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"Bless Me." Really?

I want to revisit an old friend. His name is Jabez. About 10 years ago we did a series studying his small part in Scripture and yet what a powerful prayer he prayed. His story is only 2 verses in all of Scripture but I believe it has some of the most powerful prayer principles in the entire Bible!

I Chronicles 4:9-10 records......"9Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” 10 Jabez 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."

There are 4 things I would like to note in his prayer that can be very powerful if we grasp them. First let me say that Jabez has gotten some bad press by some since others have used this prayer to preach a "prosperity gospel" of wealth. I do not believe for a moment this prayer was a selfish "wealth" request to God. But I do see some powerful lessons for us.

Number One- Jabez prayed to God to bless him....... In verse 9 it records that he was born in adversity and was named for ‘pain.’ But he was willing to be bold enough to cry out to God! I see a humble person but a bold person willing to submit himself to God and to cry out to Him knowing his only hope was from God Himself.

At Oasis Church my prayer is always, ‘please, bless us.’ I believe God wants that too! However, I also believe he wants us to cry out to Him and to humble ourselves to pray for His blessings; no, not for selfish reasons but in order to bring glory to His name. To see His work extended through us as His servants. I believe this was the heart of Jabez. I believe this should be the humble, yet bold prayer of every believer, every day.

The Second thing he did was to ask God to......... "Enlarge my territory". When was the last time you humbly, yet boldly cried out to God to "enlarge your territory”? Your reach, your influence, your testimony, saltiness and light as one that God will draw others to Himself through you? Maybe it’s your business, ministry or relationships? Enlarging your territory is not always just land mass! But Jabez boldly prayed this.

At Oasis as you are aware we are praying that God would enlarge our territory. Through our Mission and 20/20 Vision into Hollywood/Beaches for a new campus in the future, into Detroit to see new churches started and Church planters supported in order to see the revival of a great city that is not only financially bankrupt but morally and spiritually as well. What a great time to be a Lead Partner of what God is doing in one of the key cities in all of North America. We are praying God would enlarge our territory to bless and love pastors and their families who need rest, renewal and restoration through a Pastoral Retreat Center here in South Florida.

These are bold prayers but I believe with God they are possible and I know that God’s heart is for the Cities and for Pastors. That is why in February we are challenging our church family to pray boldly and to commit to Pastors and Cities as we share our Vision through our "Love Cities, Love Pastors" campaign. Please pray as Jabez did that God would "Enlarge our Territory".

I’ll share the 3rd and 4th part of his prayer in next week's letter.

Guy Melton
Senior Pastor
Oasis Church


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