Jabez was a man who had a lot of obstacles to overcome and restrictions in his life. His prayerful response to these difficulties, however, cleared the way for wonderful blessings and chances. I see that prayerlessness was not his portion.
I would want to examine Jabez’s life and the morals that may be drawn from his unwavering faith and steadfast prayer. I would also want to deal with the question “what if Jabez had not prayed”.
Let us explore the power of prayer and the benefits it brings.
» Wednesday, 8th March 2023 | I Stand In The Gap Daily Devotional | Finding Inner Peace Permanently
Yesterday, we had a look at “Finding Inner Peace Permanently“, and today’s is “What if Jabez had not Prayed?”
Anchor verse of the day
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 4:10 (NKJV)
Our anchor verse of 1 Chronicles 4:10 emphasizes the importance of prayer in our lives and how it may significantly alter our circumstances.
Themes in 1 Chronicles 4:10
- Prayer: It demonstrates how effective prayer is for connecting with God and discovering His intention for our life.
- Blessing: This highlights the fact that God is a God of blessings and longs to bestow blessings upon His people. Also, it demonstrates that God is receptive to His people’s pleas and eager to grant them blessings.
- Enlargement: It demonstrates that God cares about our development and wants us to make a difference in the world.
- Protection: Jabez prayed to God for protection because he was aware of the risks and difficulties in life. It demonstrates how much God loves His people and longs to keep them safe.
Background to 1 Chronicles 4:10
1 Chronicles 4:9-10 is a part of the genealogy of Judah, listing the descendants of Perez. In the midst of the genealogy, a brief passage is included about a man named Jabez.
His mother named him Jabez since she gave birth to him in anguish, and it is stated that he was nobler than his brothers. Jabez prays to God, requesting his favor, safety, and provision. His request is granted, and he surpasses his brothers in wealth.
The passage concludes by mentioning Jabez’s reputation as a man of prayer.
The context of the passage is unclear, and it is not clear why Jabez is listed in the genealogy, yet his account of prayer and blessing has inspired many Christians throughout history.
Similar verses to 1 Chronicles 4:9
Then he turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the Lord, saying, ‘Remember now, O Lord, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in Your sight.’ And Hezekiah wept bitterly.2 Kings 20:2-3 (NKJV)
Hezekiah is facing a life-threatening illness and he prays to the Lord for healing.
What if Hezekiah had not prayed?
- Hezekiah would have passed away since he was gravely ill and the prophet Isaiah had warned him that he would soon pass away. Hezekiah prayed to God, requesting healing, and God granted him an additional 15 years of life (2 Kings 20:1-6).
- Hezekiah was king of Judah during a time when the Assyrian Empire was expanding and conquering many neighboring kingdoms. Sennacherib laid siege to Jerusalem, but Hezekiah asked God for deliverance and God sent an angel to save it. (2 Kings 19:32-37).
- Hezekiah was a virtuous king who followed God’s laws and led the people of Judah in worship, resulting in a legacy that was significantly shaped by his prayers and faith in God.
And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the Lord and wept in anguish. Then she made a vow and said, ‘O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.1 Samuel 1:10-11 (NKJV)
Here, In this passage, Hannah is barren and she prays to the Lord for a child. She vows to dedicate her child to the Lord if He grants her request.
What if Hannah had not prayed?
- Hannah would have continued to suffer in silence: The rival would have continued to mock her as a baren woman.
- The birth of Samuel would not have happened: That prayer got to the throne of grace and God acted on it.
- Hannah’s faith in God may have been weakened: After serving God all those years, and no child, she could have questioned God.
If Hannah had not prayed, she would not have received the son that God gave her, who was Samuel, one of the greatest prophets of Israel.
What could have happened had Jabez not prayed?
Looking at Jabez’s prayer in 1 Chronicles 4:10, it is clear that he might not have received the blessings and expansion he did if he hadn’t prayed.
He prayed for God’s blessing, to increase his territory, and to protect him from injury and suffering.
Jabez might have had a life of mediocrity and missed the possibilities God had in store for him if he hadn’t prayed this.
The prayer of Jabez demonstrates that God is ready and able to bless those who approach Him with confidence and faith. It also serves as a motivation for believers to act in faith and enlist God’s blessing and favor in their life.
How is the Believer to live his life?
- The believer is inspired to lead a life of steadfast prayer based on the discussions we’ve had so far about Hannah and Hezekiah. The stories of Hannah and Hezekiah show the effectiveness of prayer and how it can alter one’s situation. The Christian is obligated to persevere in prayer despite obstacles and problems, just as Hannah and Hezekiah did not give up and kept praying.
- The believer must also have confidence in God’s capacity to grant prayer requests. Both Hannah and Hezekiah believed that God could act in their circumstances and bring about the desired result. Similarly, the believer is called to put their faith in God’s sovereignty and know that He will use everything for good.
- The believer is to live a life of praise and thanksgiving for heard prayers. Hannah and Hezekiah both expressed gratitude and adoration in response to God’s faithfulness. The believer should similarly accept and recognize God’s goodness in answering prayers and then react with a spirit of thanksgiving and adoration.
Reflection on “what if Jabez had not prayed”
The provocative phrase “Had Jabez not Prayed” immediately elicits consideration on the significance of prayer in our lives. It implies that prayer is a potent and transforming act, and that not praying might affect how our lives turn out.
The consideration of biblical characters like Hannah and Hezekiah who fervently prayed and experienced miracles underlines the significance of prayer in their lives. It demonstrates that prayer is a way to connect with God and ask for His direction and action in our lives, not just a religious requirement.
It is clear from this title that prayer is a crucial part of our spiritual development and that skipping it could result in wasted opportunities, unrealized potential, and even regrets. It inspires us to incorporate prayer into our everyday routines and to have faith in God’s control over our lives.
In the end, the phrase “Had Jabez not Prayed” serves to remind us that prayer is a powerful instrument that may change our lives and determine our destiny, not just a religious ritual. It inspires us to trust in God’s plan for our lives and be deliberate in our prayer life.
Say this prayer
I have a heavy heart as I stand before you today. I acknowledge that I have not prayed consistently, and that my lack of contact with you has left me feeling empty and confused. Lord pardon me for my carelessness and assist me in developing my prayer life.
I ask You to grant me the will and the courage to seek You with all of my heart, mind, and soul. I pray that through prayer, I will become close to You and rely on You for direction and insight in all areas of my life.
Please enlighten me on the value of steadfast prayer, as you have done for those we have read about. Help me to pray confidently and with trust, knowing that you are a God who listens to and answers prayers.
I appreciate your tolerance with me as well as your unfailing grace and kindness.
In the holy and mighty name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, I offer these prayers.