For reading an author and asking him questions, the author, Tom Butler Bowdon, in thanksgiving sent me this Prayer of Jabez. This prayer is well worth being memorized. "with the last word, the transformation begins. He hears a tremendous crack. Then a groan. Then a rumble as the gate swings away from him in a wide arc. There, stretching to the horizon, are fields of blessings. And Jabez steps forward into another life". Simply put God favours those who ask. To say that you want to be more honourable in God's eyes is neither arrogance nor self centeredness. God"s kindness in recording Jabez's story in the Bible is proof that it is not who you are, or what your parents decided for you, or what you were fated to be that counts. What counts is knowing who you want to be and asking for it.
In a nutshell, do not be afraid to ask for blessings in your life. With the help of divine power, you can do more and more. The character Jabez is mentioned in the Bible book of chronicles. The idea that an average person could obtain blessings and abundance simply through asking and being given suggests a new appreciation of how God works and therefore a foundation for any aspirant for prosperity in life.
The story of Jabez is hidden since he did nothing remarkable in ancient Israel. He appears in chapter 4 of Chronicles in the listing of the descendants of Judah. Jabez's start in life was not good. In his wish to make things right, he prayed the following: "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". After this comes the simple line: "So God granted him what he requested'. Nothing is said about what subsequently happens to Jabez. All we know is that his prayers were granted.
Thus it is okay to ask. Great people of faith do not think it is selfish to ask for huge blessings from God. They felt that to serve and fulfill their task, they will need more resources and power than the average person. So it is right to be selfish in your prayers, to say: "Bless me abundantly". Indeed, the power of the Jabez prayer is that your demand becomes a habit, said daily. Never be afraid to ask for more, even when you have been blessed already. God's supply of blessings has no limit. Asking for more is supported by Proverbs 10:22: The Lord's blessing is our greatest wealth, all our work adds nothing to it. Two, James 4:2: You do not have because you do not ask; finally, Matthew 7:7: Ask and it will be given to you. Note that while Jabez asked for huge blessings, he left it to God to decide the exact nature of the blessing. God will shower you with blessings when your faith in His goodness is absolute. Yet He waits to be asked as a precondition for helping. Always pray believing that no obstacle or circumstance is larger than God.
Jabez asked: Enlarge my territory. Do not feel ashamed in asking for more influence and responsibility to make your mark, since you were born to be more and do more than where you are now. When you beg for more, you will begin to fulfill your potential as Jehovah imagined when you were conceived. Moreover, never be surprised when your blessings turn out to be more than you can handle, bringing new challenges. You may even feel you are the wrong person for the job. This is the paradox of the big blessing: that through God we embark on things which are too big for us to do. Yet this brings further blessing. We are expected to attempt something large enough that failure is certain, unless Jehovah steps in.
That is how God sets you up to be a hero, making others wonder how you achieved it. Always ask for the hand of God in your life, since He wants to work with you and through you. Therefore it is not selfish to wish to be great in the service of God. It is a fulfillment of Jehovah's blessing. If said daily Jabez prayer enables you to avoid being in a position of temptation. Lastly, Jabez asks that he not cause pain to others. Certainly, such a humble request is surely a basic element for a blessed life.
Indeed, the moral of Jabez is that what you want for yourself is little compared with what is in store for you if you make yourself open to divine guidance. You may have little assumptions on how large your territory should be, based on your upbringing. But you may be wrong. History is replete with average persons who became remarkable due to their openness to a particular direction quietly suggested in prayer or meditation. The author of this book believes that the essence of the Supreme Being, along with love, is abundance. By being attuned to this higher force that moves the universe, we also acquire the right to ask for our fair share of these riches. We should ask to be the most we can be; as individuals, making contributions which can reverberate beyond our lifetimes.
For the man who apprised me of the prayer; Tom Butler- Bowdon was an adviser to the Australian government in Sydney. Before reading Political economy at the London School of Economics in 1995, he had read History and Political science at the University of Sydney. He lives in Oxford, U.K. He has written six 50 Classics Series. He is now writing 50 Economics Classics. He sent me the monograph of the Prayer of Jabez from where this piece was adapted.