The Prayer of Jabez is one I try to remember to pray every day. It encompasses faith for success in every area of our lives. It addresses our need for daily sustenance as well as our desire to remain humble and pure as we live out our Christian faith. May it become your daily prayer, too.
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
Birds everywhere are staking out their territory. They’re checking out the crevasses, the branches, and old nests to determine the best location for safety from predators and protection from wind and rain. Sometimes they must face foes that want the same spot and they must fight for their chosen territory.
We too face obstacles in our quest to succeed. College students must account for enough money, time, and intelligence. Young mothers often face the obstacle of too little rest as they struggle to keep raising their children. Business owners are forced to deal with rising costs, competition, and change. In fact, anything we attempt to accomplish requires some sort of cost.
A man named Jabez wanted to succeed, too. He’s cited only once (?) in the Bible, but his prayer is so powerful, so full of passion, that it has become one used by countless people like us—people who want to succeed. “And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, ‘Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!’ So God granted him what he requested.” (1 Chronicles 4:10)
The territory we want to enlarge may not be in the form of acreage, such as many ranchers and farmers have strived to increase. Our desired territory may be as simple as acceptance by someone we love, or better health, or money enough to travel. We have only to determine what it will cost us. We may decide the cost is too great and want only to resist the changes needed to bring it about. We may decide to remain forever in an unfulfilling job, a toxic relationship, a lifestyle we can’t afford.
Such decisions did not enter the mind of Jabez. His bold prayer is evidence that, like the birds of the air that stake out their territory, he was not a defeatist. Like the great men before him who placed their trust in God for success, he too would face any obstacle with passion and strength.
Notwithstanding that some changes are unavoidable, we too can face our foes and foibles with courage and with the assurance that God will answer our prayer.
Lord, thank You for answered prayer. With boldness, we ask You to keep us from giving up as we enlarge our territory of opportunities. Show us how to succeed in our desire to serve You through our talents, time, and treasures—no matter the cost. In Jesus’ name, amen.