"The Prayer of Jabez" BIBLE STUDY
(By Bruce Wilkinson)
Subject: It was a Prayer for PROSPERITY.
"And enlarge my border."
Scripture: I Chronicles 4:10 (AMP)
"Jabez cried to the God of Israel, saying, Oh, that You would bless me and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and You would keep me from evil so it might not hurt me! And God granted his request."
This week we'll Discover:
What territory means.
Why God wants you to have more of it.
How other Bible characters enlarged their territory.
How God arrange divine encounters between you and others.
What might be fencing you in on a small patch of opportunity.
How to break through to a larger life every day.
1. Jabez was ambitious, but in the right attitude.
a. Some think that perhaps he had not conquered all his inheritance from
b. Some think this means the area or scope of his work and service for the Lord. "Lord help me to do a greater work for thee"
2. His ambition was not covetous where he let his desires crush everything that is good and ignore God and the way that is right.
a. But he prays to God to help him extend his possessions, to increase his
wealth, and to advance in influence.
3. We should pray freely to God about our plans and ask him to bless us. a. To pray to God about our common human affairs is the best way we can be assured of winning them and keeping the right spirit toward whatever we may attain.
4. We don't know if he was a husbandman, a warrior, a ruler, or a scribe. We don't know whether he was praying for increased authority or territory. But it's fitting, that we ask the Lord to enlarge the field of our activities. We may ask the Lord to make us a blessing.
a. To those in spiritual darkness. Matt. 5:14-16; Acts 13:47; 26:18
b . To the needy. James 1: 27
c. To the weak. Gal. 6:2; I Cor. 8:13
d. To all men. Gal. 6:10
God has plans to help you reach across boundary lines and touch lives for Him. I call them Jabez Appointment. They occur when you respond to what seems to be a divinely arranged encounter . . . and you invite God to act. Often, your appointment starts with a simple question: How may I help you?
Remember Philip's roadside opportunity? (Acts 8:30-31)
"Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. "Do you understand what you are reading?" Philip asked. "How can I," he said, "unless someone explains it to me?" So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him."
Born For More:
If your circumstances often seem ordinary and your horizons small, you're going to love the next part of the Jabez prayer.
For his second request, Jabez pleaded for more territory. With more influence and more responsibility, Jabez could make a greater mark for the God of Israel. But he was stuck on a tiny patch of opportunity. So he asked for more.
As you enjoy more and more of God's blessings in your life, your heart will overflow, touching more and more people for Him. Most people like their lives in a passive, reactive mode; Jabez lived in a healthy, proactive mode. Jabez stepped forward and boldly asked God to enlarge his borders and extend his influence.
Do you believe that God wants you to have more and do more for Him? I do. But asking for a larger life goes far beyond the size of your property, as you're about to find out.
Depending on the Bible version you're reading, the word territory in I Chronicles 4:10 may also be translated as borders or coast. In Jabez's time, the more land you had, the more provisions, security, and influence you enjoyed. I believe that Jabez desired to enlarge his territory because as an honorable man he wanted more opportunity to make a mark for the God of Israel.
Like Jabez, we have territory-many spheres of influence that overflow with unlimited opportunities. This territory includes all those whose lives we touch, whether in family, church, business, school, or community. In the same way that God blesses us for a purpose, He is ready to expand our territory for a purpose-so we will have more influence for Him.
Spheres of Influence:
When we're ready to enlarge our territory for God, He helps us move outward through the spheres of influence we already have:
Start with family and friends;
Move out to neighborhood and community;
Jump to new places, people, and cultures;
Ask for planet earth. WOW!
The M Word:
My favorite word for enlarging my territory is ministry. Ministry describes what happens when God uses you to help or influence others for Him. You could say that the Jabez Real Estate Law for Christians is: My territory-My spheres of influence-My potential Ministry.
How could a person who is already feeling busy or overwhelmed enlarge his or her life for God?
Does pursuing more influence or significance always mean doing more?
When was the last time you asked God for more ministries?
Look around: what is the territory that would be the most challenging to take for the Lord?
How does knowing that Jesus commands you to take territory change the way you think about his part of the Jabez prayer?
When have you felt most sure that you were keeping an appointment with someone for God?
What did God do through you?
What could you learn from it?
A Gentile soldier named Cornelius wants to know more about God. With the help of an angel and a very alarming dream, God brought Cornelius and Peter together. The results: A family came to faith in Christ, a believer expanded his boundaries (and his understanding of God's love), and the church broke through an ancient boundary line of prejudice.
If you have the book "The Prayer of Jabez Bible Study," please read with me pages 30-33; thanks. I wish I had more time to posted everything, but my job want allow me too, sorry. I thank God for my job!
"Oh, that You would enlarge my territory!"
"Expect great things from God; attempt great things from God." (by William Carey)
One Jump. . . "Don't be afraid to take a big step. You can't cross a chasm in two small jumps." (By David Lloyd George)
Ending Scripture: (Isaiah 6:8)
"Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me."
My new start in a large life:
To close this week study on expanding our territory, pray the following prayer aloud, and then pray it every day in the coming week.
Dear Lord, thank You for making me in Your image and for preparing me for a wonderful and important destiny. Forgive me for withdrawing into my own meager and limiting dreams. When I do this, I deny You the freedom to use me as Your mouth, hands, and heart. I want to fulfill Your world-sized dream for me every day of my life. And in eternity, I want to run into Your arms hearing the words, "Well done!" Please expand my influence and impact for You beyond all I can imagine. I am Your devoted servant. Her I am, Lord, please send me! Amen.
Am I "Bounding Buster"?
What does territory mean, and where is mine?
What does the Bible say about taking territory for God?
How would God work through me to reach others?
What would my life look like if God enlarged my borders?
What keeps me from reaching for more territory?