In the middle of what seems to be a boring list of names making up an ancient genealogy we find an amazing story in just a few verses:
9 Jabez was more honorable than his brothers; and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” 10 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. (1 Chronicles 4:9-10 [ESV])
What many refer as the prayer of Jabez. Books have been written about these two verses. But thinking of these words in a spiritual context who wouldn’t want their spiritual borders expanded? I remember reading a devotional about this passage when our family was living and serving in Chicago. I started to pray this prayer not wanting a larger home or more money, but a broader base of ministry and influence for God’s Kingdom work. And shortly afterwards we received a call to minister in Indianapolis, IN. He gave us a broader platform and opportunity for ministry. God was answering prayer.
In reading this today, I am challenged to make this a prayer again for us Baldwin’s. Not for more money or fame, but for being more useful and effective in God’s Kingdom work. Will you join me? Let’s see how God grants our prayers.