Do you desire to receive all the blessings God planned for your life? I sure do. The trouble is many Christians either have not been taught, or, do not realize—It’s ok to ask God for blessings!
This concept of asking is often considered selfish by some believers. They say we should be praying for God to bless those less fortunate than ourselves, not ask for “more”.
Wrong! A man named Jabez, who is mentioned in only two verses in the Bible, thought differently. Jabez dared to ask God for more, “And God granted him that which he requested.”
Reading from the King James Version, we find Jabez’s shorty story:
1 Chronicles 4:9-10 And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow.
And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.
There is no other information referencing Jabez in the Bible other than what we read in these two verses, oddly placed in the midst of the Hebrew tribe’s family trees. For some reason, the author of 1 Chronicles deemed it necessary to tell all his readers about this Jabez. Let’s examine the text.
“And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow.”
It seems Jabez was righteous as he grew up, which may be why the author was compelled to share Jabez’s heartfelt prayer. However, his mother grieved at his birth and we don’t know why. Perhaps her pain was physical birth pain, or, it could have been emotional pain if the father was no longer with her.
“And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed,. . .”
It seems Jabez in his righteousness, did not withhold a personal request to Yahweh, the God of Israel, for more. He knew praying to the understood creator of the universe was a bold move and he also knew God as the only source who could positively answer his request. Especially asking to be blessed “indeed”, meaning without any question.
“. . .and enlarge my coast,. . .”
Being that Jabez was honourable, we can believe that a request to enlarge his territory would not be for selfish gain, but to bring God glory. Otherwise, Jabez would not be honourable in God’s eyes.
Asking God to enlarge his areas—family, friends, finances, business, as long as Jabez worked that area for God, is not selfish. Jabez is actually asking God to bless his personal service to God and for God.
“. . .and that thine hand might be with me,. . .”
Whatever Jabez owned, did, or associated with, he wanted God to shine through it all! Jabez knows he can do anything on his own. All glory comes from God and Jabez asked God for His continual strength to be upon him.
“. . .and that thou wouldest keep me from evil,. . .”
Jabez was not only honourable, he was smart. He understood once God’s hand of blessings was upon him, satan would be at his door to kill, steal and destroy what he could. Jabez specifically asked God to keep evil away.
Distractions, obstacles, negative opinions, self-doubt. . .Jabez wanted nothing with do with anything that would keep him from pleasing God. So Jabez asked and trusted God to not allow evil to attack.
“. . .that it may not grieve me!”
Keeping thoughts pure with love and devotion to the Almighty was necessary, Jabez knew, to carry out his coming blessings from God. What faith and devotion this man had in our Creator! His prayer distinguishes Jabez believed God as the center of his life.
“And God granted him that which he requested.”
Jabez dared ask God five personal requests in one sentence, “bless me, enlarge my, be with me, keep me, not grieve me”! That does read a bit selfish. But clearly, God approved because He granted Jabez’s request. God knew Jabez was not out for selfish gain but desired to praise and please God in all that he would do.
I encourage you to pray Jabez’s distinct, heartfelt prayer. Not just today—but everyday! Ask God for more, all so that you will use that “more” to advance His kingdom. To make Him greatly known in your family, your work and in how you daily interact with others.
Keep your heart directed to Him who created it and have faith that He will truly bless you!
Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.
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