The bible says that Jabez was more honourable than all of his brothers and his name translated means, ‘borne in pain.’ Despite his name and the life that would have followed, Jabez was honourable and I believe that this was what caused God to answer his prayer. Jabez didn’t pray a long and complicated prayer or hold a prayer vigil, but he made a simple heartfelt request to God. Jabez started his prayer by asking God to bless him. This was a general request for God to bless all that concerned Jabez and to confer the blessing of Abraham on his life. His second request was for God to enlarge his border which relates to expansion and elevation.
Jabez asked for the hand of the Lord to be with him to provide guidance and protection. Jabez asked God to keep him from harm so that it might not bring him pain. The bible says that God granted Jabez’s request. I believe that Jabez has outlined for us a simple strategy for prayer in order to receive from God. Jabez was honourable which means that he served God and lived a life that brought pleasure to God. Jabez was also specific about what he wanted God to do for him. He did not try to use a system or a method to try to force God into answering his prayer. Jabez used only a few words and didn’t try to impress God with using vain repetitions.
I don’t believe that God will only answer the prayers of those who are honourable. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise” (Psalm 51:17). I believe that God will answer anyone who prays with sincerity and brokenness. I do believe that when we obey what the word says then the blessings of the Lord will be conferred unto us. There are some blessings that come with the condition of obedience to the will of God.
In this week I want to encourage us to pray like Jabez. Pray with sincerity and humility before God. There may be things that we need to confess to God and repent of, so that we can approach God with confidence and a clear conscience. Once we have consecrated ourselves, we can lay out to God our requests. Remember to pray with pure motives and to ensure that our desires are aligned with the will and purpose of God.