“This prayer [Prayer of Jabez] – although scriptural and useful – is focused on what we want, not necessarily what God wants. It’s safe. It’s comfortable. Someone could even argue that it’s somewhat shortsighted – even selfish.” Page 64
Found in 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 the prayer of Jabez feels out of place. Right smack dab in the middle of names upon names and more names, this nobody is recorded as having a small prayer that was answered by God. For some reason the person writing this book, felt moved by God to add in this small little prayer. Author, David Wilkerson, wrote the book on this prayer which says, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.”
A beautiful prayer that many have used as their go to prayer as who wouldn’t want an answered prayer like this? Blessings and wealth without harm and pain? Sign me up!
Now, there’s nothing wrong with this prayer as Groeschel notes at the start of this section of the book. He (as well as myself) have prayed this prayer many times in his life. Knowing all that Groeschel has done in his ministry, I would be as bold to say up till now, God has answered that prayer. No life is complete free from pain as Groeschel notes some of his most painful moments in this upcoming section of ‘breaking’ but there are few pastors as influential as himself.
But the question I think the author asks is, “Did growth come from the safe prayers, or from the dangerous prayers?” We may never know, but without the dangerous prayers, I believe Groeschel would not have been as effective as he was. Without God searching him, exposing the brokenness and breaking him for His own purposes, and ultimately sending him, us pastors would be far worse off. So as much as I appreciate the prayer of Jabez, as I’m sure Groeschel does, I thank God that the author dug into the dangerous prayers so we would have a pastor, a Christian brother and a great leader to follow in their footsteps.
Go ahead and pray the prayer of Jabez! But dig into the dangerous prayers even more. In doing so, you’ll see great fruit in your life!
Parkland Community Church:
We Exist to Develop People Who Love Jesus and Serve Others.