Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Jabez appointments

I recently had the pleasure of reading The Prayer of Jabez by Dr. Bruce Wilkinson. I will be the first to admit that I am not overly religious. I give thanks and praise to God, a higher power, but I struggle with the societal need to classify myself as Christian, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, Scientologist, etc. I have studied many different religions and philosophies. I was raised as a devout Catholic and married a Muslim. My years of research and exploration have bought me to one conclusion. At the core of every faith is a central truth. There is a belief in a higher power greater than us that we should give thanks and praise. There is also a set of principles built for the greater good of humanity that guide us to live our lives in humble moderation and free of sin. I believe in doing unto others and living selflessly. I find inspiration through all things and all people. Remember that even Christ walked amongst the wretched and did not judge. I believe that I am not better than anyone else because we are all the same and part of a universal consciousness.

Ok, disclaimers out of the way.

The Prayer of Jabez is a very powerful Christian based book by Dr. Bruce Wilkinson. It is based upon the Old Testament passage 1 Chronicles 4:9-10:
"Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, 'Because I bore him in pain.' 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" (1 Chronicles 4:9-10).
What Dr. Wilkinson found powerful about this passage is that in this chapter of the Bible they were naming many names telling the story of heritage. When they got to the name Jabez, they expanded upon his history with this anecdote. The author sought to understood why Jabez held such significance and the greater meaning in his prayer.
Wilkinson claims that this is". . . a daring prayer that God always answers. . . . it contains the key to a life of extraordinary favor with God,"

I testify to the power of The Prayer of Jabez and have watched the miracles and favor it has bestowed upon my friends after I shared it with them.

There are 5 parts to the prayer that I recommend you enact in your daily prayer life.

1. And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, 'Oh, that You would bless me indeed.
- So often we call on God and pray for other people and things going on around us and many other factors not in our control. I think that unselfish prayer is one of the most powerful gifts we can bestow.
However, if we are talking to our Father, the Creator..why not we beg him to bless us indeed? There is nothing wrong with asking God to bless your specific goals, and grant your innermost wishes especially when He says "Ask and ye shall receive"...we have all heard the saying "You have not, because you ask not" Much like a child appeals to their parents, I believe we must humbly go to God and ask him specifically for what we need and beg that he give it to us. (If it is his will of course) Stop being scared of asking for what you really want..God knows what lies in your heart..He is just waiting on you to give him the power to bring it into your life.

2."and enlarge my territory"
We are all guilty of telling God what we don't have the strength to do and pleading with him to ease our burdens. When is the last time you asked God to give you more?? By praying to God to enlarge your territory, you are asking him to give you more opportunities to do His work. To me, this is the most powerful and most gratifying part of The Prayer of Jabez. I cannot tell you how many "Jabez appointments" have come to me since I begin earnestly praying for this. People from all walks of life, color, creed will come to me and they eventually all say the same things "I do not know why I am telling you this, I have never told anyone else this before, I just don't know what to do....." I smile and know that they were sent from God to hear my words and inspiration. So often when I speak to them..I feel like the words are coming through me and find myself amazed at the things that emerge from my mouth. I have seen grown men come to tears from my insight..and I thank God for the opportunity to serve. The ironic thing is...the more I ask God to give me more work that I can do for him, the more abundance he brings into my life. Its a win-win situation. Let that marinade :)

3. " that Your hand would be with me"
Are you a control freak? So often we think we have all the answers. We stress ourselves out trying to control our environment, the people in it and constantly make things worse by attempting to manipulate circumstances to our favor. I have found much more peace now that I have been able to "Let go and Let God". Let God be in control of your destiny. (News flash...He already is). Ask for his blessing and for his will to be done in your life. Ask for his guidance and trust that he will lead you to make the right decisions.

4. "You would keep me from evil"
I used to ask God to please make me strong enough to resist the devil. I do not think that's an efficient use of prayer. If it were that easy for man to overcome the devil we would all be in a harmonic state of living and no one would live in misery. The fight between man and the devil is one that has existed through the ages. If you look around at divorces, adultery, fornication, lying, addiction, etc. you can see that it is a battle not easily won. Instead of praying for more gunpower...why not ask God to keep you away from the war altogether? Its a much more effective use of your prayer time. (In my humble opinion)

5. "that I may not cause pain"
Seek to bring joy and happiness to all those encounter and the universe will deliver love back to you. Sincerely asking to not cause pain will enable you to bring blessings and abundance to the people that support you and will guide you away from making adverse decisions will irreparable repercussions.

This book has helped and inspired me tremendously and I sincerely pray that this book and my words manifest your innermost desires and bring you health, wealth, peace, love and abundance.

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