Who is Jabez?
I’m sure many people have never heard of him. He occupies only 2 verses of the Bible, nestled in the middle of a genealogical record in the Old Testament. Two translations of the verses are listed below.
1 Chronicles 4:9–10 KJV
9 And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow. 10 And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.
Jabez: A short biography
Jabez was born under dire circumstances and named as such. His name in Hebrew means sorrow and pain. As names were very significant to the Hebrew people, Jabez had a strike against him from the start. Yet Jabez dared to pray for more than the sad heritage his family offered. And God granted his request.
1 Chronicles 4:9–10 NIV
9 Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” 10 Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “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.” And God granted his request.
No further information available
Nothing further is mentioned of Jabez in the Bible so we don’t know exactly how God granted his request. However, the fact that God included Jabez in the Bible says that there is something very important here for the believer to ponder.
Jabez asks 4 things in his prayer
Lord that You would bless me indeed
And expand my territory
That Your hand would me on me
And keep me from evils harm
The above 4 lines form the “Prayer of Jabez”.
Jabez probably never knew how big Gods answer was going to be. Jabez wouldn’t have known that someday his prayer would form part of God’s Holy Word for all mankind see. I wonder if he ever imagined he would impact millions and millions of people with his prayer? Did he know how God would use him? Another prayer comes to mind, prayed by the Apostle Paul to the Ephesians.
Ephesians 3:20–21 NIV
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Here’s your challenge
Pray the simple prayer of Jabez each day for 30 days and see how it impacts your life. Know that God will do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine. Expect great things to happen!