Do use it. But in the right way.
A Google search of this topic yields much that is interesting.
I would even say insightful. So much so, that I think this one
verse is able to reveal more than many others the heart of an
individual claiming to be a Christian.
Allow me to demonstrate. Perhaps you will find this a direct
application of the following:
- For the word
of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword,
it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow;
it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews
First of all here is the prayer of Jabez:
- Jabez cried
out to the God of Israel, "Oh, that you would bless me
and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep
me from harm so that I will be free from pain." And God
granted his request. 1 Chronicles 4:10.
Do you use this prayer? If so why? If not why not? If this is
the first time you see this, what is your reaction?
The discussion on this prayer and questions like this make one
thing clear: for sure this is an ambiguous prayer. It means different
things to different people. On reflection I've concluded that
there are just two ways to use this prayer - a very right way,
and a clearly wrong way.
- "No servant
can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love
the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the
other. You cannot serve both God and Money." Luke 16:13.
Here then are the two ways this prayer will be used: if you're
devoted to money, then you will use this prayer in the hope of
personal gain, perhaps as part of a prosperity theology that's
very common today. But if you're devoted to God, then you will
use this prayer for Him.
Check this out - the prayer is taken in four sections. I've also
included several bible versions for comparison:
- Oh, that you would bless me (NIV)
- Oh that You would bless me indeed (NASB)
- Oh, that you would bless me (NLT)
- Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, (KJV)
- Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, (ASV)
me with everything I need to serve You.
- Give me
lots and lots of things,
- and enlarge my territory!(NIV)
- and enlarge my border, (NASB)
- and extend my lands! (NLT)
- and enlarge my coast, (KJV)
- and enlarge my border, (ASV)
the number of people I help in my service for You.
- and increase
my net worth
- Let your hand be with me,(NIV)
- and that Your hand might be with me, (NASB)
- Please be with me in all that I do,(NLT)
- and that thine hand might be with me, (KJV)
- and that thy hand might be with me, (ASV)
- Be with
me in my service to you
- Be with
me as I get more stuff
- and keep me from harm so that I will be free from
- and that You would keep me from harm that it may not
pain me! (NASB)
- and keep me from all trouble and pain(NLT)
- and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may
not grieve me! (KJV)
- and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it be
not to my sorrow! (ASV)
- Keep me
from doing evil, so my service for you is not brought
- and stop
other evil people taking things that are mine
Be honest - If you use this prayer how much of the 'God First
Perspective' have you considered? If you don't, have you prayed
like this anyway? If not why not?
Let me end with an encouragement from Jesus:
I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat
or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life
more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store
away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are
you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying
can add a single hour to his life? "And why do you worry
about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do
not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all
his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God
clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow
is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O
you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we
eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For
the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father
knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his
righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as
well." Matthew 6:25-33.
May 21st 2005
Irvine, California, USA.