Jabez Proved That God Answers Prayers

Just like Jabez we all struggle with choosing to rely on God, especially when we are overwhelmed with problems and are uncertain as to what may come our way.

Jabez Proved That God Answers Prayers
Does God really answer the heartfelt prayers of his devoted worshipers?

The Bible account of a little-known man named Jabez shows that God is indeed the hearer of prayer (Psalm 65:2). The brief account of Jabez is found in 1Chronicles 4: 9,10.

The Name
The name Jabez means " he causes pain". One can conclude from the meaning of the name that something significantly painful must have happened during his birth. In Bible times, a child's name was given based on the circumstances surrounding his birth. Oftentimes, it defined what would become of a person.

According to 1Chronicles 4:9, his mother "called his name Jabez, saying: ' I have given him birth in pain.'" One may wonder: Why did she choose such a name? Did she bring forth this son with more than the usual birth pangs? Was she perhaps a widow, lamenting the fact that her husband was not there to welcome their baby into the world? The Bible does not say.

A Man of Prayer
Little did Jabez' mother know that someday she would have reason to be especially proud of her son. Jabez was described as an exceptionally honourable man. The Bible says this of him: "Jabez came to be more honourable than his brothers."

Jabez was a man of prayer. He began his prayer by pleading for God's blessing. He then made three requests that reflect a heart full of faith.

First, Jabez implored God, saying: "Enlarge my territory." (Verse 10). Jabez prayed for the peaceful enlargement of his territory , evidently so that it might accommodate more God-fearing people. Jabez was a honourable man and would not covet what belonged to another. His earnest request had more to do with people than land. In fact, The Targrums, Jewish paraphrases of the Sacred Scriptures, render Jabez' words: "Bless me with children, and enlarge my borders with disciples."

Second, Jabez pleaded for God's hand to be with him. God's symbolic hand is his applied power, which he uses to help his worshipers (1Chronicles 29:12). To receive the requests of his heart, Jabez looked to the God whose hand is not short towards those who show faith in him.-- Isaiah 59:1

Third, Jabez prayed, "Preserve me from calamity, that it may not hurt me." The expression "that it may not hurt me" may suggest that Jabez prayed, not to escape calamity, but to be kept from being grieved or overcome by the effects of evil.

Lessons to Be Learned
In the brief account about Jabez, there are valuable principles to be discerned. His prayer revealed his concern for true worship and his faith and trust in God. How did God respond? The brief account of Jabez concludes with the words: "Accordingly God brought to pass what he had asked."

God has not changed. He delights in the prayers of his worshipers. If you place your faith and trust in him you may be confident that "no matter what it is that we ask according to his will, he hears us." -- 1John 5:14

Jabez refused to allow the chains of a hopeless name and his tumultuous past and present circumstances to deter him from having strong faith in God. He defied all this by earnestly praying a prayer of grand faith to God. He cried out to God in boldness. God could not ignore Jabez'  heartfelt prayer. The Bible revealed that he was honoured by God because of his relationship with him.
God had a purpose for Jabez. He was a righteous man who wanted God's blessing to be fulfilled. What about you? Do you want God's purpose to come to pass in your life? God did it for Jabez, he can do it for you.

Jabez understands that there is only one hearer of prayer, and that being is GOD. He did not regard the true meaning of his name because he knew that with God's blessings, its meaning could change. God is ready to bless every life, but he wants you to invite him into your life for him to do so.

We should note that the primary reason Jabez prayed that prayer was because he wanted to enlarge his sphere of influence for God. He wanted a place where disciples learning about God would gather. He prayed in accordance with God's will, and his request was granted by God. It is important that we have God on our side when we want to reach for  goals and success. Proverbs 16:3 says, "Commit your works unto the Lord, and your thoughts shall be established." In our relationship with God, it is important that we practise this in order to succeed.

Jabez prayed specifically to the only one who can protect him from evil and pain--GOD. God did not disappoint him, he granted his wishes. We should also never forget the significance of a passionate prayer. Jabez cried out to God in an earnest, heartfelt prayer. This must have arrested God's attention! Likewise, God wants to hear that we need him through passionate prayer.

Jabez' Prayer and Us Today
Just like Jabez we all struggle with choosing to rely on God, especially when we are overwhelmed with problems and are uncertain as to what may come our way. In such state it is hard to put our complete trust and faith in God. But we can learn from Jabez that sometimes, all we need to do is trust in God. After we have done what is humanly possible about our predicament, God takes it from there by applying the symbolic power of his right hand to achieve his purpose regarding our lives.
God is faithful in caring for those who seek him. Jabez sets a great example of how God wants to draw people to him through prayer. You must improve your existing relationship with him through constant, heartfelt prayer. He answers prayers when you trust him (1Chronicles 5:20). Our prayers also please him ( Proverbs 15:8). May we all learn from faithful Jabez and pray to God always, knowing fully well that there is no situation he cannot turn around.       

by: Olaide Ekunsumi

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Arinola O. Yinka

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