Forty Days of Prayer – Day 9

Yesterday I began to talk about the Prayer of Jabez. I would like to talk a little bit today about the last petition of this prayer that is so powerful and unusual. Here is the short prayer again from the book of 1 Chronicles.

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

Here Jabez asks that God keeps him from evil so that he does not cause pain. What he is focusing on are the consequences of his actions. I have often prayed something similar over the years in my own words “Lord keep me from doing anything stupid to harm Your church and hurt the name of Jesus.” Too often I have seen the terrible harm pastors can do to a ministry with inappropriate words and actions. What Jabez did not want to do, was to live up to his name. He did not want to be one who brought pain to others. As I said yesterday I can only imagine what others said to him growing up with a name like Jabez. I think why this short little prayer, from someone we know so very lttle about, was included in scripture is because it teaches us a part of how to pray and what to pray for in life. The first and easiest things we pray about deal with ourselves. An important part of our life of faith is how we affect others. As God shares His blessings with us, we are called to share these with others in our lives.

This passage also makes me think of Jesus. His name means, God saves, and the name speaks of who He is and what He will do with His life. Jesus as He approached the cross new what His actions would bring. He brought us the salvation of God through the cross. The joy we have in this season of Lent is that Jesus lived up to His name in life and even the cross

In Christ’s service, Pastor Dave

Lord keep me from evil. Remind me that my actions have consequences. Thank you that I stand as the beneficiary of all that Jesus did for me on the cross. Amen.

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