Prayer

Prayers God Answers – The Prayer of Jabez

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In the midst of a long list of who beget whom is a short, two verse, story about an honorable man and his prayer. It was a prayer that God answered. This powerful Old Testament prayer can serve as a model for our own prayers. Bruce Wilkinson’s book, The Prayer of Jabez, became a huge success. It became so successful that many people felt that there must be something wrong with it. But this prayer from 1 Chronicles 4:10 is a great prayer for one simple reason: God answered it. And we need to take another look at this simple, but effective, little prayer.

“Oh, that You would bless me indeed,” 1 Chronicles 4:10b

Many people feel that it’s wrong for us to ask God to bless us, but they miss the point. The point is: God wants to bless us.

Psalm 67:1-2 says, “God be merciful to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us, Selah. That Your way may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations.”

When God blesses us He reveals to the entire earth just who He is. And God’s salvation, His power, love, and mercy, are proclaimed when He blesses His people.

“…and enlarge my territory,” 1 Chronicles 4:10c

Jesus’ disciples got into an argument about who was going to be the greatest among them. Jesus knew that they were having this discussion, so He confronted them about it. What’s interesting is that He did NOT say to them: “You shouldn’t want to be great.” Instead He gave them specific instructions about HOW to be great. In Luke 22:24-2 , Jesus tells the disciples that the Gentiles believe being great means ruling over people, but that is not how they are to understand greatness. He says, “he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves.” To be great, we must become greater servants. Our greatness is not determined by who we look down on or who works for us, but by the kinds of people we serve, the number of people we serve, and the way in which we serve them.

” …that Your hand would be with me,” 1 Chronicles 4:10d

Most people spend their lives trying to figure out how little they can get by with. They want to get more for doing less. Jabez knew that by asking God to help him serve more, he was asking God to help him do more than he could possibly accomplish on his own. He purposely asked God to put him in a position where he had to depend on God. As Michelangelo once said, “The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.”

“…and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” 1 Chronicles 4:10e

Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one,” in Luke 11:4. Sin and evil are all around us and we need to be aware of our dependence on God to live a life that pleases Him in every area.

But a second aspect of this prayer becomes clear when we read that the name “Jabez” means pain. It was the name that his mother gave him because of the pain he caused her during birth. Jabez had spent his entire life, every time he was introduced to someone or whenever someone called his name, being reminded that he had brought pain into his mother’s life. We all have to pray for God to help us overcome the wrong beliefs that we have about ourselves. Whether it was our parents, teachers, or anyone else who said them, we all have beliefs about ourselves that simply aren’t true. They are nothing more than what others have projected onto us because of what they were experiencing or what they believed.

God wants to bless us and help us become greater servants. In order to do that He wants us to depend on Him completely in every area of our lives. And He wants us to believe the truth about who we are. We are His children, He loves us, and He is with us every moment of our lives. He wants to do great things in our lives. At the end of of this simple prayer in

1Chronicles 4:10 we read, “So God granted him what he requested.”

When we pray this prayer that God answers, just like Jabez , our lives will never be the same.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Rob Marshall is the author of “Taking On Goliath – How to Unleash the David in All of Us.” Learn how you can unleash your faith and overcome any “Goliath” that may stand between you and your dreams. http://www.TakingOnGoliath.com
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Temptation – Be Gone!

Temptation

1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV)

13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Temptation – the devil’s strongest tool. He will woe you and seduce with the pleasures of the flesh. He provides the justification that will allow you to succumb to your most selfish desires. He will also abandon, torment and delight in your distress when you realize that the pleasure led you to an ultimate pain and a gnawing guilt.

We have all been tempted several times and will be tempted again and again. The stronger we grow as a Christian however the less we are likely to give into temptation. We develop the tools to fight it, we learn the word of God and it is our strongest weapon. Prayer is the conduit to our Commander and Chief – our loving Father who will give us the power to resist and gain victory each and every battle. He said that He would always provide a way out of every temptation. We only have to call on Him. When we feel the urge to give in, we can strongly and firmly pronounce “Flee from thee!” and the Devil will flee. You will actually feel the release from temptation.

Jesus himself was led into the wilderness and tempted by the Devil. He relied upon God’s word to free him from Satan’s stronghold. You must always be vigilant, you must be strong even in your weakest moment, and remember you are never alone.

Matthew 4:1 (ESV)

The Temptation of Jesus

4 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

The Lord’s Prayer is an excellent prayer that will serve as a shield against sin. We pronounce that we want to be led not into temptation but delivered from evil. It is a prayer worth saying each and every morning before you start your day. It can be used in times of indecision and weakness to strengthen your resolve. Pray often and walk in faith, the Lord will fight your battles.

Matthew 26:41 (ESV)

41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

If you do give into temptation, remember God loves you unconditionally. Quickly confess your sins to God and ask for forgiveness. Read the scriptures and prepare yourself by making yourself strong in Christ. Humbly make amends to those you have hurt and pray for their forgiveness through Christ. Temptation is sneaky, sly and comes quickly into our lives, prepare yourself today and you can easily resist and be the blessing He has created you to be. Always know that God is on your side, Christ lives within you and you are God’s child today, tomorrow and forever!

Luke 4:13 English  (ESV)

13 And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.

 

Walking Close to God

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Psalm 50:15
And call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me.”

It seems people are confused about how to create a close relationship with God. They sometimes feel they are not connecting or prayers aren’t being answered. A relationship with God is like a relationship between child and parent. With you being the child and God being the parent. You are walking along on a path together and He knows the way and you are to walk with him or follow along. However, sometimes you may get distracted and stop to look around you or even leave the path due to enticements elsewhere. Then suddenly you realize you are lost. You can’t find the way back to the path on your own. This is when you have a choice to make: either call on God for direction or just meander along confused. Life is so much easier when you call on Him, he’s just ahead on the path and when you call he will hear you and light your way. He will stay with you if you keep Him close.

The simple way to always stay connected is to pray purposely and frequently each day. Keep your focus on God and do not dwell on your surroundings. Come to Him daily in prayer of gratitude and thanksgiving. Ask Him for His help, His guidance and His strength. Let Him know you are following each day and that you never want to be lost again. You will always get through the rough patches in the path and you will be able to climb the hills and endure the darkness of the valley with courage, because you always know He is with you. Prayer connects you and awakens the Christ within you that leads you along life’s journey. You will be amazed at where the path can take you if you let go of the world, trust in the Word, and talk it all over with God.

I hope you will make God apart of your journey today. I finally called on Him to rescue me and he’s brought me a very long way in a very short time. Once I committed to follow God’s will, all the rest fell into place and His plan unfolds a little more each day. Listen to Him and to His direction for your life and you too will see prayers answered. He will make possible what seemed so impossible before you committed to serve Him.

God Bless!

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice always; pray without ceasing. in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Arlene Price ©2013