Who was Jabez? He is only mentioned 3 times in the Bible. The first is in 1 Chronicles 2:55 where Jabez is the name of a town: “And the clans of scribes who lived at Jabez…” This town in Judah was apparently located near Bethlehem.
Then Jabez is mentioned again in 1 Chronicles 4:9-10: “Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, ‘I gave birth to him in pain.’ 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.”
The name Jabez means “he causes pain,” so we can assume that something about his birth was exceptionally more painful than the usual birth – either physically or emotionally. In Bible times, a name was very important. A name often defined a person’s future – what they would become. So perhaps Jabez’s mother was predicting her baby’s future.
It seems as if Jabez defied his hopeless name and dysfunctional beginning to become a man who believed fervently in the power of God. He prayed with urgency and vulnerability. He cried out to the Lord with boldness!
Jabez was honored because of his relationship with God. In fact, 1 Chronicles 4:9 says, “Jabez was more honorable than his brothers…” The record of the genealogy of Judah was interrupted to bring us these details about Jabez. His relationship with God must have been exceptionally noteworthy to cause the author of Chronicles to stop and elaborate on this one man’s life.
Who was Jabez? By putting ourselves in the place of the original readers, we can learn a lot from genealogies like the one in which Jabez is mentioned. “The writer of Chronicles used this list of names to show how God has chosen Israel for a prominent role in history. He wanted to encourage those who had just returned from exile and were struggling to rebuild their ruined nation. These names showed that God accomplished his purposes through their ancestors-before David, Moses or even Abraham. In fact, God’s plan began with Adam.”1The genealogy showed that God’s purpose was still in effect! The nation of Israel was His chosen people and they had been given the promised land for a reason.
God had a purpose of Israel and He had a purpose for Jabez. This righteous man wanted God’s blessing to be fulfilled. What about you? Do you want God’s plan for your life? He has a distinct purpose for you. Why not pray that God will bless you indeed!
Prayer of Jabez: What is it? The Prayer of Jabez comes from the Bible. In 1 Chronicles 4:10, we read: “And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that Thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that Thine hand might be with me, and that Thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.” The prayer is composed of four parts. First, Jabez asks God to bless him. Second, he asks God to enlarge his territory or increase his responsibility. Third, he prays that God will be with him and stay close. Lastly, Jabez asks that God keep him from harm so that he will be free from pain.
Prayer of Jabez: Why is it important? The Prayer of Jabez reveals that Jabez understands what many people do not — there is only one God and He should be the center of our work God wants to bless every life. But, we must first make the choice to invite God into our life and ask for His blessings. Jabez wants to succeed and increase his sphere of influence for God. The specific sphere of influence is not important. What is important is that when we want to reach for goals and accomplishments that we have God on our side. Proverbs 16:3 says, “Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.” It is critical to understand and practice this in a close relationship with God. Further, it is equally important to stay close to God and rely on His continued support and guidance throughout life. Jabez clearly knows and prays specifically to the One who can protect him from evil and pain — God. At the end of the verse it is clear that God approved of this faithful prayer by granting it. It is also important to see that Jabez was passionate in his plea to God: “He cried out to the God of Israel.” God wants to hear that we need Him through passionate prayer.
Prayer of Jabez: What does it mean to you? The Prayer of Jabez reminds us that everybody struggles with choosing to rely on himself or God. Whether you are a focused Christian or just searching to find out more about God, life is a growing process. However, it is very clear in reviewing the Prayer of Jabez, as well as the rest of the Bible, that God is faithful in caring for those who seek Him. Jabez sets a great example of how God wants everyone to come to Him through constant and passionate prayer. If you are looking to start a relationship with God or improve your existing relationship with Him, start with prayer. God answers prayers when you trust Him (1 Chronicles 5:20). Prayers to God also please Him (Proverbs 15:8). We can all learn from Jabez and faithfully pray to God always in everything that we do.
Prayer of Jabez: The Book by Bruce WilkinsonThe Prayer of Jabez is covered in phenomenal detail by Bruce Wilkinson in his book of the same name. We highly encourage you to read this fantastic and inspiring resource, that challenges each of us to.