How many of you remember reading The Prayer of Jabez, a small but important book that was published in 2000? This tiny volume got the attention of readers around the world. I was reminded of Jabez again on Christmas morning when reading from a devotional book that mentions his prayer. The name of Jabez is only recorded in the following two verses of the Bible: Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” And 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 - 1 Chronicles 4:9-10. Fifteen years later, my only remembrance from the book about Jabez is that "God answers prayer." So when I read this scripture again, it was the Holy Spirit who spoke to me:
"This one prayer was important enough to be included in the Bible."
One prayer can be substantial. Not only did God answer Jabez' plea for help, He honored the man with a place of great significance. Jabez is now an example for us to follow. Jabez prayed in faith, knowing that God wanted to bless him, accompany him and deliver him from the curse of a name that means "sorrow maker." Let's begin the new year by asking God to prosper and enlarge us, to walk with us daily, to guide and protect us, and to make us a blessing to others instead of a stumbling block. We can pray with confidence, knowing that our Father wants to answer.