Prayer, Not Fear
Read 1 Chronicles 4:9-10
"Jabez was more honorable than his brothers; and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, "Because I bore him in pain." Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, "Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!" And God granted what he asked."
What keeps you from praying boldly? Do you believe that God cares about your circumstances? Do you trust Jesus and know that He will take care of you?
A man named Jabez asked God for a good life--one that was free of harm and pain. Amazingly, God gave him what he asked for.
In 1 Chronicles 4:9-10, we find a life remembered because of a bold prayer: "God granted what he asked." Scripture tells us that Jabez was "more honorable than his brothers," yet according to Bible scholars, his name sounds like a Hebrew word that means "distress" or "pain." Some experts surmise that his birth must have brought physical or emotional pain to his mother, so she named him "Jabez"--predicting her boy's challenging future. In ancient times, a person's name often defined their lot in life or who they might become. This may have left Jabez feeling unwanted, so he asked God to bless him, to "enlarge my border," asking that "your hand might be with me," and that "you would keep me from harm."
Jabez didn't want to live up to his name, and he apparently believed in the power of God. So, he prayed with urgency, vulnerability, and sincerity. In return, the Lord brought favor on his life. The fact that Jabez turned to God and depended on Him is the key that unlocked his life, just as it unlocks our lives today.
Lord Jesus, I know that You see everything--my public and private life, even my thoughts. You know what I'm going to say even before I speak a word. Please help me to pray boldly and to share everything with You. Help me to trust and believe. Amen.
Portions of this study were adapted from Michael Ross, Prayer (Uhrichsville.: Barbour, 2016). Pastor and writer Greg Asimakoupoulos contributed to this devotional entry.