One of the books that became an international bestseller, topping the New York Times best seller list in 2001, selling over nine million copies, is “The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking through to the Blessed Life” by author Bruce Wilkinson. The book is based on the Scripture text recorded in 1 Chronicles 4:10. The words of Jabez’s prayer is “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.
Most Christians are not unfamiliar with this prayer, and many use this as a model to pray for the PROVISIONS of God (blessings and enlarging of one’s territory) or for God’s PROTECTION (keep me from evil that it may cause me harm). But as I pondered over the crux of this prayer, I believe by divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God, I realized that the crux of this prayer is centrally positioned in the prayer itself. The crux is not about the provisions or the protection of God, but it is about the PRESENCE of God (Oh that the hand of God might BE WITH ME). The provisions and protection of God are byproducts of God’s presence. For example, when a parent is with a child, not only does the parent PROVIDE for the child, but also PROTECTS the child from any and all harm to the child. As long as the parent is with the child (PRESENT with the child), the child has nothing to worry about. In the same manner, Jabez prayed for God’s presence and received in full measure, not only God’s presence, but God’s provisions and protection as well.
Points to ponder:
When was the last time, you/I prayed, just for God to be with us; for his hand to be with us?
Next time we pray, instead of focusing on asking God for his provisions (blessings) and his protection, let us ask for God’s PRESENCE to be with us, since the rest will follow. |
My prayer today, for today and the coming days, is “Oh Lord God, I pray that thine hand be with me!”
1 Chronicles 4:10 (KJV)
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.