1 Chronicles 4

1 Chronicles 4 continues the long list of genealogical names.  These are other families of Judah as well as some of the tribe of Simeon.  They are classed along with those of Judah, as their possession was partly taken out of the extensive territory of Judah.

But tucked away in the middle of chapters and chapters of these lists are two of my favorite verses in all of scripture.  It is what has come to be called the prayer of Jabez in verses 9-10.  “Jabez was more honorable than his brothers; and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked”. 

We do not know whose son Jabez was.  We learn that Jabez got his name because of the difficulty of his childbirth.  But he goes on to pray a prayer that we can all pray as our own.  I’ve been praying this regularly since coming across these four powerful requests some years ago.  Jabez asks God:

  1. Bless me
  2. Enlarge my border
  3. Your hand might be with me
  4. Keep me from harm

Four simple requests but four powerful things when God answers.

And God does answer prayer.  Not just this prayer, but every prayer we utter.  In Jabez’ case, God answered this prayer.  “And God granted what he asked”. It doesn’t get much better than that.  Jabez comes to God, in the middle of a litany of chronological names, and asks a prayer of the Almighty God.  Scripture tells us that he was “more honorable than his brothers”.  That may be due to the reality that he came before God with a simple yet mighty prayer and God not only heard, but answered it.

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