Prayer of Jabez – There seems to be some sort of religious thing telling us praying for God’s blessings upon us individually is an immature prayer. Really? Jabez said, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed! Jabez was saying, I want you to bless me and I want you to bless me a lot. Bless me good and while you are at it bless me really good! Bless me greatly! The Bible says, And God granted him that which he requested.

The Prayer of Jabez

By Pastor Delbert Young


The Prayer of Jabez

Scriptures: 1 Chronicles 4:9-10, Matthew 21:22, John 16:24, James 4:3, 1 John 3:22, Joshua 4:24, Matthew 6:13

1 Chronicles 4:9 And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow.

1 Chronicles 4:10 And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.

It was not my intention to preach this today. However, first at my wife’s persistence and then at some church situations, I decided we needed to look at the Prayer of Jabez.

The previous passage is called the prayer of Jabez. The teaching surrounding it is becoming popular. The teaching was begun by a man named Bruce Wilkinson who is the founder of Walk Thru the Bible Ministries. I had the opportunity to go through one of his teachings years ago. Perhaps you remember how I had us remember the book of Revelation by hand and body motions. It was from Bruce Wilkinson I learned to do this.

At any rate, the prayer of Jabez is a prayer for personal blessing. Here is what Bruce Wilkinson says in the preface to his book on The Prayer of Jabez.

“Dear Reader,

I want to teach you how to pray a daring prayer that God always answers. It is a brief-only one sentence with four parts-and tucked away in the Bible, but I believe it contains the key to a life of extraordinary favor with God.

The petition has radically changed what I expect from God and what I experience every day by His power. In fact, thousands of believers who are applying its truths are seeing miracles happen on a regular basis.

Will you join me for a personal exploration of Jabez?

I hope you will!”

For the next few minutes, I want to open to us some thoughts and challenge us to explore the request of Jabez. I want to divide it into four sections. I believe at least one of these four sections will speak to every person here. First, let’s set up the context.


The book of 1 Chronicles chapter four is giving the chronology of Judah and Caleb and Hur and then suddenly interrupts itself with a man named Jabez. Jabez was not a monster Bible character like Moses or David. It’s not clear who his dad was or from where Jabez came. He’s just suddenly there. The prayer seems nearly hidden and unless a person just enjoys reading chronology, we would probably never find the prayer. One would think the writer of 1 Chronicles felt Jabez was known well enough his readers would know his identity and heritage. We read about the ancestry of Coz and Anub and Zobebah and Aharhel. Then suddenly we find Jabez.

1 Chronicles 4:9 And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow.

Jabez was born in some sort of sorrow. It’s what his name means in the Hebrew language. It would not be wise to speculate about the specific sorrow. The sorrow could have been anything. The point we do note is Jabez was honorable. He was an honorable man. Let’s make this practical. He paid his bills on time. He worked. He loved his wife and family. He worshiped God. He was a good man. He was an honorable man.

I am looking at honorable people who are experiencing some sorrowful times. Though you are not named Jabez, some of us are experiencing a Jabez moment. We need a Jabez prayer. We have people in our church who need employment. We have people in our body who are sick in their bodies. We have people in our church experiencing a family crisis. We have people in our body going through strange legalities. All sorts of sorrowful times are among us. If God answered the requests of Jabez then he will answer our request. The only requirement is we be honorable. The results of the prayer of Jabez are God granted his requests.

1. “Bless me”

1 Chronicles 4:10 And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed…

The first part of the prayer of Jabez was asking God to bless him. Many Christians have a problem with asking for a personal blessing. We sometimes struggle asking even though the word of God is overwhelming in its instruction we ‘ask’ for what we need.

Matthew 21:22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

John 16:24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

James 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

Just a thought on this one. How is it we are so encouraged to ask, but it seems James said we ask amiss if we ask for certain things? Doesn’t the Lord want us to have nice things? The answer is in wanting something we will not share for the sake of the kingdom. The Lord desires we have the best. He also desires we share it in the kingdom.

1 John 3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

Judy and I were talking about this aspect of the prayer of Jabez. I told her I ask God to bless us every day. Every day at our mealtime, a part of my prayer is God blesses us. I pray God will bless Judy and myself. I pray for blessings upon our children and son-in-law. I pray for blessings upon our grandchildren. I pray God will bless Life Gate Church. I do this every day. She said most people do not pray for personal blessings. They pray for people and their children, etc., but not for personal blessings. She said I needed to teach this.

There seems to be some sort of a religious thing telling us praying for God’s blessings upon us individually is an immature prayer. If this were true then why does Jesus instruct us to pray asking? If we are not blessed then how can we bless others?

Jabez said, “Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed!” Jabez said, “I want you to bless me and I want you to bless me a lot.” Jabez said, “Bless me good and while you are at it bless me really good!’ ‘Bless me greatly!” I need to remind us how this passage ends. It says, “And God granted him that which he requested.” If asking God to bless us is wrong then someone needs to tell God.

Another important thought on this aspect is Jabez did not tell God how to bless him. Jabez knew God would know the best way to bless. The important part of a Jabez prayer is we totally trust God to give us exactly what God wants us to have. The fact is God can best decide the blessing.

2. Enlarge my coast

…and enlarge my coast…

This was the part of the prayer I most enjoyed. Other versions say it differently. The NIV says, “enlarge my territory!” The New Revised Standard says, “enlarge my border.” Jabez asked God to enlarge his life.

The Living Bible is interesting. It says, “Oh, that you would wonderfully bless me and help me in my work.”

This is the place we ask God to enlarge our lives to have a greater impact for him. I love this. I am asking God to enlarge my effect and to enlarge what I can do for his kingdom. I want more opportunities to preach the gospel of the kingdom of God. When the territory enlarges, the resources increase. The blessing will increase. Make my job better. Enlarge and bless my work!

Surely, there is more to life than getting out of bed and going to work and making money so we can buy a few trinkets and then going back to bed and beginning the process all over again. Surely, I was born for more than this. The prayer is saying, “Lord, enlarge everything you have placed under my care.” What is under our care? If you work then our job can increase. If we own a business then our business can increase. If you are a mom then your children can increase. Perhaps your grandchildren are under your care and they can increase. Whatever God has entrusted to you is what we pray to increase. Do you have stocks? Do you have savings?

We have some stock. We don’t have as much as some, but what we have we want to increase. However, this year has been a tough year at the stock market. We went the wrong way on our portfolio. My wife purchased “The Prayer of Jabez” book and immediately read it. The next morning she prayed our coasts would increase. That day the Federal Reserve unexpectedly cut the interest rate by half a percentage point. The DOW went up 399.10 points and the NASDAQ went up 156.22 points. I can’t tell you how much it helped our portfolio. She didn’t ask God to increase our stocks. She just asked him to increase our coasts. It’s just a coincidence, right?

I prayed my first Jabez prayer the next morning. I prayed God would enlarge my coasts. I prayed the Lord would expand my opportunities to minister to people and preach the kingdom. After praying, I walked into my office and I had orders for tape series on the answering machine. People were talking about having seminars I teach. I heard great reports about the effects of the Easter drama upon people. All day I heard things concerning expansion.

I made a few phone calls to people having a Jabez moment. As I spoke with people, I explained the prayer and encouraged people to pray it. After speaking to one person and having him pray it, he called me back within the hour with some very good news. Within one hour, God was increasing his coasts. It was actually at this moment I decided to teach this Sunday.

The point is whatever is within your personal boundaries then ask God to expand it so you can have more. The request is for increase.

3. thine hand

and that thine hand might be with me

Notice a child walking with his parents. The child is holding the parent’s hand. My grandson wants to hold my hand as we walk. This is the picture. The hand of the Lord speaks of his power, his protection, and his presence. There is a security felt. Nothing bad will happen as long as the hand of the Lord is with us.

Exodus 15:6 Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy.

Joshua 4:24 That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever.

Isaiah 59:1 Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:

Jabez wanted the Lord’s hand with him. When we think of the hand of Jesus, we think of his blessing. We think of his power. We think of his love and care. When I think of the Lord’s hand, I think about miracles. I think about the Lord intervention to make something happen that would not normally happen. Every time the Lord touched something, it seems a miracle took place. Lepers were healed. Fevers left bodies. Blind eyes opened. Lame people got up and walked. Demons came out of people. Dead people came back to life.

When the hand of the Lord is with us, miracles should happen around us. The supernatural should become the natural. I am praying now the hand of the Lord be with me. I want miracles. How many could use a miracle today?

4. keep me from evil

and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me!

The NIV Bible says, “keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” The NRS says, “that you would keep me from hurt and harm!” The Hebrew word translated grieve means “to worry, pain or anger.”

I note a couple of truths here. It’s interesting Jabez doesn’t talk about evil and its effects on his relationship with God. Jabez didn’t want to be around evil because he recognized its effects on him. Evil did not only grieve God. It grieved Jabez. Evil made Jabez sick. It caused Jabez to worry. So much illness is caused from worry and grief.

Being around evil affects us even if we do not do evil. Being around the wrong people does have an adverse effect upon us. Jabez said, “Keep me from evil.” Of course, if we get around it, we are more likely to fall into its grasp.

When we pray a Jabez prayer, we pray the Lord will keep us away from things causing us to grieve. “Lord keep me from evil. I recognize this has a grievous effect on me.”

Every person has a temptation. Without a temptation, we would never sin. The prayer is asking God to keep us from it. Jesus said,

Matthew 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil

Isn’t it interesting we are never encouraged to go looking for the devil? We deal with the devil and demons when they show up, but even Jesus never went looking for evil.

Being on the cutting edge is great, but it becomes most necessary to watch our step on the cutting edge. One slip and we become the one cut.

One last thought on this point. When we do evil, we will cause pain for others as well as cause pain for ourselves. If I will be kept from evil then I will be less likely to cause pain for others.

And God granted him that which he requested.

Verse nine of 1 Chronicles chapter four said, “Jabez was more honorable than his brethren.” What made him honorable? All we are told about him is he asked God to bless him indeed, enlarge his boundaries, keep his hand with Jabez, and keep Jabez from evil. Obviously most people do not do this. Because Jabez did, “God granted him that which he requested.”

I want to challenge us for one month. I want you to:

1. Pray this prayer everyday beginning today and keep a record you did it by marking off the calendar I have given you.

2. Place the prayer I have written out for you in a prominent place – on your Bible, in your Bible, on your refrigerator, mirrors, whatever to remind you to pray.

3. Tell one other person you are attempting to do this and tell them to check up on you to make sure you are doing it.

4. Keep a record of changes in your life, divine appointment, miracles, etc. I want to have some great examples the next time I preach this.

5. Begin praying this prayer for your family, friends, and for this church.

The Prayer of Jabez I Chronicles 4:10

And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.

Other Related Sermons:

Prayer – sermon video audio

Prayer, Friend At Midnight pt 3 – sermon video audio notes

National Leaders Bring A Nation’s Judgment – sermon video audio notes

Also see:

Sermons Change The World

Life Gate Church sermons by Delbert Young

1.  The Prayer of Jabez, Bruce Wilkinson, Preface

2.  Strong’s Concordance, #3258

3.  Strong’s Concordance, #6087