“And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow.
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.” (1 Chronicles 4:9-10).
For years, Christians have been caught up in the Word of Faith movement. And, with the release of the hit movie The Secret, some believers have added a metaphysical twist to their theology. While there is a lot of truth in the Word of Faith movement, many followers of this movement are fixated on what they need to do in order to get things from God instead of being focused on who they need to be in order to obtain God’s blessings. There are indeed steps to answered prayer, but some of those steps involve our attitudes and lifestyles. Do not get me wrong, we obtain God’s promises through faith; however, God does have character and lifestyle standards that He has set for His children.
In this life we will face problems and situations that are just too big for us to handle in our own strength; we need the power of God in order to move the “mountains” that we face. Our Heavenly Father has shown us, in his word, what kind of person we need to be in order to see His power manifested in our lives. The “Prayer of Jabez” shows us the character and attitude we all should possess. 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 are 2 small scriptures that show us how to receive answers to prayer from God. Jabez was a man of honor, he believed in the true God, he acknowledged the source of his blessings, he desired true and constant fellowship with God, and God answered his prayer!
The first thing that we learn about Jabez is that he was honorable, and he was more honorable than his brothers. This tells us that Jabez lived a lifestyle that was pleasing to God. Also, Jabez did not conform to the system that was around him, he stood out.
We see that Jabez prayed to the God of Israel; his faith was in God and not in himself. Many today have faith in there faith. Or, they are trusting in the “law of attraction” to bring them their desires. But as Christians, our faith must not be in principles or methods. The root of our faith is to be the Lord God Himself.
Deuteronomy 8:18 contains a directive from God, “But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.” God commands his people to remember that their blessings come from Him and not from their own efforts. Jabez realized that God was the source of all blessings. His trust was not in his own abilities, it was in the power of God.
One of the ultimate goals of the Christian should be to know God. Jabez desired to walk with God. It is easy to fall into the trap of looking to God as simply the source of all our needs and desire what He can give us more than desiring an intimate relationship with Him. There is power in fellowshipping with God. The more we know God the more we trust Him. And when we have pure fellowship with Him, we have access to His wisdom. People often seek things that would hurt them because these individuals are void of wisdom. If they would take the time to commune with their Father, Christians would save themselves a lot of heartache.
God answered the prayer of Jabez! Jabez was not privy to the new covenant, he did not have the entire counsel of God’s word for it was not yet written, he was not united with God’s Spirit as today’s believers are. Yet, because of the kind of person he was, God took heed to his request. New covenant believers can expect to receive the promises of scripture and the blessings of God when they possess the characteristics of Jabez. When we live a godly lifestyle, place our trust in God alone, and desire sincere fellowship with Him, God will open the windows of heaven and pour out blessings upon us.