NOTES TAKEN FROM
The Prayer of Jabez (by Bruce Wilkerson)
*** OUR PREFATORY NOTES ***
During a lunch time conversation, someone I knew mentioned something she called the prayer of Jabez. I asked what it was and she told me that it was located in Chronicles. This interested me and I wanted to look up the scripture later. At the end of our lunch, she went to her car and gave me an audio tape of Bruce Wilkerson's book, "The Prayer of Jabez".
As I listened to The Prayer of Jabez in the wee hours of the morning, I was deeply moved and intrigued because it described the spiritual phenomena that had occurred in my life over the previous year or so. From November of 1999 unto the present day, I've almost been astonished at the spiritual blessing in my life. The Prayer of Jabez along with Hannah Whitall Smith's, "A Christian's Secret of a Happy" life helped me understand what happened.
Any Christian who embraces the precepts in The Prayer of Jabez will experience explosive growth. Most people will never understand that book. I've oftentimes felt it was written just for me.
Many are writing against The Prayer of Jabez because Roman Catholics and other unsaved people are reciting the prayer like an incantation. At the end of the book, Wilkinson encourages folks to pray this exact prayer for 30 days--I didn't do that and I wouldn't tell anybody else to do it like that. The prayer does sometimes come out in my prayers (just like any other scripture may come out)--but some people are using the prayer like an incantation. That does not mean the book is bad. Charismatics and other outrageous people may put their own spin on it, but they do the same thing with the scriptures. They wrest with them to their own destruction. I don't stop reading the word because folks wrest with it. I rebuke those in error and keep labouring in the word and in doctrine.
The precepts in this book are NEEDED for EVERY Bible believing Christian. Many "fundamentalists'" beliefs are confined to what the church's "statement of faith" says. They don't move and breath in the Holy Ghost. They don't dream dreams, see visions or prophesy--so these things are foreign to them and cast out as abhorrent. They have a dried up "Christian life". Many professed Christians put God outside of just about everything. They only think about him when they go to church, read their 5 minute devotional, or are in trouble. He is oftentimes used as a byword by those who are called by his name. It is high time to break out of that.
The following is what I gleaned from The Prayer of Jabez. Some of it is Bruce Wilkerson, some of it is Tracy. It is a little lengthy, you may want to print it out and read it in the tub, on the deck, wherever--with a pen in hand for making notes.
The following is an honourable man's prayer--and God answered it.1 Chronicles 4:9 And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow.
4:10 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.
Let us break down the prayer, line by line and see how it can relate to us.
"OH THAT THOU WOULDEST BLESS ME INDEED"
- Ask God to bless us with all SPIRITUAL blessing. We want him to impart supernatural favor to us SO THAT WE CAN GLORIFY HIM. Ask Him to bless you with all the spiritual knowledge and blessing that you can have on this side of eternity.
- Let God determine what the blessing will be. Let us want nothing more or less than what God wants for us. Ask him to help you do HIS will, NOT YOUR WILL.
- You can live totally immersed in the divine. When you obey the Lord, there is no hindrance or obstruction to his work--and he will work his works in you in the most profound manner.
- God will open the restraining gates of blessing to those who will seek his blessing. Instead of seeking out the television, SEEK GOD'S BLESSING. Operate, move and breathe in the divine.
- God responds GENEROUSLY when his blessing is what you covet the most. God loves to bless. It is his nature to bless. Let nothing loom larger in your life than God's nature. He is our Father. He desires to commune with us and be with us. ASK HIM what you will. Jesus said "whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, I will do it". If you want to know him and glorify him more, ASK HIM to give you supernatural power to do just that. God answers the FERVENT, EFFECTUAL PRAYERS OF A RIGHTEOUS MAN. He will do as you ask, if you are righteous. I'm not talking about hypocrites, lukewarms, disobedient persons, and other unrengerates. I'm talking about a righteous man. The FERVENT, EFFECTUAL PRAYER OF A RIGHTEOUS MAN AVAILETH MUCH. Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we, yet he prayed and it did not rain for the space of three years. Almost nobody is asking God to spiritually bless them because they are not looking for God. They are looking for something they can consume upon their own lusts.
- Moses asked God to show him his glory. He wanted to know God more intimately. He was seeking a spiritual blessing. God will reveal himself to those that love him and keep his commandments.
"AND ENLARGE MY COAST"
- Enlarge my coast is a plea for more coast, more territory, in God's service. Increased land holdings in the spiritual realm. Enlarge my life, O God, that I may make a bigger impact FOR THEE. I want more influence. I want more responsibility in kingdom work. I want more opportunity to make a mark for the God of Israel.
- Let us "live large for God". Expand me, O God. Let me be an city set upon a hill. Let me live above the world. Let me be the light of the world. King Jesus said it would be so for every one of his disciples, and I am your disciple. Bless me, that I should GLORIFY THEE IN ALL THAT I DO.
- There is plenty of room for a Christian to grow. There is more to the Christian life than what most people experience. God made the invisible atom, he made animals you can't see, he made volcanoes, mountains, deserts, seasons, gold, stars, suns, galaxys, etc. God is so BEYOND us, we can't figure him and his ways out--YET professed Christians sit around powerless, unknowledgeable of the word, and don't even know what their spiritual gifts are. They sit around confined to "the statement of faith" of their particular church. Dumpy and soft. They have not because they ask not. They are not operating at that top level.
Ask God and he will help you glorify him. He will teach you. You were to created to glorify and please God. He WILL enlarge your coast, your influence for him. He will expand your territory for him--not for you. Forget man. Lift up Jesus. He will indeed make you the head and not the tail. Your mind will be sharp. Your mouth will speak words of power and knowledge. Your hands will work for the King in skill and precision. You will KNOW the will of the Lord and you will KNOW HOW to do his work.
- Look at the resources around you and say, "Lord, everything you've put under my care, take it and increase it to YOUR glory." This includes everything--house or apartment, grass, bench, furniture, paper, pencils, your body and mind, your pots and pans, clothes, money, time, your life, etc. Seek total consecration to God. ALL THAT WE HAVE BELONGS TO GOD AND WE ARE THE STEWARDS. You start treating "stuff" differently when you have the mind that you are a steward and not an owner. When you act like a steward, you can ask God to touch the resources so that they will be enlarged and used for his glory. No matter where we are, there is something for us to do. Work his works wherever you find yourself.
- God has entrusted a territory to you. As a good steward, you will want to ENLARGE that territory. INCREASE the talents God gave you. Give the Lord Jesus THE GREATEST RETURN THAT YOU CAN ON THE GIFTS THAT HE HAS GIVEN YOU--just like in the parable of the talents. Ask for SUPERNATURAL help to do this. In the natural you will not get the results you get when King Jesus steps in. God expects you to ask him to help you in ALL that you do.
God is important to me and it is important that he be involved in everything that I do, whether housework or how to relate to my husband. Ask King Jesus to govern everything in your life. Whosoever asketh receiveth.
- Understand that every Christian is a soldier in the army of the Lord. We are to conquer and do exploits for God's glory. Help me, O Lord, to do thy works. Grant unto thy servants, great boldness and great understanding of thy word.
- If you are a business person, your business is part of the coast God has entrusted to you. Look at it as a significant opportunity to touch lives for the Master's glory. Look for ways to lift up Christ in your business. That is well pleasing to God. The Bible says to be diligent in your business--lift up King Jesus in all things.
- Husbands and wives can pray "Enlarge my home and family for thy glory." And then start moving in that direction by faith for you KNOW the Lord will answer a prayer like that. We were made to glorify King Jesus.
- "O God and King, expand my opportunities for thee and favor my relationships. Increase the influence of my household for thy glory."
- BE MIGHTY FOR GOD. Gain more lives for his glory. Jesus said "as the Father sent me, so send I you." Go out and seek and save that which was lost. Work in the Master's vineyard.
- Ask the Lord to move the boundary lines. Go further than you have before. Ask the Lord for greater ministry.
- Take new territory for God.
- "Lord, enlarge my sphere of influence. Please give me opportunities to expand my abilities and resources so that you will accomplish greater things through me." LIVE AND TALK ABOVE YOUR ABILITY BECAUSE THE HAND OF GOD IS ON YOU.
- "Lord, would you send someone to me that needs you?" God will bring opportunities and people into your path for you to serve them. This is a tremendous thrill. You will KNOW that God is with you and you KNOW how to do His work.
- Ask for a larger life in God's service. Do God's work on the earth.
- God is looking for people to do his work. God will work in us by his Spirit. Invite God into your life to make it what HE wants it to be. Let him rearrange, delete, add, rebuke, correct, empower, EVERYTHING HE WANTS TO DO--and see what the results will be. Let him expose those secret sins, the plagues of your own heart, and then walk away from them. The Deliverance Series
- Ask God for a miracle--his intervention to make something happen that would not ordinarily happen. Go beyond what you were a year ago. Go beyond the lame lives you see around you. RUN TO GOD, TO HIS PRECEPTS AND WAYS. STRETCH OUT YOUR LIFE IN HIS WORD AND REND YOURSELF FROM THIS WICKED WORLD.
- "I want to expand God's kingdom -- A LOT". Ask the Lord to use you. Are you an asset or a liability to the kingdom?
- Put God's agenda before your agenda. You do not have an agenda. This life is about God's marvellous plan.
AND THAT THINE HAND MIGHT BE WITH ME
Wilkinson called this "The touch of greatness"
- Depend on the Lord to sustain the spiritual blessings he showers on you. In the wake (or at any point) of a great spiritual blessing you can feel overwhelmed. How am I going to keep this up? You are not. You were not the cause of the blessing and you won't sustain it. You need to depend on the Lord to sustain the works he hath given you, just like he sustains the universe without any help from you. Failure is inevitable without God's continued management. Some people have the annointing of the Lord on them and then they get the big head like they are so great--the annointing disappears, you just see a puffed up head. I perceive that sometimes afflictions, pains, and ailments can be mixed into our lives in order to help us to stay lower.
- God will keep you dependent. Ask him every day to give you your spiritual bread. Sometimes we may have to stop in the middle of something to pray to the Lord.
- Depending on God makes heroes of ordinary people. We cry in desparate plea, "O that thine hand might be with me! I need the Lord! I can't make it without you! Help me, Jesus!"
- You are working kingdom tasks and you need supernatural power. Ask the Lord to create the opportunities and sustain the works.
- As you grow in Christ you don't become great you become dependent--and learn to love it. You are a fellowlaborer together with God. People will encourage you, but don't get the big head--antidote for the big head is Luke 17:10.
- When you surrender yourself, your surrendered need becomes God's unlimited opportunity to use you. Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and he will exalt you through revelation and knowledge of the divine, as you live according to his word.
- Admit that you can't do anything except ye abide in the vine. Then step out IN JESUS' NAME--not your name. Yield and surrender to the Lord.
- You will have no life of honour without God's hand on you. Be about God's business and he will take care of your business (see Matt 6:33)
- The hand of the Lord is God's power and presence in the lives of His people. You WANT this, you TRULY do whether you know it or not. Incredible. The hand of the Lord is necessary to accomplish the will of God through you. "And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord." Acts 11:21
- When you see the magnitude of the work put at your hand (and the sorrow and grief that comes with knowledge), you can start getting scared and overwhelmed. Pray and read God's word--including the Old Testament accounts where we read about God's power to subdue all. In light of God's capabilities, all else looks small. Do not forget your daily tasks and housework. These are not to be neglected and are spoken of in the scriptures. The Bible teaches us that a man that will not care for his own, especially his own household is worse than an infidel. Women are to be keepers at home and guide the house. Home cooked meals need to be made and those dishes need to be washed. Fearfulness and being overwhelmed are also abated by regular prayer. One can have what I call a morning oblation--day by day, presenting oneself before the Lord and speaking to him about the gains, etc. of the previous day, what one desires, etc. The Lord's prayer can be integrated at this time as well. When we try to keep God's commands, we have his ear. At the place of my morning oblation I keep a pencil, paper, and light source so that I can write down things that come to mind during my morning prayers, there may be plans for the day, for study, etc.
- Through the power of the Holy Ghost, the fearful can be turned to bold. The disciples forsook the Lord (see Matthew 26:56), but when the Holy Ghost came, they opened up their mouths and spake the word of God (see Acts 4:31)--even unto the death.
- When you continually seek to be filled with God's power, the extraordinary becomes possible. Plead for the filling of the Holy Ghost. "O Lord, please PUT THINE HAND ON ME!" I want apostolic courage, perseverance, ability, and success (EM Bounds).
- Ask the Holy Ghost to move in your congregation and bring repentance and revival.
- God is watching and waiting for me to ask for supernatural power to glorify him and lift him up.
- Don't get God's blessing and then decide to go to the natural like Asa did (see II Chron. 16:8-9)
- We derive our sustenance from the Lord and his word.
- You are one earnest plea away from great exploits. You can experience supernatural enthusiasm, supernatural boldness, supernatural power. There is a such thing as this.
- Dependence on the Father is another word for power. Ask for power that God may work through you even though you are weak. All that his name may be glorified. If you are about the Father's business, he will glorify you.
AND THAT THOU WOULDEST KEEP ME FROM EVIL THAT IT MAY NOT GRIEVE ME
Wilkinson's says here, "Keeping the legacy safe." Stay away from evil. Resist it from within and from without.
- Ask the Lord to deliver you from evil. As you grow in holiness, evil will GRIEVE you. As you walk in the blessing, you will become accustomed to a close relationship with the Lord. You'll hear his voice and won't want anything to keep you from God. The thing that will keep you from him is evil--sin. You will become more sensitive to sin. When you sin, you will repent quickly. If you do not, you will know that God is not pleased. You will start shriveling up.
- As your life transcends the ordinary you will encroach on Satan's turf. The devil will not say, "That's nice." He is going to try to do something about it. Don't be surprised by oppression, etc. Know your adversary. Resist him and he will flee from you.
- The strategy for sustaing the blessed life is clinging to God by keeping his word and resisting the devil. Abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul (1 Peter 2:11). Ask the Lord to keep you from temptation and deliver you from evil. Praying the Lord's prayer will include this. I often ask the Lord to rebuke the devourer from me.
- Pray and ask God for guidance. The devil will always seek to deflate you and tempt you, even through the people closest to you. Let thine eye be single for the Lord and be not dissuaded from your service to him. Pray and he will give you strength and power, guidance and direction. Once we get on track, knowing our place and laboring, these are things we should ask for often.
- Satan approached the human race at the peak of its promise, the peak of its performance, and crushed us with one conversation. Look out.
- Lord, protect me from deception. Keep evil far from me. I will make a covenant with my eyes that I will behold no wicked thing.
- ***A tiny indulgence of self-confidence or pride can spell disaster.*** Spare me, Lord from the flesh and misjudgments. KEEP ME FROM SIN, SEEN AND UNSEEN. We must be watchful.
- Lord, please keep me from carelessness and put up a hedge about me. Protect me Father, by thy great power. In these last and evil days, I want to be a TRUE witness serving you with my spirit. I present my body a living sacrifice. Inside and outside, I will serve you.
Please keep me in thy word. Keep me from things that pull me from thy word. Make me satisfied and happy with thee. Keep me from all that calls out to my sense of what I deserve or what I have a right to feel and enjoy. For thou art the TRUE source of all that is good. Please direct my steps AWAY from all that is not of thee. Please keep me from strange things.
- Satan most opposes those that are becoming the greatest threat to his kingdom. Be prepared to confront spiritual attacks. Know your adversary.
- If you feel oppression, start speaking the facts of the word. Confess to the Lord the facts. One day, I didn't feel like praying, so when I went down to the basement, I opened up the Psalms and started reading. I read something like, "GREAT is the Lord and GREATLY to be praised and His GREATNESS is unsearchable." As I read, I said, "That is a fact. So is this." Boy I got to shouting time just confessing the facts of the Lord. No matter what, I'm going forward in Jesus' name. You will eventually get your breakthrough, start praising God. Obey God's word, pray and do good and he will direct you.
- Live free from the bondage of evil. Read Romans chapters 6-8 consecutively. Keep the legacy of blessing in your life safe and pure. God will show up. Live in triumph. Live in victory. Live on a higher level. Live above the world. [Those in bondage may wish to see our Deliverance Series.]
JABEZ WAS MORE HONOURABLE THAN HIS BRETHREN
Wilkinson says here, "Welcome to God's honour roll".
- God favours those who ask. Who want what HE wants. Do you want what God wants or do you want what YOU want.
- Seek the honour that cometh from God alone. Press for the mark. Be an expert in the word and in exploits. Know God himself, not just the statement of faith of your particular church (that may be a big part of your problem. And do not forget the sabbath day (don't join the Seventh Day Adventist cult)--it is not Sunday (that is a heresy that I perceive has held back church people.).).
- LEAVE mediocre expectations.
- I want God's hand on me NOW. His everpresent NOW. This second. I realize that my coast is expanded with every single person I minister to. God's hand is directing me NOW as I minister before his name.
- Ask for more ministry.
- Ask for and expect God's blessing. Work in the supernatural realm.
- God will bring people to you (or whatever he has for you) and give you the power to do what he wants you to do.
- When you want WHAT GOD WANTS you set in motion a cycle of blessing. He will expand your mind, increase your knowledge, your ministry. You'll experience exponential growth. Don't plateau, keep going up and into wider spheres of blessing and influence. Spiraling outward and upward INTO A LARGER LIFE IN GOD.
- You'll be overwhelmed with God's graciousnes to you. THE LOVE AND TENDER CARE. You'll be astonished. You'll feel so blessed because you are. You will know without a doubt that God has opened heaven's storehouse because YOU WANT HIM. Ask him to bless you with spiritual blessing. Desire ALL the knowledge of the holy that you can have on this side. Indescribable good awaits you and your family. Serve God, leave sin.
- Sin will break the cycle and you know it immediately. You will have deep grief over the disconnect. Repent and get back in line. God is working in you at a higher rate of fulfillment.
- Stretch out your faith. Go beyond what you've known. Be all that God has for you.
- God answers those who have a loyal heart.
- Seek to be clean and yielded wanting what God wants. Step forth IN HIS POWER to be part of HIS PLAN. Experience THE POWER for yourself. The kingdom of God is not in word but in POWER.
- Your spiritual expectations will undergo a RADICAL shift. You will experience a renewed confidence in the present tense power and reality of your prayers. You will know that YOU ARE praying and MINISTERING DEAD CENTER IN THE WILL AND PLEASURE OF ALMIGHTY GOD. You will know that you were redeemed for this very thing. Ask for the God sized best and ask it with all your heart. Change your legacy and bring and manifest supernatural blesing wherever you go. God will release his miraculous power and favour in your life now and in eternity. Because you desire him, he will lavish on you his honour and his delight.
Praise the Lord and Amen.
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