1 Chronicles 4:9-10 There was a man named Jabez who was more honorable than any of his brothers. His mother named him Jabez because his birth had been so painful. He was the one who prayed to the God of Israel, “Oh, that You would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!” And God granted him his request.
Bruce Wilkinson made Jabez’s prayer famous. Jabez must have been a remarkable man for God to find him honorable. The Bible even records that God granted his request. There is one part of the prayer that catches my attention–“Keep me from trouble and pain!” Don’t we all want an easy life free of trouble and absent of pain? This sounds like a good prayer, but consider the implications of a life without trouble and/or pain. First, it is through our trouble or pain that we truly experience God’s comfort, healing touch and mighty strength. Otherwise, we have to experience it secondhand. Second, we would be unable to connect with others going through trials and suffering since we haven’t been there ourselves.
So maybe we should tweak Jabez’s prayer just a little. As you can see, it’s not so easy to pray now, is it?
Bless me according to your abundant riches of grace and mercy. Please help me feel Your presence in all that I do. Expand my territory through the trials and pain you allow in my life so that I may share with others Your love, Your strength and Your truth. Amen.