The Prayer of Jabez is buried in the most boring part of the Bible 1 Chronicles 4. It is buried in nine chapters of genealogies, the official Jewish family tree from Adam through the present. In mid- litany the chronicler stops and in just two verses -9 and 10 - we learn everything the bible has to say about this man, Jabez. Here is the prayer and what it has meant to me.
Oh that You would bless me indeed
First this indicates a belief that there is a god, spirit ,higher power greater than you who cares about you. And your willingness to ask for this force's blessing. Not a small task for many in our world. This is surrender and a proactive request for God to bless you.
I have been saying the Prayer of Jabez daily for 5-6 years. When I look back on those times I see that I have indeed lived a blessed life. I'm doing work that I love with a great partner and friend Jeff. I have a fantastic wife and kids, money and my health. The only troubles I can recall I can see in retrospect were of my own imagining. I am blessed indeed.
If you believe there is the possibility of a higher power why not ask it to bless you. This can only lead to a better life. There is no downside.
And enlarge my territory
Enlarging territory is about asking for God's help to expand your work in the interest of making the world a better place.
I see that my work continues to have an expanding influence. My work is about helping people find their unique God given gifts and putting them into the world. Our Better Way to Wok program continues to serve more and more people.
Most people want to do good work and make the world a better place. You influence the world by your thoughts, words and deeds. Why not ask for help in expanding the good you do in the world?
That Your hand would be with me
Let your hand be with me is asking God to be with you in your work and throughout your day.
I have been trained to be a professional coach. At first I was the world's worst coach. I felt that since I knew so much about business my goal should be to share my knowledge. The results were disastrous. When I instead turned to God and asked him to be with me in my coaching the coaching became effortless and the results dramatically pronounced for my clients.
When you ask God to be with you you are asking for love to be in your life. It is the absence of love that allows fear to enter into our lives and fear is what causes most of the problems in the world.
And that you would keep me from evil that I may not cause pain
Keep me from evil is keep me humble and from abusing the blessings I am being given. It is about resisting temptation that is always there.
For me keeping me from evil is about not letting my ego get in the way of what i am doing. It about charging a fair price for services and not getting greedy. Its about integrity and honesty. Its about getting clear I can't work with everyone, knowing my limits.
But will this work for me? Who knows. The point is what harm will come from trying. Bruce Wilkinson, the author of Prayer of Jabez claims to have heard from thousands of people who have said the prayer and had it change their lives. It has worked for me. It will cost you nothing and may change your life.