How to Change Your Day

jabez

It all started with a little prayer in the book of 1 Chronicles.

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

Short and sweet.  Dr. Bruce Wilkinson wrote a short little book on that passage called The Prayer of Jabez. Remember that one?? People either loved it, or hated it. After thinking on the 5 books that have changed my life, I remembered this one. This book not only changed my life, it has changed my days.

He starts his prayer off asking that God would bless him. Seems kind of selfish but Wilkinson made two incredible points that have stuck with me:

1. He gave an analogy that starts in a room full of file cabinets. The man opens the one with his name and the drawer keeps opening and opening. When he looks at the cards, he’s told these were blessings he missed out on because he never asked. God is a generous God. He wants to bless us. When we come to Him, we are acknowledging His power and ability to provide for us.

2. Jabez’s motives are pure. He wants blessings so that he can glorify God in the process. The line “enlarge my territory” basically means expand my influence. He’s praying for God to give him resources (or blessings) so that He can use it for God’s kingdom.

3. I’ve learned this one through years of ending my prayer time with some version of “bless me Lord and expand my territory.” If we are anticipating God to work, we SEE better the things He does every day that maybe we’ve missed.

This isn’t hocus pocus or a magic spell. God doesn’t work like that. And I’m not theologian. Just sharing my heart. God has blessed me incredibly beyond what I feel I deserve and I feel it’s at least partly due to me asking Him for it and offering it back to him AND opening my eyes to see what He’s been doing all along!

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