When it comes to prayer, many of us want a formula, an equation, like: X + Y = Z, or 1 + 2 = 3. We want to package prayer into a nice, neat box so we can easily understand it. But we don’t always get to know exactly how prayer works. And because of that, we sometimes struggle with what to pray. Jabez asked for God’s blessing. What would it look like in your life if you asked for God’s blessing and He granted your request?
9Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” 10Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request. 1 Chronicles 4:9-10
What do you usually pray (praise/adoration, thanksgiving, requests, confession)?
Read 1 Chronicles 4:9-10. Aaron shared in his sermon that the biblical definition of “bless” has a number of different meanings, but none of them correlate with our worldly idea of prosperity. Do you agree with this? Why or why not?
If blessing does not mean worldly prosperity, what do you think it means?
Read Ephesians 1:3-14 and list “every spiritual blessing” we have in Christ:
Another definition of “bless” is favor. The Bible notes that Noah (Genesis 6:8-9), Joseph (Genesis 39:21), Samuel (1 Samuel 2:26), David (Acts 7:45-46), Mary (Luke 1:28), and Jesus (Luke 2:52) experienced the favor of God. gotquestions.org states that “the best definition of the word favor is ‘demonstrated delight’.” How have you experienced God’s favor in your life?
Jabez prayed “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my territory.” Jabez wanted more influence; responsibility, significance, and even more opportunity to make the power and presence of his God known. His request was simple: he wanted to know God better so that he could better make God known. Is your greatest desire to know the favor of God – his supernatural power and presence manifest in your life? Are you willing to pray Jabez’s bold prayer to know God more?
Continue to participate in the 21 Days of Prayer. Visit www.fellowshipcleveland.com/prayer to view the daily prayer calendar and see other resources. Text 21PRAY to 797979 to receive a text reminder each day.
FOR FURTHER STUDY
Read Daniel 10:1-15. This is a difficult prophetic passage to understand. We will not get into the heart of the prophecy, but will look at the prayer surrounding it. On Sunday, Aaron touched on the fact that we are doing 21 Days of Prayer based on this passage. What most stands out to you in these verses?
As the vision came to Daniel, what was he in the midst of doing (verse 2)?
Who do you think was the “man dressed in linen”? (A similar description is found in Revelation 1:13-18.)
Note that the answer to Daniel’s prayer was sent immediately, but it was delayed in reaching Daniel. Why?
Who do you think was the “prince of Persia”?
What does this passage teach you about spiritual warfare and your role in it?
Read Ephesians 6:10-18. This is perhaps one of the best-known passages on spiritual warfare. Write out what each piece of armor represents, and spend time every day this week praying through and “putting on” each piece as you begin the day.
- Belt of truth
- Breastplate of righteousness
- Shoes/gospel of peace
- Shield of faith
- Helmet of salvation
- Sword of the Spirit