I am a yes person. It is one of my best attributes, and one of my worst weaknesses. I do not like to disappoint anyone therefore, when I am asked to do something, I agree to help. It doesn’t matter if I am already stretched too thin, don’t have the time, or lack the passion. My immediate reaction is to say “yes!”
January 2012 was a particularly challenging season of life. I was extremely involved (over involved, honestly) with our church, I helped run a local MOPS group, I was constantly running around trying to keep up with my 2.5 and 1 year old daughters, and my husband had just been diagnosed with cancer. It was a painful time, but it forced me to reevaluate my priorities and my purpose.
It was during this season that I read The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking Through the Blessed Life. Somehow, in all my years growing in the Bible, I had never stopped to notice Jabez in 1 Chronicles 4. His prayer is short, only one verse, but it is mighty!
In his prayer, Jabez does what I had been failing to do. He put God, not his acts (or yeses and commitments) at the center of everything. And, in the end, the Bible tells us that “God granted his request.” Let that sink in for a moment… God heard Jabez’s prayer and granted his request. How incredible!
I think if we were to try and use the Prayer of Jabez in our daily prayer life it would sound something like this:
God, I believe that You are the source of all that is good, every kind of blessing. Bless me with good relationships, discernment, compassion, gentleness, and the desire to love as You love. Enlarge my heart, help me to reach others for You. I can’t do it on my own. I need Your help. Protect me from Satan’s lies, distractions, and temptations. Strengthen me. Guide me. Lead me. Use me to do great things for Your glory alone! My life is yours. – Amen
Will you exercise your prayer muscles this week and pray like Jabez?
Thrive in Five – One set of Bible verses, 5 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Let’s dive into God’s Word.
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 4:10