If you’re doing the daily bible reading given at the bottom of each post, you’ll now be in the book of 1 Chronicles. Now I believe that the Bible is the living Word of God, but there is nothing exciting at all reading through the complete genealogies of Israel. That is until you find little bits here and there.
Jabez was more honorable than his brothers; and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “On that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked.
1 Chronicles 4:9-10 (ESV)
Jabez gets two whole verses in the entire Bible. Most people would even miss those two because they’re crammed into the lists of the descendants of Judah.
I think we try to make our prayers too complicated. We try to be eloquent and specific just to be sure that God gets what we’re trying to say. I’m not even sure where we get that from because, reading through the Bible, we see time after time, that it’s the simple prayers that see the most miraculous responses.
The New Century Version puts Jabez’ prayer in these words:
Please do good things for me and give me more land. Stay with me, and don’t let anyone hurt me. Then I won’t have any pain.
This sounds like a child’s prayer. But isn’t that what we really are? God’s children searching for a good Father who gives good gifts?
In a society that had turned away from God (sound familiar?), Jabez was honourable. He prayed a simple prayer and God responded.
Your challenge today: Be honourable. Pray simply.
Daily Bible reading: 1 Chronicles 3-5; John 8:1-20