Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Prayer of Jabez

Oh that You would bless me indead, 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.
~1 Chronicles 4:9-10

Do you remember all the hoopla and the fevered pitch about the 'Prayer of Jabez'?  It hasn't been that long ago, but just as sudden you hear nothing... absolutely nothing.  Now that is more like my prayer life - the silence can be ever so deafening.

As for me, the thing about this little prayer from First Chronicles is the plea that God would keep him from evil, so that he might not cause pain.  Enlarge my territory? No, I have a full plate as it stands.  Keep me from evil?  Oh please, Abba Father, I do pray that - for myself, for my loved ones and for co-workers.  I do not want to cause pain or grief to anyone for evil decisions I may make.  Think of Bernie Madoff and the pain his choices and decisions landed for his family and the others who invested in the schemes.  How sad.  Even though his family is innocent of the charges, they will bear the brunt of his foolishness, his selfishness for the rest of their lives.

No, I do not believe there is a magic formula or mantra in the prayer of Jabez, but I do believe there a good structure for me to observe and immulate in my own personal prayer life.  For that, I do thank Jabez and the author of Chronicles for writing it down for us.

Today's Prayer:

Abby, Father - hear my prayer!  Thank You for all the blessings You have so abundantly lavished upon me.  Thank You for Your favor during this past week and having a good outcome during an interview.  And now I do pray that You keep me from evil.  Help me to live my life in such a fashion that I do not cause pain or embarassment to those I love and respect.        ~In Jesus' name  AMEN!