Background: The name Jabez in Hebrew means “He that causes pain”. In the Jewish culture, it is a common practice to use symbolic names for the children. Jabez’s mother experienced great pain in giving birth to Jabez, much more pain than the usual childbirth, so this is why his mother named him Jabez.
1 Chronicles 4:9-10
9 There was a man named Jabez who was more honorable than any of his brothers. His mother named him Jabez because his birth had been so painful. 10 He was the one who prayed to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!” And God granted him his request.
Why our prayers are answered
We read that God granted him his request! Why did God grant Jabez his request? Because Jabez was an honorable man. Jabez was thinking and doing for others even when he asked blessings for himself. Look closely at what he prayed. He prayed his prayer - "keep me from all trouble and pain. In other words so that he may not experience pain himself but also not causing pain to those in his life.
Jabez did not want to live up to his birth name. The last thing in the world he wanted to be is to be a source of pain to others. He did not want to have a history of giving others pain with his life. Instead he wanted to break out of human destiny and get into divine blessing.
But Jabez knew that before he could be a blessing to others, he had to receive blessing from God. Jabez wanted to receive a blessing, so he could be a blessing!
God desires to end pain. We know that in heaven, there will be no more sickness or crying or pain, or discomfort.
Revelation 21:1-4 - The New Jerusalem
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone.And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them.He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”
God does not want His people to be painful to be around, but rather people who are a blessing for others. God answers prayers. God will answer the prayer we sincerely pray when we pray that we may not inconvenience others.
Jabez's prayer has five components:
- Bless me indeed - fruitfulness, multiplication and dominion (read Genesis 1)
- Increase my borders - increase the area in which the exists with the fruitfulness, multiplication and dominion occur.
- May your hand( God’s hand) be with me - supernatural power behind a normal life.
- Deliver me from evil - keep me from the ravages of curses and wickedness and injustice, allow the blessing to endure and be established.
- That I, for any reason,will not cause pain - that my life will not be taken over by the brokenness of this world. Rather my life rises above the normal and is positive.
The prayer of Jabez demonstrates the revolt against accepting a miserable and painful status quo. It is a revolt against the devil. The prayer of Jabez acknowledges that we do not have to be fallen, we do not have to be broken. We do not have to be a painful nuisance. We do not have to be a burden on everyone else.
The prayer of Jabez is an acknowledgment that we can break out of this solely by the power of God. God can give you the blessing, God can give you the territory, God can give you the power and protection that you need to prosper and be a positive contributor to your community.
Why not pray the prayer of Jabez now - God put it in the Bible as an example for us to imitate and told us He would answer it!
Pray a prayer - that God answers! A prayer that works!
Ref. New Living Translation