Prayer

Lessons from the Prayer of Jabez

            John Maxwell shared a great story the other day. There was a lady who bought a parrot at the store. She was kind of lonely, so she wanted a parrot to take home and talk to her. She got the parrot in the cage, sat down, it didn’t say anything. 

            She went back to the store and said, “Parrot don’t talk.” The man at the store said, “Well you know maybe you need a ladder because parrots like to climb and get exercise. So she got the ladder in the cage. She watched the parrot. Parrot didn’t talk.

            She went back to the store and said, “Parrot don’t talk.” The man at the store said, “Well you know maybe you need a swing. Parrots like to swing and it puts em in a good mood.” 

She went back to the store and said, “Got the swing. Got the ladder. Parrot still don’t talk.” The man at the store said, “Well you know maybe you need a mirror. Parrot likes to look at himself. He can see his reflection, swing, and climb.” She came back the next day said, “The parrot died.” The manager said, “Ohh no, did the parrot say anything before he died?” “Yeah he said, ‘Squawk! don’t they sell food down there?’” Some people got ladders, swings, and mirrors. But they don’t got any soul food. It’s important in our lives to study God’s word and get some good soul food for our emotions. 

            An underrated story in the Bible is the Prayer of Jabez. To me the story of Jabez is underrated because of how short the story is. His whole story in the Bible is found in two verses. Who was Jabez? Little is known about this man. His name Jabez means pain. 1 Chronicles 4:9 says, “Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother named him Jabez saying, “Because I bore him with pain.” Jabez’s name means, “sorrowful” or “sorrow-maker”. This childbirth was so bad that his mother named him pain. Talk about a man with a self-professed promise. 

            God changed Abram’s name to Abraham because Abraham means, “Father of many”. This was before he had any kids and this was the beginning of the nation of Israel. Also Naomi and her husband called her two sons Mahlon and Chilion. The translation is, “Punny” and “Pining”. The word Pining means to suffer with longing. Sadly both of them died early as adults. And finally, Solomon’s name means peace. He was the first King of Israel to reign without going to war. I’m sure Jabez knew what his name was and realized he needed to change his destiny. Throughout the Bible the name was associated with what would happen in their life.

            Jabez was an honorable man and decided to seek the Lord. 1 Chronicles 4:10 tells us, “10 Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm that it may not pain me!’ And God granted him what he requested.” 

            The Prayer of Jabez helps us to remember that our destiny involves us. Your car is not going to start unless you crank the engine. Back in the creation of the automobile, people would have to crank the engine. Today we simply keep the key fob in our pocket and open the door, sit down, press the brakes, and push a button. We must actively use our faith and pray to the Lord. Take time to feed your soul. Pray to Lord and remember that we need God in our life. Let’s be like Jabez and ask the Lord to bless us. May we use what we have to be a blessing to others.

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