Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm that it may not pain me!” And God granted him what he requested.
1 Chronicles 4:10
Some ten plus years ago, Bruce Wilkinson’s book The Prayer of Jabez was very popular. It became a favorite of mine, and for a season, I prayed it diligently every morning. What I remember of the book is that a group of students wanted to send supplies overseas but needed an airplane donated.
They prayed the prayer and God supplied them with what they needed. If it worked for them, surely it would work for me. I didn’t even need anything near as big as an airplane.
Well, my grandmother always said to be careful what you pray for. Opportunities opened up that could only be from the hand of God. Leadership positions, magazine articles, speaking engagements. It became so overwhelming, I stopped praying for God to enlarge my territory. It was large enough, thank you very much!
What was missing from my understanding at the time is that our blessings from God are not about us at all. Certainly, we are meant to enjoy what he’s blessed us to have.
But what I didn’t totally comprehend until recently is that we are conduits. Our blessings are meant to be shared. We receive in order to give it away. Blessed to be a blessing.
You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. James 4:2-3
This most recent 21 Days of Prayer, Jabez’s prayer was included in our Prayer Guide. It was one of very few additions, and maybe even the only one. It felt meant just for me. I get goose bumps just thinking about it. Our pastor said he prays it every day.
This is a season of transition for me. I am leaving my current position and stepping into whatever God has for me. A friend uses the term scared-cited. That very accurately defines what I’m feeling right now.
This time as I pray Jabez’s prayer, it is clear that whatever blessings God bestows upon me, and those I’m including in this prayer, is for a greater purpose. The name of God will be magnified and his people will come to know Him intimately and love Him more.
Oh God, we boldly ask for your blessing of more than we need for ourselves so that we can be the hands and feet of Jesus in this fallen world. Show us where to give and remind us that the purpose of our gifts is to honor you. Allow us greater influence in every area of our calling so that we can share your truth with everyone You bring us to. Father, we humbly beg you to keep your hand upon us so that we are always in your presence, for we can do all things with you and nothing worthwhile without you. And God, protect us from the enemy’s snares. Do not let him gain any ground in our lives. Greater are you in usthan the one that is in this world. We love you and trust you. Amen and Amen.
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Hey there friend! Andrea McCaskey here. I believe everything happens for a reason, life is meant to be lived in relationship with others and there is beauty to be found everywhere if we look. I am a friend of God, wife of Jamal and mother of Brandon and Madison.
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