Prayer of Jabez, 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 (15 May 2016)

Jabez was more honourable than his brothers and his mother called his name, Jabez, saying, ”Because I bore him in pain” (1 Chronicles 4:9). 

Jabez called upon the Lord 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 (1 Chronicles 4:10). 

I wonder why Jabez was more honourable than his brothers; this man Jabez is briefly mentioned in the Old Testament. The Bible mentions him once. Jabez in I Chronicles 2:55 is a place name.

Jabez was said to be more honourable than his brothers. Although he was of the same lineage as Judah, he was not of noble birth nor was he distinguished with honorable titles. But why was he more honourable than them all?

That was because he prayed, he served his Maker, and he did good among men. Hence, he received the honour that came from God.

We can learn from Jabez by praying to God and by serving God instead of serving self by seeking earthly honours and achievements.

Jabez had four basic requests in his prayer:

1. He asked to be blessed by God. There are people who think that they are blessed, but they are not truly blessed. These blessings are earthly and temporal. Some examples are material wealth, fame, physical health and financial security. They are not satisfied in their lives.They are not truly blessed. True blessedness is godliness with contentment.

2. He prayed for an enlarged territory and for the Canaanites to be driven out, according to what God has commanded. To ask and do what God has commanded is blessedness.

3. He asked that the hand of God be on him. “The Hand of the Lord” is a biblical term for God’s power and presence in the lives of his people (Joshua 4 :24, Isa 59:1). In Psalm 77:10 says, “I will remember the years of the right hand of the most high”.

4. In answer to Jabez’s prayer, God granted his requests. Effective prayer is confidence in asking according to God’s will. Even when the answer to prayer seems long in coming, we need to be patient. If we are close to God’s heart and ask for things according to His will, we can expect our requests to be granted (1 John 5:14).

God’s Word is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword. God says that His Word ”shall not return to Me void, but it accomplishes what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).

So pray unceasingly according to God’s will and walk by faith in Christ’s victory!

Sister Elaine Liew