and that you would keep me from doing evil with my money. Money was my only intent.
A: Since I’m now running out of money I’m asking for God’s help and I’m getting answers. I found the book amongst all my others, read it again and it was like reading a new book for the first time. How did I twist it so that it was unrecognizable. The prayer and the book don’t really have anything to do with money. In fact, it’s about our relationship with God and other people. The prayer and the book don’t mention money or finances. Blessings of money can come with it but the core of the prayer is about much more valuable things.
The first part, “That you would bless me indeed,” includes all of the LORD’s blessings to us. Mr. Jabez didn’t ask God how to bless him but left it entirely up to God. Of course, God wants us to ask for what we want but I was so over focused on the financial aspect that I didn’t leave any room for real blessings to come in.
Second, “and enlarge my territory,” is asking the LORD to “enlarge your life so you can make a greater impact for Him” (p.30). It’s not about us and it’s not about money for us! It’s always about God and what He wants for us. What He wants for us is bigger than anything that we want for ourselves. I have made money over the years but I was miserable, hated my job and career, and found myself in more debt than money.
Third, “that Your hand would be with me,” is to ask Him to work miracles in our lives that can never be accomplished by human means. For example, adding 3000 members to the body of Christ in one day as told in Acts 11:21. Material needs came along with this miracle but material needs (money) were not the miracle.
Last, “and that you would keep me from evil” is asking God to keep us away from evil. That’s very straight forward. For example, keep me from hanging out with people who are evil and want evil for me. This is another one of my big faults. I tend to associate with those who are bad influences on me.
Although, I prayed the words in the past, I attached a faulty meaning to those words and by doing so I screwed myself! We can’t pull one over on God. He’s not deceived by words only and he knows are true intentions. Now, I’ve started over and I’m praying the words in the truest meaning. First, that the LORD would bless me in all the ways that He sees fit knowing that he wants me to make wise decisions with money. Second, to enlarge my life for Him and make an impact for His good on the miserable mud ball. Third, that His hand would work miracles for His kingdom. Last, that the LORD will keep me from all forms of evil because I’m just as week as everybody else. (You may also read, Holes In My Money Bag.)
Please let me know if there’s anything else that I’ve screwed up.
P.S. I recommend, “Avoid presumptions about God’s will” by Grantley Morris.