In the book of 1 Chronicles, a man is introduced. That man's name is Jabez. The name Jabez is only mentioned one other time in the Bible. In that particular instance, the name is referring to a location and not a person.
Jabez was obviously introduced for a reason, considering that everything in the Bible is introduced for a reason. In 1 Chronicles 4:9-10, it says " 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."
This is a very short and simple prayer, but very meaningful. Jabez starts off by asking God to bless him. This isn't a selfish request. He's not asking for God to bless him so that he could boast in what he has or so that he can build himself up. He then asks for God to be with him and to keep him from evil. He recognizes that he needs God's help and protection.
We studied this prayer last night in midweek service at church. One thing that hit my was the simplicity of the prayer. Jabez didn't use fancy words and ramble on and on. His prayer was simple and to the point. I think sometimes I try to impress others while I pray, but that shouldn't be. My prayers need to be pure and simple, directed to God and God alone. Another thing that hit me was his unselfishness in his prayer. He didn't ask for money, land, or anything else selfishly. He asked that God would bless him so that he could be a blessing to others.
This prayer is now my prayer. I pray that I can be as unselfish and reliant upon God as Jabez.