Devotional / Scripture

1 Chronicles 4:9-10 – The Prayer of Jabez

“Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” 10 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

We see in the beginning of Chronicles, there’s this small section, that is packed with action. I remember when I first read this I was like “God why is this even here”. But the prayer of Jabez isn’t something we should take for granted. Yes we should pray it for ourselves but why?

The word Jabez in the Hebrew means: “To cause pain”. Now in hebrew culture, your name was what you were, so in actuality Jabez was given a disgraceful name from birth, he was an unwanted child, because any mother naming her child this in hebrew culture, shows she didn’t have much respect for him.

This prayer of Jabez is actually a cry of his heart: “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!” He’s crying out to God, asking God to make him something other than what he was ‘born to be’ because he was tired of hurting other people. The prayer of Jabez is 100% a selfless prayer. I imagine this man who growing has caused pain for his whole nation, without meaning to.

In hebrew culture, you are what your name is, because the bible says that our words have power, so every time someone was calling Jabez, Jabez they were speaking that curse over him, over and over and over again.

This blew my mind friends! God has such compassion on Jabez, because this was a selfless prayer of his heart, I imagine his heart screaming out “Lord, please help me! I’m so tired of causing pain for others, I want to help them, I don’t want to hurt them”. Jabez understood the power of our God, that He’s the only one who can reverse curses, that he’s the only one that can change life destinies.

Now knowing this, let us pray prayers of selfless love, understanding the power of the God we serve.

Love, Shels ❤

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