by Jeff Strite

This content is part of a series.

The Prayer God Answers (2 of 4)
Series: The Prayer of Jabez
Jeff Strite
1 Chronicles 4:9-10

OPEN: Two young boys were spending the night at their grandparents. At bedtime, the two boys knelt beside their beds to say their prayers when the youngest one began praying at the top of his lungs, ''I PRAY FOR A NEW BICYCLE. And I PRAY FOR A NEW NINTENDO PLAY STATION, -and I PRAY FOR A NEW VCR...''
His older brother leaned over, nudged him and said, ''What are you shouting for? God isn't deaf.''
His little brother smiled and said, ''No, God's not deaf… but Gramma is!''

APPLY: I Chronicles 4:9 tells us ''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.''

This is one of the most unique of all the prayers of Scripture. It's prayed by a man who is never mentioned before or again in the Bible. It's short, less than 30 words long. And a lot of people have been offended by its apparent selfishness (me/me/me)
''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.''

It has had such a negative impression on some that the ''Indianapolis Star'' featured an editorial cartoon a month or so ago showing a fat man with his mouth wide open consuming all kinds of material blessings. And across the face of the cartoon was the phrase ''The Prayer Of Jabez.'' There are many people who have rejected this prayer because they believe that it is so selfish.

AND YET, I know this is not a selfish prayer. You might ask: ''Jeff, how do you know this is not a selfish prayer?'' (I may repeat this a couple of times until the audience actually ''asks'' the question). Well, I'm so glad you asked…

I know this is not a selfish prayer… (in part) because God doesn't answer selfish prayers

James, for example, rebukes a church in his day: ''You do not ...

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