The prayer of Jabez?

Currently I am studying 1 Chronicles, and am at the beginning – reading (OK, flitting) through the list of names and families.  Anyway, on Saturday I came to 1 Chronicles 4:10 which reads:

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.

Quite an innocuous prayer, albeit a little self-oriented?  However, it rang bells for me because I have seen lots of attention given to this – more than one would expect.

This, according to some, is a prayer to be said daily, and God will grant your request.  Well, we could put aside for a while the presumption and manipulation of a ‘prayer’ that seeks to use God to get the desired-for outcome.

No, I want to reflect just a little on the mindset of a culture that makes this prayer a kind of idol.  I guess we shouldn’t be overly surprised that it would become a kind of craze in our over-fed, over-comfortable culture.  Enlarge my territory….keep me from harm….and whatever you do keep me from pain.

What I’d suggest to you is that pain is not always a bad thing.  Pain tells you that you are alive, pain tells you if there is something wrong.  If I understand it rightly, lepers hurt themselves because they feel no pain – they may have a hand on a lit stove and not know it. 

I would suggest further to you that many in the west are infected with a spiritual leprosy brought on by an acute case of affluenza.  Things are wrong with us, very very wrong.  But we don’t want to feel the pain, don’t want to feel the curse that worshipping our crushing wealth has brought upon us.

So for us, my prayer would be that God in His mercy would not grant us Jabez request, but would show His love and kindness, and wake us – by whatever means necessary – to our spiritual apathy and blindness.

I don’t welcome pain, and the Jabez prayer sounds most comforting, but I think it is the very last thing in the world that we in the west need right now. 

Perhaps we might like to try the Lords prayer daily, instead.

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17 Responses to The prayer of Jabez?

  1. bonnieq says:

    Quite excellent, Peter. You make a spiritually sound point; for it would seem those who point to Jabez in order to support their prosperity teachings have failed to recall that God said several things that shed more light on the Jabez’ of the world: “God is kind even to the wicked, giving them the desires of their heart WHILE THEY ARE HERE.” That is paraphrased. And, Proverbs further enlightens, “Earnestly seek the desires of your heart, but be warned that you will be judged by the desires of your heart.” Of course, there is so much more in the way of warning against living for this life instead of the next.

    Well done! Your point is strong and powerful and I pray it opens a few eyes to God’s Truth.

    Love in Christ,
    Truth Seekers and Speakers


  2. Peter says:

    Thank you Bonnie – glad that it resonated with you. 🙂


  3. Diana says:

    How I agree. Many western values are so wrong, and the people seem to have turned their backs on the Lord and seek for new, bright things like magpies. May God give us the words to say when we talk to others about the true values of our Lord: love, peace and humility, rather than the propaganda of ‘I want’ or ‘new’ or ‘latest’ peddled by the ad men.

    ‘The earth is the Lord’s and fullness thereof’ (Ps. 24:1), not humanity’s!!


  4. Peter says:

    Indeed! Some people only want the Lord for what’s in it for them. Such inherit a powerful delusion.


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  6. kiwirev says:

    Pete! You think good!!!

    Love in Jesus,



  7. Peter says:

    Thanks Gene 🙂

    Looks like I’m going to have to come out a bit more publically as to who I am now, heh.

    Mind you, I was thinking of doing that anyway. Putting prophetic stuff up online I think means that you should be open to some degree as to who you are for accountabilities sake. You’re just giving me a helping hand Gene 😉


  8. Pauline Bettney says:

    Peter – I would be grateful for the piece on leadership which you promised if you have time. Thanks.


  9. Pauline Bettney says:

    I was reminded about leadership after reading David Ould’s piece over on Stand Firm. “What Are We doing here?” – terrific sermon – just what I needed today. Appreciate everything you do. Pauline


  10. Peter says:

    Hi Pauline,

    Well, I don’t know if I’d classify it as a piece – if I remember it was one or two lines that the Lord gave me a few years ago about raising up new leaders. I’ll dig it up soon.




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  12. Maria says:

    Good to find your blog.

    Maria in the UK


  13. Peter says:

    Glad to see you here 🙂

    I’m British too, though not in the UK since 2003….


  14. Bob says:

    Amen to that.

    Awake the sleeper oh Lord.

    …”Awake , sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you.” Eph 5:14
    (Paul paraprahsing from Isaiah 26:19)

    Real growth comes thru trials anfd pain.



  15. Peter says:

    It does seem to be often that way, doesn’t it? Wish it wasn’t, but…….


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