Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Word-Filled Wednesday ~#85~ Praying for Yourself

"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." ~I Chronicles 4:10

Have you ever been reading your Bible and noticed that right in the middle of one train of thought, God plugs in something that just doesn't seem to "fit"? Makes that little song run through your head: "One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn't belong . . . "

That's just how it is in I Chronicles ~ We're reading (and reading, and reading) about the lineage of humanity since Noah, and there ~ smack in the middle of chapter 4 ~ sits an incredible gem. A personal prayer

All we are told is that "Jabez was more honorable than his brothers" (vs. 9) and that his mother must have really suffered to bring him into this world, and then . . . Jabez prayed his short but pointed prayer. Everything in the Bible is there for a reason, I'm thinking God wanted us to see it ~ to find it ~ because it's certainly in a part of Scripture that we don't often turn to for comfort or advice. 

I know many of us find it easy to pray for everyone and everything else except ourselves ~ maybe, just maybe, God is telling us that praying for ourselves is OK. After all, we are the only ones, besides Him, who knows what's really going on in our mind and heart. Maybe this is a prayer to show us how to pray for ourselves.

"[B]less me . . . " How can we do the will of God unless He blesses us and our efforts? We need God to go before us (as He promised ~ Deut. 31:8) to open the doors and clear the way. "[E]nlarge my territory!" Maybe Jabez wanted to own a lot of real estate but I'm betting that what he really wanted was for God to bless and enlarge his sphere of influence. That's what we should want so that we can plant the seeds of the Gospel; time is getting short. "Let Your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." Our influence will mean nothing if the Lord isn't a part of it. His hand needs to guide and protect us from the enemy's influence and any scheme to inhibit the power of our witness.

And before God's Word takes us back into the clans of Judah, He leaves us with the best news of all . . .  "And God granted his request." Jabez prayed his prayer from a heart that loved God and wanted simply to be able ~ through blessing, through influence, with health and safety ~ to be a light that shines in a dark world to lead others to eternity with Him. And we are told that God said, "yes."

Is it OK to pray for ourselves? My guess is that God says, "yes."

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><           

1 comment:

  1. One of my favorite verses and prayers. Thank you for reminding me of it today. I needed to hear it again!


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