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Answer to Jabez’s prayer
(A devotional passage)

1 Chronicles 4:10. 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.

Jabez was one of the millions of Israelites lived 2500 years ago. He was a descendent of Judah. His name is recorded in the Bible in relation with his simple and humble prayer and its answer by God. At that time personal prayers were not common among ordinary Israelites. Due to his personal relationship in God he had the confidence that God would answer his prayers. He prayed to God for four specific things:

(1) Bless me
(2) Enlarge my territory
(3) Put your hands on me and
(4) Keep me from evil and that I may not cause pain.

1) Jabez did not take it easy after prayer. He prayed and left it to God to decide what the blessing would be, and where, when and how he would receive them. Blessing was a strong desire for him. The answer didn’t come overnight. But his life was a life of deeper joy and greater abundance while God was blessing him daily.

2) His territory was not focused on property or money or comfort but was focused on the kingdom of God. God wants us to expand the circles of influence and impact. Only with God’s power we can do it. See the prayers of some great Christian accomplishers. Michelangelo prayed ‘Lord grant that I may always desire more than I can accomplish’. CS Lewis said ‘aim at the heaven and you get the earth thrown in; aim at the earth and you get neither’. God enlarges our territory by increasing its size and scope, by sharpening our skill, improving strategies and deepening its significance.

Ephesians 1:3-14 is a full inventory of our wonderful legacy in Jesus Christ. We can call it our spiritual blessing box.

3) John 14:12 is the promise of our power to do incredible works. “ most assuredly I tell you the truth; whoever believes in me will do what I do- yes he will do even greater things because I am going to Father” We go to places where the feet of Jesus never trod. We take greater territory and impact more people. We see miracles today, beyond yesterdays borders.

Jesus lays out the plan for us:

1. Believe
2. Ask
3. Obey.

Then you will go with Jesus.

God’s hands are always with us to make provisions, to cause an authority to grant permission, to defend and protect us from human and spiritual attack and to make us overcome our limitations.

4) Keep me from evil : when you serve God you’re living and serving on a higher plane. One false step will destroy your Christian testimony and life. So beware, great service attracts great temptation. While temptations can be strong, God is always stronger.

As you grow more in Christ you will learn that the Lord is able to keep you from evil. You will not cause pain but joy to others, yourself and God.

I heard this message 32 years ago when I started my job as an apprentice engineer with Rs 250 per month. Then I prayed the same prayer. Now I am retired and I can say boldly that God has been faithful to His promises given in the Bible. God blessed me as He blessed Jabez 2500 years ago, enlarged my territories financially, spiritually, and physically. He kept me from evil even though I passed through difficult situations in life. Praise be to His Holy name.

Hope this would encourage all, especially young men and women, to trust the good Lord more and more in your daily life

Contributed By: Philip Oommen, Trivandrum, India

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