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Prayer of Jabez

This is a brief excerpt of the sermon given by Pastor Alexander Thomas during the Watch Night Service on Tuesday, December 31st, 2013 at the International Church, Atlanta, Georgia.

This New Year 2014 message was taken from 1 Chronicles 4:9-10
Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, "Because I bore him in pain." And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, "Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!" So God granted him what he requested. 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 (NKJV)

Jabez and His Personality
His mother named him Jabez. This name literally means, “The Son Of My Sorrow, Pain, he Will Cause Pain. It doesn't have to be that way. We have the power, through the Holy Spirit, to break free of the chains of our past. Just because everyone thinks we will fail, doesn't mean that we have to. Just because we were raised a certain way; does not mean we have to remain that way forever. we have the ability to rise above ourselves through the power of God.

The Bible says that Jabez was “more honorable that his brethren”. This simply means that, he was worthy of more honor than the rest of his family. He just looked at how they were living and decided that he could do better. Jabez was not remembered as a great leader, prophet or preacher. He did not make his mark on the battlefields of life as a great leader of men. His name is remembered because He was a man of prayer. He was determined to live for the Lord, in spite of what everyone else did. This should be the heart's desire of every child of God

Jabez is remembered for a prayer request rather than a heroic act.
In his prayer, he asked God to (1) bless him, (2) help him in his work ("expand my territory"), (3) be with him in all he did, and (4) keep him from trouble and pain. Jabez acknowledged God as the true center of his life. When we pray for God's blessing, we should also ask him to take his rightful position as Lord over our work, our family time, and our recreation. Jabez prayed specifically to be protected from trouble and pain. We live in a fallen world filled with sin, and it is important to ask God to keep us safe from the unavoidable evil that comes our way. But we must also avoid evil motives, desires, and actions that begin within us. Therefore, not only must we seek God's protection from evil, but we must also ask God to guard our thoughts and actions.

Wait for the Lord and keep His way, And He will exalt you to inherit the land; When the wicked are cut off, you will see it. Psalm 37:34

Jabez sets a dynamic example of prayer for us.
When we face pain or suffering, difficulty or trouble, we must learn to cry out to the Lord for help. If we fail to cry out, we act foolishly. For the Lord promises to hear our prayer and help us through pain, suffering, and trouble. No matter what we may face, God promises to help us. There are only two reasons why we fail to receive help. We simply neglect to ask or we are failing to live obediently before the Lord. If we sin, the Lord will not hear us. And if we do not ask, the Lord cannot hear us, for we did not lift up our voices to Him. But if we walk obediently as a child should walk before his father and if we ask for help, the Lord will hear us. He will hear us just as any loving father will hear his child. The Lord will do for us just as He did for Jabez.

He will pour out His richest blessings upon us. He will enlarge our territory, meet our every need, often abundantly (Mt.6:33). He will grant His presence, guiding and helping us every step of the way through whatever pain or trouble may confront us. He will deliver us from evil, strengthen us to walk victoriously through all suffering and pain, trouble and difficulty.“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Mt.7:7). “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them” (Mk.11:24).

Jabez’s success was due to the fact that he was a man of prayer.
James says we have not because we ask not (4:2). It’s that simple. The Lord is continually asking His people to ask. “Call unto Me,” He says in Jeremiah 33:3, “and I will show you great and mighty things which you know not.”

Jabez didn’t just want the gifts.
He wanted the Giver to be with him. This is something we need to see because so often we can say, “Lord, I need this answer to prayer.” And when the answer comes, we run away. Not Jabez. He said, “Keep Your hand upon me. I want You to be with me, directing my steps, guiding my actions.” And that’s a prayer the Father honors.

Jabez’s prayer wasn’t long.
But he did what you and I need to do. He called upon the God of Israel. In brokenness and openness, he poured out his heart and said, “Lord, bless me.” And the Lord granted him his request

Now, what about in your own life?
Are you growing like you should, or are you satisfied with where you are right now? Are you satisfied with what you are doing for the Lord? Are you happy with your level of spiritual growth? If the answer to any of these questions is no, then let me remind you that the Lord is waiting to make the necessary changes in your life. All that remains is for you to come to Jesus. God heard the prayer of Jabez and answered him by giving him all the things for which he prayed. Why did the Lord do this? God did it because He honors prayer that honors Him


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