Day 115 1 Chronicles 3-5 

  Around 8 years ago a friend of mine Heather loaned me a book called the Prayer of Jabez.. it wasn’t all that long, and I only really remember it because they made a really big deal out of what would have otherwise been a rather insignificant verse in the bible.  However while I was reading though the mind numbing genealogy of today’s passages BAM I noticed this curious little story really sticks out!  Hey didn’t I read a book about this once? 

 1 Chronicles 4:9-10:  Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” 10 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.

    I don’t remember much about the book, sorry Bruce Wilkinson.. but I thought it’d be fun to take a crack at the prayer on my own:

Enlarge my territory.. Does he mean in the literal sense?  I’m rather apt to believe that given the context of the verses nestled in amongst list of Israeli tribes and their conquest over neighboring Peoples.. but I’m open to it having a deeper meaning, like increase my ability to reach more people and be able to influence them.  So in this age of Social media if we asked God to “enlarge my territory”  it could have explosive implications.. for instance my little blog here gets an average of 100 hits a day, mostly from folks I don’t know.  My Facebook friends have long since stopped reading my daily barrage of bible blog postings… but the search engines have picked them up, and some folks actually stop to read and comment!  It’s small numbers compared to others but hey.. to date I’ve had 4500 views, that 4500 opportunities to share my love of God’s word I would have never had if I was not doing this blog.  If things continue at the pace they are by the time I finish reading the bible I could have potentially 10,000 visitors to my blog.. SO now I ask you, if I prayed, God enlarge my territory… what kind of implications would THAT have.

   “Let your hand be with me and keep me from harm so that I WILL be free from pain…”  I would be lying if I didn’t say there are many times I feel this way.  I call out to God a lot these days and ask for His wing, or His hand, or His shelter.  In my pockets of emotional “rest” in this year of a lot of yuck I give God the credit for my happy times and give Him my praise for they are much-needed and appreciated.  I do wish I can be kept from harm.. another rather sobering way to ask this is ” if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.”  WELL we know the answer to THAT specific  question was a big “sorry but no.”  But there is relief in the asking… I have asked this of God as of late, so what do I do when the answer was no,  when my life is not free of pain?  Jabez got what he asked for.. My Savior praying on a hillside minutes before his betrayal did not, and I am ever so thankful.  I HAVE to believe there is a reason when the answer to my prayers is no.  The rest of Jesus’s prayer was : ” nevertheless, not what I will [not what I desire], but as You will and desire.”  WOWZA, step aside Jabez, you may be a man bold in prayer but Jesus is a man bold in actions.