Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request. 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 (NIV)
From Wikipedia: Jabez: “The name is Hebrew (yabetz = יַעְבֵּץ) for “he makes sorrowful”; his mother stated “I gave birth to him in pain”.Jabez was labelled with “sorrow” at birth, but his prayer against contracting sorrow nullified the label. His life contradicted his name.”
What a story! Even though Jabez was named and labelled as “sorrow” and “painful”, he overcame all that name-calling and was crowned as an honorable man. How did he do it? What was his secret? 1 Chronicles 4:10 answered the questions. It said: Jabez cried out to the God of Israel. Notice that Jabez did not timidly ask the Lord, but he cried out to the Lord. Several Bible translations noted that Jabez “called on the God of Israel.” And God answered his request.
Looking at the prayer of Jabez, there are several things we can learn from it:
- We don’t have to succumb to the negative things other people call us or say about us. We can overcome that by calling on the name of the Lord.
- When facing difficulties, cry out to the Lord and He will always hear you.
- Ask the Lord for blessings.
- Ask the Lord for help with difficult situations.
- Convert the negative to positive. Jabez illustrated this by asking the Lord to enlarge his territory. We can certainly ask the Lord to enlarge our territory, too.
- Trust the Lord to grant you your request. God always has a way of doing so. Sometimes it may not be the way we wanted Him to answer our request. But I can guarantee you that God hears every single one of our cries and prayers.
In summary, cry out to the Lord, “Oh that You would bless me and enlarge my territory!”