Jabez was honored more than his brothers; and his mother named him Jabez, saying, "Because I bore him in pain." Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, "Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, that you would keep me from hurt and harm!" And God granted what he asked. I Chronicles 4: 9-10 NRSV
Sometimes we must be aware of what we are truly asking of God in our prayers.
Many of us remember the popular "Prayer of Jabez" movement from a few years ago. Everyone was praying Jabez's prayer on a daily basis: enlarge my territory, bless me, protect me. I know of one woman who lost her job right after beginning to pray this prayer. She told me, " I asked God to enlarge my territory but I guess I didn't know what that meant -- I didn't mean for God to enlarge the territory of where I was to work!" She did find a (much better) job after searching for some time.
She prayed; God answered. She just didn't fully comprehend what she was asking.
When I worked in the secular world, one of my co-workers said that she never asked God for patience. "I have been told if I pray for patience, then I'm gonna need it" she explained. She realized how powerful prayers could be. I always wanted to say that I'd rather pray for patience when I'm going to need it rather than be without it.
Our prayers are powerful. God listens and God answers prayer. However, God is not a genie from a bottle. When God answers prayer, God often answers in ways we are not expecting.
What are you praying for?
God, today I ask for: ___________________________________________. I praise you and give you the glory and honor. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Copyright 2010 Amelia G. Sims