Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” 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 4:9-10 (NIV)
A few years ago a little book by Bruce Wilkinson about this short prayer in 1 Chronicles caused quite a stir in Christian circles. People were claiming almost magical benefits from repeating the prayer, while others decried it as an almost heretical teaching from a cheapened prosperity gospel.
So what’s the story with this obscure little prayer from this man named Jabez that gets a grand total of two verses of the Old Testament dedicated to him? What are we to make of his prayer to God to “enlarge my territory” and “keep me free from harm so that I will be free from pain?”
Does God really want to grant us “enlarged territories” and pain-free lives? If so, what’s the deal? And if not, why would Jabez even warrant recognition in the Holy Scriptures?
Join us this Sunday, Sept. 18, in the 167 Side Room of the Marietta Brewing Company as guest speaker Ginny McKinny of the Marshmallow Ranch blog and New Wineskins founder Joe Webb present a fun and fascinating look into Jabez’ prayer and what it might (and might not!) mean for Christians today.
Happy Half-Hour: 6:30pm
Conversation Begins: 7:00pm