Pray Like Jabez, Part 2: Bodacious Blessing

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November 14, Pray Like Jabez: Bodacious Blessing

1 Chronicles 4:9–10 (NKJV)
9 Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” 
10 And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested.
Quick review: Living Up To Faith, Not Down To Stigma. Origins of today’s pain and suffering need not determine or define tomorrow. Jabez’ mother, she who labeled him as “Son of Pain” was reacting to a moment of misery. She pinned him down as a baby and as a youth with an identifier that embedded itself, like an unsightly thorn, in the formative years of Jabez life. Most likely, his naming was an innocent reaction meant to be a reminder that she suffered, that his entrance to the world was marked by misery. Thankfully, Jabez teaches us that it’s possible to be more focused on God than our limitations!

Jabez began by asking for God’s blessing!

Bodacious: Excellent, fabulous, great.
Reminder from Pastor’s kickoff of the Blessed book in the last series: The definition of blessing“Anything that makes me more like Jesus!”
We must always bear in mind, that God‘s original covenant with Abraham, which is our spiritual inheritance, included Blessing. And that blessing was never to be an end in itself, but rather it was a gateway… God told Abraham that he would be blessed to be a blessing!
Proverbs 10:22 (NKJV)
22 The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow with it.
Let's clear up some non-Biblical, secularized notions of BLESSING...
Amazingly enough, all one needs to do is turn to the world's foremost authority on English words and their origins... The Oxford English Dictionary:
Etymology of BLESS:
Old English blóedsian, blédsian, blétsian: not found elsewhere in Germanic, but formed on the Germanic type *blôdisôjan, < *blôdo-m (Old English blód) blood.
The etymological meaning was thus ‘to mark (or affect in some way) with blood (or sacrifice); to consecrate’.
English conversion rendered the Latin benedīcere, which started from a primitive sense of ‘speak well of or to, eulogize, praise,’ but was influenced by being chosen to translate a Hebrew word (brk), primarily ‘to bend,’ hence ‘to bend the knee, worship, praise, bless God, invoke blessings on, bless as a deity.’ Hence, a long and varied series of associations, heathen, Jewish, and Christian, blend in the English uses of bless and blessing.

Here’s pastor’s working definition of Blessing:

Anything that makes us more like Jesus. Anything that closes the gap between the fall, and the Church's rise in the rapture. Anything that encourages a closer relationship with Jesus… Anything that makes us more like we were before sin in the garden of Eden… THAT is a BLESSING! To be like Jesus!

When are you blessed the most?


When are you blessing others the most?



Breaking down Jabez’ prayer for Bodacious Blessing:

First, the prayer is not impersonal, but personal.

Jabez didn’t ask, “Please bless the world,” but rather, “Please bless me.” And unapologetically so. Praying for the world is good, but so is praying for yourself. We have examples from countless Bible characters, yielding to their limitations, like David in the Psalms, and Jacob when he wrestled with the angel:
Genesis 32:26 (NKJV)
26 And He said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks.” But he said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!”

Second, the prayer is not specific, but general.

God’s blessing is, by definition, directed and determined by God, not by man. If you limit your expectations and request to one specific way you want God to bless you, you may be praying a valid prayer, but you’re no longer praying with the open heart of Jabez. Ultimately, there’s only One who knows the most appropriate and fulfilling blessing for you, and that’s God. Trust Him.

Third, the prayer does not ask for meager provision, but for abundant blessing.

Do you think your heavenly Father is stingy? When we ask for great blessing, He will choose wisely how and when to answer, but He is not put off by enthusiastic prayer. In fact, if our great passion is an expression of great honesty and fervor, then God welcomes it.

Fourth, the prayer doesn’t limit the request to a specific time, like “today,” but allows God to bless whenever, wherever, and however He prefers.

Too often, we are tempted to put a time limit on the Lord. True, many of the prayers of the Bible specify a time limit—for example, Jehoshaphat prays for the people of Israel when the massive Syrian armies are preparing to attack the next morning—but Jabez’s prayer does not. If you ask, “Please, Lord, bless me by next Friday,” you are no longer praying the prayer of Jabez.

Pray, Expect, then BE

How many are trying to minister blessing without first understanding and appropriating blessing to themselves? Be blessed to be a blessing. This, then, is God’s way. Nothing else will ever work, even if it appears to be doing so.
“. . . Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind” (Matt.15:13-14a).
The Old Testament is not limited to describing the development of the Jewish people. That little phrase "blessed to be a blessing” rises up to an importance of mammoth proportions. The goal, the purpose, and the aim of Israel’s calling is that “in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.”
Now, together, let’s pray: “Lord, bless me, indeed!”
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