Despite of his humble beginnings, Jabez tried to change the course of his life. He was called Jabez because his mother bore him forth in great pain. The pain of the mother had been extended to this newborn child and Jabez was then under a curse of pain which he needed to get out of. The only way known to him was to call on the God of Israel in prayer. His prayer has become very famous among Christian circles because the content of the prayer reflects much spiritual truth.
Jabez knew how to ask, he asked for God’s blessing. Everything we have or need comes directly from God, we cannot earn it by our own efforts. When God gives anything to us, it comes as a blessing or a gift. James tells us that all good and perfect gift is from above, from the Father of Lights as blessing to us. God’s heart is to bless and He loves to hear this prayer, asking for His blessing.
The second request was for God to enlarge his borders, it could be physical or spiritual. We can be easily boxed in by tradition or background. With Jabez, it could be because of his name that he was not going anywhere. Whatever he had, he was not satisfied with and he wanted more. He also recognized that he was powerless and so he asked for the Holy Spirit, the hand of God to be with him. When there was God’s presence in his life, God would do His thing for him. He also could then protect him from harm so that it would not bring him pain.
All the wounding in his life was to bring him to himself: pain. Since his name was “pain”, anything that hurt would remind him of himself and not of God. The curse would be in operation so that he would dwell on himself and pain. This how the devil brings pain to our lives, by wounding us. We all go through life experiencing hurt from others and they cause us to be inward focused. Jabez looked beyond the pain to the Lord who could take his pain away.
That was a good prayer and God answered his prayer. His life changed dramatically and he became more honorable than all his brothers. Prayer can turn our lives around and when we pray the right prayer, God will respond like He responded to Jabez. Just like what the palmist says: “The Lord upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down.” “The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth. He fulfills the desire of those who fear Him; He also hears their cry and saves them.” This surely had happened to Jabez, it could happen to you today if you pray this prayer.
Are you stuck in a life that is not satisfactory? Do you want a change and get out of the rut? You just need to go to the Lord and pray like Jabez now.
Ps 145:14-21 1 Chron 4:5-5:17 Acts 25:1-27 Prov 18:19