An Old Prayer for a New Day

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. 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 

In the midst of the genealogy found in 1 Chronicles, a man is honored for this piety and prayer. The character of others is blatantly absent, but for Jabez we know him to be renown for his prayer life. Jabez desired change. Known as one who caused pain, He desired a different legacy and asked God to both shape and change his future. Jabez asked God for blessing or favor. He desired to know and live full well the good things God had in store for him. Jabez asked God to enlarge or expand his boundaries and territory. He desired greater responsibility and influence. He asked for an expansive entrustment in which to steward. Jabez asked God to place His hand upon him. He knew as the boundaries expanded that his dependence upon God would relationally increase. Jabez needed God’s strength and leadership to accomplish greater things. Finally, Jabez asked for protection or interference from God when it came to temptation. He asked God to keep him from evil in order that he’d be free from the pain that always follows sin – the consequences. God granted Jabez’s request.

Jabez demonstrated an unusual competency in prayer for his day and time. He understood it way okay and even expected that he’d pray for himself. Renowned people pray for themselves. Jabez prayed with personal risk in mind – willing to risk his routine life. Renowned people pray for greater influence and effectiveness in their current context and beyond. Jabez prayed with a greater dependence. The more God answered his prayer, the greater his need and dependence upon God. Renowned people become more God dependent than self-dependent or independent.

Here are a couple of questions to review. Am I willing to live in the extraordinary? Am I willing to completely trust the Lord? Am I willing to follow Him regardless? If you can answer in the affirmative, it may be time to pray with a greater enthusiasm and devotion – some renowned praying. God answered Jabez and He will answer you.