Thursday, March 14, 2024

Jabez’s Prayer for Blessing and Protection

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Jabez’s Prayer for Blessing and Protection – 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 

Submitted by Kay Crumley

We all desire blessings and protection. What are blessings? When one asks for blessings or is being blessed, we think of it as approval, encouragement, or securing what will make us happy. God’s blessing is His special favor which leads to joy and prosperity. We all want that kind of blessing from our Father. It provides protection from harm, from those things that would bring pain or destruction. God is certainly able to provide that blessing to us. James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. All good gifts come from Him. He is consistent and never changes so we can trust His promises. So, how do we get those blessings from God? 

If you read 1 Chronicles 1-9 you will learn a great deal about genealogy. These chapters are filled with the lineage of God’s people. While I know there is importance in knowing this information it is a hard read for most of us. However, during that we find a break in the list. Jabez was one of the sons of Judah. There is something different about him that caused Ezra, the writer Chronicles, to hit the pause button because Jabez was unique in his family.  

Names had meaning in those times. Jabez means sorrow or pain. His was a difficult birth, since it caused his mother pain. However, he was an honorable man. He was dependable, did the right thing, lived up to high principles, and a man of integrity. His character led him to pray in a way uncommon not only in his time but for us as well. 

9 Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.”10 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. 

He cried out to God, urgently, making four requests of God. 1.) Bless me. He acknowledged God as the one true God of Israel who can answer his prayer for grace. 2.) Enlarge my territory. Jabez was entering Canaan with many enemies facing him. He was asking God to help him drive the evil Canaanites and also to enable him to make disciples. He would strive to teach others about God and how to live godly lives. 3.) Let your hand be with me. The ‘hand of God’ symbolizes God’s power and protection in our lives. Jabez understood he needed God’s guidance in his life. We need God to be with us, on our side in all the challenges of our lives. 4.) Keep me from harm or evil and free from causing pain. He needed God to protect him from evil. Jesus prayed, in Matthew 6, to be delivered from the evil one. That is a prayer each believer needs to voice daily. Our battles are against the forces of evil in the heavenlies, not just the evil we find on earth. He then asked to be free from the pain of sorrow. His name means sorrow, yet he understood we cause sorrow by failing to live godly lives. Sin causes pain to those who love us and to our Heavenly Father. He is close to the brokenhearted, Psalm 34:18. 

The verse ends with the best answer possible. God granted his request. We can be assured that God will answer our prayers when they are in His will. Prayers that made to honor God and bring glory to His Kingdom are granted. 1 John 5:14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 

What made Jabez unique among his brothers? His heart was right before God. He didn’t make selfish requests. Each request was centered on bringing honor and glory to God. He acknowledged his need for God in his life, he wanted to expand the kingdom of God in the new territory by rooting our evil and teaching godliness, he knew he needed God’s power to be successful, and finally his desire was to be protected from sin, evil, which brings pain. Our prayers can be modeled on this prayer by seeking Him first, admitting our dependance on Him, and striving to lead others to follow Jesus expanding His Kingdom by discipling those who believe. 



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