This article was written by my friend, Sylvia Gunter.
Every year I ask God, “What are You saying to me for the new year? What are You doing in my life? Give me a verse or a prayer for the year.” At times God has been amazingly succinct. “Pray, ‘Lord, teach me to pray.’ ” or “Pray, ‘Show me Your glory.’ ” As I have prayed those prayers, God has outdone Himself, doing amazing things to answer them.
One year God answered me with “The prayer of Jabez.” The story can be found in 1 Chronicles 4:9-10. “Jabez was more honorable than his brothers… 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.”
That remarkable prayer lit the fire of my heart for God’s possibilities in five short phrases. Be extravagantly blessed as God expands your borders through praying this prayer with us for the next three weeks. Journal your own Jabez evidences of God at work in your life and write more Jabez prayers in your own words. God delights to hear and answer this prayer.
1. Bless me indeed. You are the blesser from whose hand every good thing comes. I want a front-row seat on a life of Your miracles (Mark 16:20).
2. Enlarge my territory. I boldly ask that You expand Your kingdom through me. Thrust me into the mainstream of Your plans, way beyond my ability, and accomplish them by the exhaustless energy of Your Holy Spirit and in the freshness of Your holy Word (Acts 1:8). Make my prayer life and my life in Your Spirit match my assignment.
3. Be with me. I am totally dependent on seeing Your strong hand on everything that touches me. I see before me human impossibilities, which is the realm of incredible blessing that You specialize in (Matt. 19:26).
4. Keep evil far from me. Help me stand confidently against the enemy when I have stirred up the hosts of darkness with Kingdom invasion. Keep me relying on the sharp weapons of Your warfare (Eph. 6:12-18). Help me give no quarter to the enemy. Free me from ground I have given him. It is said that one love will quench another. With passion for Jesus, quench my pet sins of pride, judgment, anger, and impatience. Spirit of the living God, cleanse me of insensitivity, hardness, indifference, ignorance, and shallowness.
5. God, answer my request. Live in me a life that is totally explainable only that it’s You, God (Isa. 65:24). In Jesus’ name, amen.