Monday, February 8, 2010

The Prayer of Jabez- Keep Me from Harm

"...and that Thou would keep me from harm (evil)..." 1 Chronicles 4:10


Every day, just by putting on the news, we are hit with the tragedies around us. And yet, God has the ability to "protect us from danger, accidents and evil men" as my mother used to pray every time she got into her car to go out.

Now before I go on, please understand that I am not saying that by praying this phrase you are putting some kind of spell or magic bubble around you. We live in an evil world, but we serve a mighty and powerful God who can protect us.


As a little girl, I will never forget the time that my sister (2) and I (7) were sitting in the living room watching Sesame Street when my mother came running into the house to get us. She had been outside, and saw many of our neighbors looking up into the sky. She went over to them and asked what they were looking at. "There is a tornado up there, and it looks like it is coming this way," one of them said. (Why they were just standing there, I will never understand.)

That is when my mother came running into the house, grabbed my sister and me, and took us next door to my Little Grandma's house (Addie's namesake). Two of my aunts, who are prayer warriors, were visiting with my Grandma. The four women began praying for God's protection upon us as we were in the possible path of this tornado. After a few minutes, mom checked out the window and saw that the neighbors were still outside. She went out to see what was going on. "It is amazing!" one of them said. "It looks like the tornado is now moving away from us!" God's hand kept us from harm that day.


Bruce Wilkerson, author of The Prayer of Jabez book and series, tells of a time when, after a particularly draining weekend of speaking engagements, either he or another pastor got on a plane to come home. His seat was in the center of the row and the men on either side of him were reading magazines or books of a vile nature. He closed his eyes and prayed that God would keep him from evil. Without explanation, both passengers closed their books almost simultaneously and did not reopen them for the remainder of the flight. God had kept him from evil.

Sometimes God's method of keeping us from harm or evil is to take us Home. Although that is not what those of us who are left here want, it can be best for the one taken. Although when a loved one goes in for surgery, we pray for God to be the surgeons and to bring the loved one through. In His sovereignty, God can answer with a yes or no, but either way He is still keeping harm or evil from us. Two years ago tomorrow the answer we received after Mom's triple bypass surgery was a "No, I know what is best even though you do not understand it."

I have learned that regardless of what the final outcome is, I need to ask the Lord to keep me/us from harm/evil. He will answer in the way that He sees best. I can ask, believing that He will answer the way I am hoping, but knowing that His answer is what is best. That involves trust on my part, and for someone that prefers to be in control it is not always easy, but I am learning day by day to surrender my control to Him.

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