Praying for Yourself

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I Chronicles 4:9-10  “(9) And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow.  (10) And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.”

The Chronicles are two books you normally wouldn’t recommend for someone to do devotions out of.  But with a good bunch of patience, you’ll find some tremendous Bible truths.  Right in the middle of a captivating list of baby name ideas (including winners such as Meonothai, Haashatari, and Idbash), the Holy Spirit decides to pause and spend just a bit more time on one Jabez.  It is clear that he was born into some negative circumstances.  We don’t know the details, but it is probably safe to assume that he didn’t have the best family situation.  His mother acknowledged their desperate situation by naming him “sorrowful”.  And, as generally happens out in the world, a less-than-ideal family will produce people with some issues.  A vicious cycle begins.  But it doesn’t have to be that way.  The cycle can be broken.

Jabez had some brothers that didn’t turn out so well.  But Jabez was “more honorable” than them.  Was it because he did well in school?  Maybe excelled in sports and got a scholarship to escape the ghetto?  No, it was a simple, yet powerful, prayer that would seem very selfish to the modern day Pharisee (look at verse 10 again).  Ever prayed like that?  A fervent, specific prayer for yourself?  Yes, pray for your family, church, and friends.  But you’ll be able to influence and be a blessing to them in a more powerful way if you have the hand of God on your life.  Even Paul admonished the leaders of the early church to “take heed therefore unto yourselves” (Acts 20:28).

No doubt, God was pleased with this “selfish” prayer.

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1 comment so far

  1. princecharlesofperadale on

    Thanks a bunch Jay… this is cool. I heard you say somethin about this at core group, but ya. I didn’t know it was from Chronicles. ha ha. The bed time stories of King Ahasuerus…


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