Monday, January 18, 2010

The Prayer of Jabez- Bless Me Indeed

"...Oh, that You would bless me indeed..." 2 Chronicles 4:10

Last week we began looking at the prayer of Jabez. Today I want to focus on the phrase of blessing.

First, we need to recognize where our blessings come from. In this prayer, Jabez is asking God to bless him. So many times today, you here people say that they were able to accomplish something because they believed in themselves. However, every good and perfect gift comes from the Father of Light. When we recognize Who our blessings are coming from, we will forget the "box" we tend to put God in. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. His blessings are not dictated by our earthly economy.

But Jabez did not just ask God to bless him. He wanted to be blessed indeed. According to dictionary.com, indeed means in fact; in reality; in truth; truly (used for emphasis, to confirm and amplify a previous statement, to indicate a concession or admission, or, interrogatively, to obtain confirmation) So, Jabez is asking to be blessed in reality. He is confirming and amplifying his previous statement. He is asking to be blessed without a question mark at the end of his request (maybe God will answer, maybe He won't). He is believing that he will receive the blessing he is asking for.

So many times we ask for God's blessing. But do we really know or grasp what we are asking for? Are we just throwing a blanket statement out there in hopes to cover all of our bases? Are we afraid to ask for specific blessings, so we generalize our request? Unfortunately, we live in a culture and time, where faith has taken a backseat to our thinking that we have the ability to fix our own problems and situations. However, I believe that I can come boldly to the throne of grace and make my requests and supplications, and that God can and will answer them. Will He always answer with a "Yes"? No. Addie sometimes asks for things, but for her own good, I answer with a no. But she still asks because she feels the freedom to ask and she knows that I love her. I can still ask knowing that God knows what is best for me. I also believe that if I ask my requests according to His Word and will, He will answer my requests to give me what is best for me.

So, how do I pray this line of the verse? I do not pray each of these things every day (although I try to), but here is a list of things that I have brought to the Lord under this phrase of the verse.

For Brian I ask that You bless him with:
  • spiritual growth
  • health
  • strength to continue working
  • bless his company with an over abundance of work so that they will be overwhelmed and not know how to handle the work load (has actually happened)
  • long life

For Addie, bless her with:

  • salvation at an early age
  • health
  • an obedient spirit
  • an incredible mind
  • a teachable spirit
  • the ability to eat regular foods (still praying for)
  • having all of her needs met

For me, bless me with:

  • spiritual growth
  • the words that you want me to use
  • health
  • ideas and creativity
  • bless the work of my hands
  • the desire to do the jobs that are not my favorite to do
  • the courage to step out into the unknown to see what Your will for me is

Bless our:

  • marriage
  • home
  • family
  • communication skills
  • finances

I have seen God work in so many ways, sometimes before I even have a chance to ask. And my specific requests have remained a secret between me and God. At the start of the cool season, I had thought about going to the store to pick up a couple of warmer items for Addie. That same day when the mail came, there was a package from GrandTiti containing a cool weather outfit. I wanted to get Addie a pair of converse sneakers. When we went to visit GrandTiti and family, my cousin Belinda gave us a pair of hot pink converse sneakers. Right now, Addie is in a size 5 shoe. My friend (you know who you are) wrote to me a few days ago because her daughter had grown out of her size 6 shoes before getting much use out of them. That is one less thing we will need to get for her. As I dressed Addie the other day, I realized that the only thing that she was wearing that was actually purchased by us were her socks! Everything else from her bows to her shoes, her outfit to her diapers had been given to us. As for toys and educational tools, my dear friend Cathy and her daughter Kenberly (Ken-Ken to Addie) have blessed us with so many items. God does bless. I have evidence in my home of His blessings.

So what are you going to ask God to bless for you this week?

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