In 1 Chronicles 4:9-10, in an otherwise mundane list of genealogy, we get these powerful two verses about an otherwise unknown man named Jabez. The brief mention is about this one thing of prayer—specifically a prayer for himself.
Are you afraid to pray for yourself? Are you afraid to ask God to bless your life? If your response is “yes,” maybe you have said more about your beliefs about God than you intended. Why wouldn’t God want to bless you? Don’t you want to bless your children? In the same way, God wants to bless you—His child!
The prayer of Jabez gives us a Biblical prayer that we might pray for ourselves. In the prayer of Jabez we can identify four specific requests that can become our model for praying for ourselves.
Before we consider these four requests let’s consider what we know about Jabez, the person. The Bible does not tell us much about Jabez, but we do learn a few things about his life.
1. We know that Jabez was named for the pain that he brought in childbirth.
2. We know that Jabez stood out among his brothers.
3. We know that God granted his request.
In addition to all of these things, the most important thing to note is that Jabez had a special character to his life that caused the Biblical writer to pause and elaborate on this man’s life in the midst of a genealogy that traced back to Adam.
What was the content of the prayer of Jabez? That is, how should we pray for ourselves?
1. Lord, explode your blessings in my life.
Many of us have a barrier in praying for our lives to be blessed. Perhaps one of these two reasons explains our barrier.
(1) We do not understand God’s blessing.
God’s blessing is not something that happens to us when we sneeze, but the outpouring of God’s supernatural power upon our lives. God’s blessing is not about material blessings. God’s blessing is His provision of what we cannot provide for ourselves.
(2) We do not understand the person God blesses.
Deuteronomy 28 helps us to understand the person God blesses. God blesses the person who is obedient to Him. So, the prayer for God to bless us, Biblically understood, is also a commitment that you are going to be obedient to God.
2. Lord, expand my borders.
We ought to want to have maximum impact on our city, region, state, nation, and world. For the people of Israel, land was not so much about possession as it was influence. God gave His people the Promise Land so that they would have influence throughout the world.
3. Lord, be with me.
As our blessings and borders grow, we will soon find ourselves involved in things bigger than us. We will not survive long unless the hand of the Lord is upon us. The presence of God is a blessing.
4. Lord, build protection around me.
We better be careful in praying this prayer. If the Lord blesses us, enlarges our borders, and His hand is upon us, Satan is going to become real frustrated. As much as God wants to bless, Satan cannot stand God blessing us. Unfortunately, the more we are blessed, the more we are going to be tempted to feel over-confident in our own abilities. The result will be a temptation to fall into evil. We must pray for God’s protection. The protection of God is a blessing. Sometimes, we must pray, “Lord, protect me from me.”
(This post is based on the message “How to Pray for Myself” which you can watch at fbclaf.org/video)