by Jeff Strite

This content is part of a series.

God Helps Those (3 of 4)
Series: The Prayer of Jabez
Jeff Strite
1 Chronicles 4:9-10

OPEN: During the 1st Persian Gulf War, one of our soldiers (who was assigned to Saudi Arabia) told of how his three-year-old son, Christopher, reacted to his leaving. The boy grabbed hold of his leg and pleaded with him not to leave. ''No, Daddy, please don't go!'' he kept repeating.
It was beginning to make a scene with all the other soldiers around them, when his wife, desperate to calm him, said, ''Let Daddy go and I'll take you to get a pizza.''
Immediately, Christopher loosened his death grip, stepped back and in a calm voice said, ''Bye, Daddy.''

APPLY: Speaking as a parent of a couple of young children, I can tell you there is nothing quite like the feeling you get when your child wants to sit in your lap, have a hug, or hold your hand. It makes feels so good when they do that. I don't know why it does, it just does.
And I believe that when Jabez cried out in prayer: ''Oh that your hand would be with me,'' that this was the one part of his prayer that particularly touched God's heart. And part of the reason this would have appealed to God would have been that many people wouldn't have asked that. Many people don't want God's hand upon them. They don't want God's hand in their lives. Something else has gotten their attention, or perhaps they just want to run their lives their own way.

I. That may explain why one of the most popular ''religious'' phrases of our nation today is:
''God helps those who… help themselves.'' Did you realize that in a nationwide poll conducted by Barna Research Institute in 1996, 82% of Americans said they believed that the phrase ''God helps those who help themselves'' is a direct quote from the Bible. It's not.
Actually, the saying comes from Aesop's Fables. The story goes like this: ''A Wagoner was driving a heavy load along a very muddy way. He came to a part of the road where the wheels sank half-way into the mire, and the mor ...

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