In my reading plan with Bible Gateway, this morning I found myself in I Chronicles 10. And there it was in the 4th verse. The Prayer of Jabez.
“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.”
About 10 years ago, a The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking Through to the Blessed Life was a phenomenon in the Christian community. This book, based on the simple prayer of a man we know little else about has now sold more than 11 million copies.
The suggestion was that, if you prayed this every day, that God would always answer. And for many the strong suggestion was that His answer would always be yes.
I read the book, and didn’t necessarily think that Dr. Bruce Wilkinson was presenting it as a magic formula. More that He was saying that God was (and is) true to His word. That part I believe.
The popularity of the book seems to have faded. That’s typical. It’s in our human nature to always be looking for the next best thing and the next thing that will solve all of our problems.
Reality is, that we don’t need trends.
God is not a trend. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross is not a trend. The Scriptures are not a trend.
And while, from time to time, we might benefit from a fresh perspective we can gain comfort and strength from knowing that the God of today is the same God of Noah, Abraham, David, and yes, Jabez.