Prayer of Jabez: Scripture Reference and 5 Lessons To Learn From It

by Derek Hill on May 3, 2013 · Print Print · Email Email

The Prayer of Jabez is found in 1 Chronicles 4:10. This passage of scripture is very easy to miss while reading.  It is tucked away in a huge section about the lineage of David.  What is this prayer all about?  As always, let us look into the Word of God for answers.  Note: all scriptures not referenced are all from the verse in 1 Chronicles 4:10.

The Prayer of Jabez

The prayer of Jabez found in 1 Chronicles 4:10 reads as follows, “Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, ‘Oh that You would bless me and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm so that  it might not bring me pain!’  And God granted what he asked.”  Now let us break down this verse into pieces and see what we can learn from it.

The Irony of it All

Right before his prayer, there is almost a side note in the preceding verse that should be noted.  1 Chronicles 4:9 reads, “Jabez was more honorable than his brothers; and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, ‘Because I bore him in pain.’”  I have no doubt that Jabez had a strong faith in God to pray a prayer that would counter the meaning of his name.  Jabez asked God, “’Keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!’”  He knew that his name was drenched in the word ‘pain’ and he wanted nothing to do with it.  God saw his faithfulness and humility by his actions, which is why I believe God granted his prayer.  This doesn’t mean that everyone who prays like this will earn God’s favor in their prayer though.  God is just and He answers however He pleases.  That is why He is sovereign over all things.  He is in control of all things.

Jabez Called on God

Jabez understood the importance of prayer. “Jabez called upon the God of Israel.” Any self-proclaimed Christian can believe in God and completely miss a major point of the faith, in prayer.  Not only did Jabez understand how to pray, but he prayed this prayer out loud.  He called on God.  I don’t recall a single passage of scripture where someone called on God silently.  Jabez was not afraid to show his faith out loud.  This is a great testimony.  How often do you pray out loud in a secular setting?

Jabez Understood God’s Favor

May we all strive to pray like Jabez did! 

May we all strive to pray like Jabez did!

Jabez was a descendant of David.  He knew the story of “the man after God’s own heart.”  He knew the story of David defeating Goliath, showing strength from God in the midst of trials.  He knew the bond David had with Jonathon, showing true love for our brothers and sisters.  Knowing the back stories to one of the greatest men to live on earth, Jabez understood what God’s favor was all about. “Oh that You would bless me and enlarge my border.”   He knew how God had blessed David, no doubt.  He knew how amazing the power of God is by how David conducted his own life.  So, with that in mind and a sincere heart, Jabez asked God for more provisions.

Jabez and God’s Own Hand

“And that Your hand might be with me.”  Jabez also knew other amazing things about David, including all of the war stories and Psalms that he wrote.  David constantly was calling on God for protection, provision, and strength.  Jabez must have known the Psalms that David had written, along with the others that David did not write.  Here are some that would have possibly prompted him to ask for God’s hand.

“The Lord is my strength and my shield.” (Psalm 28:7a)

“Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!” (Psalm 38:22)

“You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God!” (Psalm 40:17b)

“A thousand may fall at Your side, ten thousand at Your right hand, but it will not come near You.  You will only look with Your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked.” (Psalm 91:7-8)

Jabez knew that God is powerful enough to look on His enemy to bring destruction, such as the plagues in Egypt when Pharaoh refused to let Israel go free.  God doesn’t even have to move.  He can think things into motion.  Jabez was confident in the power of God, so calling on God to keep His hand on him was his way of showing his reliance on God.

God Gives Blessings

“And God granted what he asked.”  God loves us and wants to bless us.  One of my favorite verses is Zephaniah 3:17 which says, “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty One who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing.” Doesn’t this bring overwhelming joy to your soul?  God wants to show His love for us by rejoicing over us!  That is AWESOME!  God is always faithful to us.  God granted Jabez’s request, I believe, because Jabez believed in Psalm 37:4, which says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”  Nothing happens outside of the will of God.  Jabez understood this and so he must have prayed in accordance with the will of God.  If you really are “Delighting yourself in the Lord”, you will always be asking for things according to His will.

Conclusion

The prayer of Jabez is one tiny little verse of 1 Chronicles, but it is packed with a valuable testimony of Jabez’s understanding and loyalty to God.  May we all strive to pray like Jabez did!  God bless you as you live a life worthy of the calling!

Take a look at these other prayers:

Prayers from the Bible

Resources –  The Holy Bible, English Standard Version “Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.” YouTube video “Song of Jabez” by Paul Baloche



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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Jack Wellman May 3, 2013 at 10:06 am

Superb again Derek. I believe that there is a bit of Jabez in us all and I can see that we can imitate him in the regards of his humility, which by the way, reminds me much of you my brother for which I thank God for.

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Derek Hill May 3, 2013 at 4:02 pm

Thank you brother! This article was a privilege to write and I learned a whole lot while writing it. It is amazing how much knowledge can come from such a short little prayer. God bless you!

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Jack May 3, 2013 at 2:10 pm

Hey, Derek. I have a question. I’m on holiday in Whitby and my parents and they say I have to go to the amusements with them. In case you don’t know, amusements are where you put coppers in these arcade machines, and if your lucky, you get loads of coppers spilling out onto a tray. Which is gambling in a way. When I’m at the amusements eventually, (caps coming up) WHAT DO I DO??? Thanking you humbly, Jack H

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Derek Hill May 3, 2013 at 4:07 pm

Hello Jack. That is a great question! God expects us to use the money we earn wisely. After all, everything you and I own comes from God, including money. With that being said, we all use money for entertainment and other things that aren’t necessary parts of life. I don’t see a problem playing these a few times. The problem arises when you are addicted to these gambling machines and want to keep trying. Gambling is an addiction and it devastates families with divorces and other problems. So, I would say if you have an “addictive personality” to STAY AWAY from these. If you can play a few times and then quit, I don’t see an issue with it. I hope this helps you. God bless!

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Rebecca July 30, 2013 at 6:33 am

I am, I am so so amaized that really that u think, is Gods will and He will answer u immediately. Man of God i dont know what pushes me to yr website bcos i didnt know about it i only goodled asking questions only to find u Men of God. I thank God for this. You are my angles both of u. This morning when i woke up i was thinking of asking question about gambling. As a child of God i suffered a lot raising kids alone but it was before i recieve Jesus Christ as my Lord and my savior. I went to an extent of falling in love with gambling and i was winnhng even though it was not big money. Now since i recieved my Jesus this spirit is still in me and it hurts me so much bcos i was to give my yearly harvest but i couldn’t, all my money is been swallowed by the machines. I dont know what makes me not to stop when i see my money been swallowed by the evil. Men of God, i dont want to go back there pls pray for me. I am really hurt but i told satan that he will never get my money again. Really i can see that God is with me by letting me open Jezabel prayer. God bless u n yr families. S Africa

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Rebecca July 30, 2013 at 6:36 am

I am, I am so so amaized that really that u think, is Gods will and He will answer u immediately. Man of God i dont know what pushes me to yr website bcos i didnt know about it i only goodled asking questions only to find u Men of God. I thank God for this. You are my angles both of u. This morning when i woke up i was thinking of asking question about gambling. As a child of God i suffered a lot raising kids alone but it was before i recieve Jesus Christ as my Lord and my savior. I went to an extent of falling in love with gambling and i was winnhng even though it was not big money. Now since i recieved my Jesus this spirit is still in me and it hurts me so much bcos i was to give my yearly harvest but i couldn’t, all my money is been swallowed by the machines. I dont know what makes me not to stop when i see my money been swallowed by the evil. Men of God, i dont want to go back there pls pray for me. I am really hurt but i told satan that he will never get my money again. Really i can see that God is with me by letting me open Jabez prayer. God bless u n yr families. S Africa

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Derek Hill July 30, 2013 at 10:37 am

Hello Rebecca. I don’t think that God will answer our prayers immediately. God answers our prayers whenever He sees fit. It is up to us to stay trusting in Him while we wait for His answers. I will definitely pray for you and for your gambling addiction. You are very wise to stop this habit, as you have seen the negative effects already. When temptation comes, run away from it. Prayers are on the way! Bless you!

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DAVID MWANGI May 13, 2013 at 2:28 am

The article about the prayer of jabez has made me almost cry especially zephaniah 3:17.i never knew God rejoices over us with gladness.i recently gave my life to christ and this site has been a major help esp when am in doubt like now.may God bless you

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Derek Hill May 13, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Hello David. I was so excited the first time I read Zephaniah 3:17! Just like you I was taken back at the fact that God rejoices over us with singing! We serve an amazing God and I am glad that you are drawing closer to Him through this site. God bless you!

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Philip July 15, 2013 at 9:01 am

David … i found Zephaniah 3:17 when helping the youth praise band at church learn “Mighty to Save” by Hillsong … check it out … i honestly forgot Zephaniah was a book in the Bible before that song inspired me to go find it … like the Prayer of Jabez, it’s easy to miss

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Derek Hill July 30, 2013 at 10:34 am

Speaking of easy to miss, I totally missed this comment LOL! I love Zephaniah 3:17! It is one of my favorite verses of the Bible. It is amazing to ponder our God singing loudly over us! We have an awesome God!!! Bless you Philip!

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Tapiwa August 15, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Thax a lot bro. Jabez faith is my icon in my prayers this month, lm praying that God gives me this confidance in approching him, thax for such a great analysis

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Derek Hill August 15, 2013 at 8:25 pm

Brother thanks! I’m glad God has given you confidence through this article. May God continue to bless you and guide you!

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Hendrick August 16, 2013 at 3:46 am

Hi,am realy bless i was asking the lord many Question but i have found the answers when i read the article,may God reachley bles u.

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Derek Hill August 16, 2013 at 2:58 pm

Hello Hendrick! Praise the Lord that you found the answers you were looking for! God has perfect timing! God bless you!

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Prem Kumar July 2, 2014 at 6:59 am

Praise the lord brother.
Thank you for your message on prayer. From many years I was waiting for Lords reply for his call on my life. I was a evangelist since 10 years. I am not able to get Govt jobs and asking lord to help me. So many times I question my self and asked god to give reply. While I was reading this scriptures I learned so many things from your Bible study. Thank you and pray for me so that I can get Government job to get financial assistance to the Lord’s work here. God bless you.

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Virginia August 29, 2014 at 6:54 am

Dear derek
I bless God so much for leading me thru your page.it wasn’t until my sister asked me about the chapter n book about jabez that the Holy spirit let me to ur page which has opened my eyes and given me hope to wait upon God in an issue that am going thru if I pray according to His will then He will ans me.God bless u!

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