A Pattern for Prayer (Part 5)
Jabez was more honored than his brothers. His mother named him Jabez and said, “I gave birth to him in pain.” 10 Jabez called out to the God of Israel: “If only you would bless me, extend my border, let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm, so that I will not experience pain.” And God granted his request.
1 Chronicles 4:9-10
On Sunday, Pastor Dallas shared 5 parts to Jabez’s pattern of prayer. Today, let’s look at the final part, part five:
Jabez closes his prayer with these words: let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm, so that I will not experience pain.
Again, it’s critical for us to understand that Jabez isn’t just asking for a pain-free life. What the original language communicates is his desire to remain in intimacy with God so that sin doesn’t stifle all that God desires to do through him.
Jabez rightly recognized that it was impossible to live in sin and see God’s blessing. So in asking for God’s hand, he’s asking for intimacy; for God’s power, presence and provision. But not just intimacy for the sake of intimacy…he’s asking for intimacy because he knows it’s the only thing that will keep him from missing out on God’s best.
Jabez looked around and undoubtedly saw others wasting their lives pursuing the fickle promises and fleeting pleasures of sin. He knew his heart, like theirs, was deceitfully wicked (Jeremiah 17:9), so he made it a point to prayerfully seek God’s guiding hand.
He didn’t want to waste his life. He wanted his life to count…he wanted to make an impact.
This may sound simple, but when was the last time you prayed this prayer: Lord Jesus, I want my life to count for you. I want to impact the eternities of those around me. I don’t want to waste the life you’ve entrusted to me. Keep me from sin, guide me by your grace so my life will bring you glory.
Of course, this is yet another reminder of our need for God’s Word. How can a man keep his way pure, Psalm 119:9 asks, by guarding it according to your word.
God’s Word not only shows us His promises it keeps us on His path. It is a lamp for our feet (Psalm 119:105) as we walk in this dark world, preserving us for His purposes.
In your prayer time today, ask God to keep your heart wholly His. Ask Him to increase your affections for Him so that you can make a major impact for His glory.