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Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Learning to Pray: Jabez vs. Jesus
How about a little conversation about this contrasting confrontation:

"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." 1 Chronicles 4:10

"Abba, nothing is impossible with you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will but what you will. Mark 14:36.

I led a prayer conference this past Sunday in Houston for a few friends pastoring a church in the north part of the city. In my preparation this contrast came to frame a lot of what I had to say.

Any thoughts?
posted by John David Walt | at 4/04/2006 10:51:00 PM



Blogger DGH said...

Yeah I thik Jabez took off so much, because the Western world has forgotten the richness of sacrifice!

12:02 AM EDT  
Blogger gmw said...

I've often wondered about the anti-Jabez craze. True, we ought to learn more from Jesus about prayer than anyone else in the bible, but how do we reckon with the Jabez verse as Scripture?

12:56 PM EDT  
Anonymous JP said...

Why do the prayers have to be mutually exclusive? Can we not, in the intimacy of conversation with God, pray both for more ministry opporunities, or enlarged territory--to be blessed indeed, AND also pray for God's will to be done in, and through our lives? Jabez craze went nuts because of Christian book publishing marketing savvy-appeal to desire for more, even with Christians. Interestingly, I have heard story after story of people I know where they prayed the Jabez prayer and God did in fact enlarge their territory, most having nothing to do with material wealth, but greater influence with unchurched, or breakthrough with people, etc.
It's also interesting that this prayer is hidden away in the underbrush of a genealogy in a book of the Bible no one preaches out of, until Wilkinson put this out.
Can't God's will for us be to bless us? Isn't it okay to ask to be blessed--whatever that word is supposed to mean?

12:37 PM EDT  
Blogger Omar said...

I think what bothered me most about the Prayer of Jabez was how formulaic it was: "Read this book three more times, and then pray this prayer every day and whatch what happens."

Then of course many people, including the author seemed to decide what each line was supposed to mean for them.

One thing I am currious about... we have no idea how God answered Jabez's prayer. I know that God has never said, "Okay" when I have asked him to keep me from pain.

5:10 PM EDT  
Blogger Omar said...

One other thing I forgot to say: When I really look at it, Jabez's prayer seems rather selfish and does not seem to line up with focus of many of the prayers in the Old and New Testaments (see Nehemiah, Jesus, Paul).

Is it possible that Jabez prayed this prayer, and God might have said, "No," but we have decided that God in fact said yes and answered it the way we would have liked for him to.

5:15 PM EDT  
Anonymous chad brooks said...

I remember reading this book and then selling it at the christian bookstore. while we can all rant about it ( I know at least that I could). But i also look at something that has been raised by others here already. For some reason this was included in the bible. And I have heard about the stories where people have gotten to reach a bit more of the kingdom after praying this prayer. It make me think about what other gems may be hidden in scripture. and then after finding them keeping them a secret from publishing companies...just joking

8:00 PM EDT  

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