Share This Episode
The Urban Alternative Tony Evans, PhD Logo

The Prayer of Jabez

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
January 1, 2021 7:00 am

The Prayer of Jabez

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 630 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

January 1, 2021 7:00 am

What is the point in wanting more when we do not appreciate what we already have? Join Dr. Tony Evans as he answers that question and explains how to ask God for a blessing that will not only change your new year but the rest of your life.


We have money in the bank, but no joy when we spend it. Some of us have been blessed right out of our happiness. But Dr. Tony Evans says when the Lord blesses you, you'll know it. The way you know it comes from God is you have joy with it, not misery with it, because God brings Himself along with it. This is The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, author, speaker, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, and president of The Urban Alternative.

What's the point in wanting more when we don't appreciate what we already have? Dr. Evans answers that question today as he explains how to ask God for a blessing that will not only change your New Year, but the rest of your life. Let's turn to 1 Chronicles chapter 4 as we join him. This is known as the prayer of Jabez. Verse 9 and 10 reads this way, And Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother named him Jabez, saying, Because I bore him with pain. Now Jabez called on God of Israel, saying, O that you would bless me indeed, enlarge my border, and that thy hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm, that it might not pain me. And God granted him what he requested. We're introduced to Jabez in verse 9 as a man more honorable than his brothers.

All of his brothers simply were listed by name. The reason Jabez is lifted out is because of his prayer. His simple one-verse prayer made him more honorable than his brothers.

Now before we give a simple breakdown of the prayer, don't move too fast for you'll miss why the prayer is significant. We're told in verse 9 that his mother named him Jabez because he was born in pain. The word Jabez means pain. What would cause a mother to name her child painful? I don't know what scenario caused her to name her baby boy pain.

All I know is that's how everybody knew him. So painful was the birth of this child and its implications in the life of his mother that he could go nowhere and not be reminded that he was living a painful existence. Because just to hear somebody call his name meant that he was living a life of pain. You talk about self-esteem problems. You talk about a negative self-image.

This kid had to have had it. There's nobody in our auditorium whose name is Jabez, or is there? Maybe not in the literal sense where people call you that, but when you reflect back over this year or perhaps over the last few years, it might as well be Jabez, because all you can remember is pain. All you can remember are the negative circumstances one right after another. It looked like pain got a hold of you and would never let you go. Well, for all the Jabezes in the house, if you're not a Jabez, then this sermon's not for you, but if there is a Jabez in the house, somebody whose first name, last name, middle name, or all three names equal pain, hurt, disappointment, anguish, loneliness, depression, frustration, and all the other idiosyncratic possibilities, this passage is for you.

Because we're introduced to the solution before we find the method. He says, Jabez was more honorable than all of his brothers because his mother bore him in pain. Somebody didn't just hear that. Jabez, that means pain, was more honorable, he had a higher status than all of his brothers who don't show up with any problems at all. Nothing said negative about any of the brothers, they were okay boys. But the one with all the pain, the one with all the disappointment, the one with all the negatives, the one with all the struggles, God wants us to stop and pause as we read through this boring section of scripture to let you know if your name is pain, it doesn't have to have the last word on your life. If your name, circumstances, situation is painful, you can still end it being more honorable than all of your brothers who don't have pain in their name.

How did he get there? How did this painful person in painful circumstances come out to be an extraordinary individual? I just happened to notice as I was talking that God didn't give Jabez another name. It says Jabez was more honorable. He didn't stop his name from being pain. He just overrode it so high that it fell into the background as God's honor took the forefront. So even if your circumstances don't change, even if nothing ever happens to your situation, if God puts you on the top shelf of honor, it won't matter what your name is.

Because Jabez is still his name, it's just honor is his status. His first line of his prayer, it's not a complicated prayer, is all that you would bless me indeed. That word indeed lets us know this is a serious prayer. This is not a casual now I lay me down to sleep, pray to Lord my soul to keep.

You don't have time for casual prayers. He says bless me indeed. If you don't intervene in my situation, if you don't reverse this thing that I've been facing since the day that I was born, I'm going to go to my grave the same way I came into this world, a cursed, painful individual. So I'm throwing myself on your mercy and I'm saying bless me indeed.

You see, he didn't want his life to keep going like it was going. He wanted to sense the impartation of supernatural favor. To be blessed is to have supernatural favor injected into your ordinary dull life. It is to have, as the old hymn says, glory to come down and fill my soul. It is to not go through every day in a painful routine. It is to sense that God has gotten in my business, affected my scenario, and reversed my situation.

He says bless me indeed. Or to put it another way, give me another life. The life that I'm living now, I don't like. The pain I'm experiencing now, I don't want. But I can't get away from it. Every time I go out to play ball, they call me J-Bass and remind me I'm in a painful situation.

Every time I go to work, they call me J-Bass and remind me that I can't even go to work without having pain. All my life is pain and I need another life. But folk can't give me another life. Because every time I go to folk to bless me, they bless me one minute and take it back the next minute. I need somebody to bless me, sure enough. I need a blessing that's gonna stay with me even after my day is done. I need a blessing that won't go left on me. So I need an indeed kind of blessing. I need the impartation of spiritual favor that comes alone from God.

Please notice he's not very specific. He says bless me indeed and leaves it open. Because you see, when you're in enough pain, you'll take anything God gives you. When you're in enough pain, you don't have to be particular because anything God does is better than the situation you're in. So he just says I leave it open, bless me indeed.

He's not finished yet. He says that your hand might be with me. In other words, I don't want your blessing and not have you. See, one of the reasons God's not interested in blessing us indeed and expanding our borders is there is a curse built into every blessing. And the curse that's built into every blessing is you become comfortable with the blessing so you no longer need the blesser.

He says God, let me get this straight up front. I want you to bless me indeed. I want you to expand my business. I want you to expand my family. I want you to expand my education.

I want you to expand my border. But just so that we don't miss the point, I don't want any expansion that excludes you. I don't want any blessing where you wind up on the sideline while I have fun with the blessing. I don't want a blessing that excludes you. Like Moses said, if you don't go with me, I won't go. It'd be nice to be the leader of Israel. It'd be nice to have the 10th power of the 10 plagues. But let it be known, God, if you don't go.

I don't want bigger borders that bad. I don't want more blessings that bad. Some of us have been blessed right out of our happiness. We've been blessed right out of our joy. We have a new house.

Don't have a home. We have a car that we're miserable to ride in. We have money in the bank, but no joy when we spend it. The Bible always lets you know when you've been blessed. Because Proverbs chapter 10 verse 22 says, it is the blessing of the Lord that expands you, but He will with it give you no sorrow. The way you know it comes from God is you have joy with it, not misery with it. Because God brings Himself along with it. So He says, I want you.

I don't just want your stuff. And what He is saying is, I will not, I will not lose my focus of dependency on you. Dr. Evans will come back with more of our message, including a look at why being blessed makes you a target. Right now though, he has a few words to share with us as we launch into 2021.

Dr. Evans? I want to start off by wishing you a blessed new year. I know God's got something special for you. I don't know what it is, but you need to write this and let us know when you find out whatever God's good word for you is in the upcoming year. I also want to ask you for your continued generous support and help to the Urban Alternative. We really need friends who will partner with us, pray for us, so that we can keep the Word going forth. You know, we're seeing lives changed in over a hundred countries around the world and of course countless thousands here in our own country because of the Word of God that goes out over the broadcast. So your investment in the Urban Alternative is a worldwide investment.

It is a national and international investment. We can't do it without you. And as our way of saying thanks for your gift toward Tony's ministry, we'd like to send you his current series on CD or digital download called Your Best You.

It's a look at riding out the storms of life, building confidence in the Lord's presence and provision, and making the most of your God-given potential. Your Best You will help you set healthy new directions for 2021. And it's our gift when you visit and make a donation to help us keep Tony's teaching on the station.

Don't put it off because this special offer is only available through the end of next week. That's Or call our 24-hour Resource Center at 1-800-800-3222 and let one of our team members help you.

That's 1-800-800-3222. Right now, Dr. Evans is back with more of today's lesson. Let's join him. That leads him to another request. He says, and that you would keep me from harm or evil, that it may not pain me. Why does he pray to be kept from evil or harm? Because the more God blesses you, the more Satan sees you. Success is a greater opportunity for failure.

The higher you go, the further you fall. Blessings dull our senses for dependency on God. He says, as I expect to look forward to and enjoy your blessings, keep me from becoming disconnected from you. Let your presence go with you so that harm does not come to me from the very blessings you give me. Put a restraining order on the devil.

Because the only way you know you're in the battle is you're being attacked. If the devil's not messing with you, that's because he's not worried about you. If he's not coming after you, he knows you're not a threat to his program.

But if he's messing with you all day, every day, that's because he knows you spell trouble for him. So he says, Lord, as you bless me, as you expand my borders, as your presence goes with me, keep the enemy off my back so that he does not detour me. Or as the Lord's prayer was, don't lead me into temptation, but deliver me from evil. It's time to leave mediocre expectations behind. It's time to stop being the kind of Christian that expects little from God and therefore gets little from God.

Of course God is sovereign, and he makes the final choices as to what he will do and what he won't do. But don't be caught at the end of next year with gifts from this year that have gone unopened. Things that God had packaged up for you and wrapped up for you and tied a bow around you and put it under the Christmas tree of your life and you refuse to open it. Don't be satisfied with the mundane. It's time to stop using those age-old excuses. I can. When God says, In him you can. Say, I won't.

That would be a little bit more accurate, but don't say, I can't. Leave the excuses behind because you've been bought with a price, prayed for with precious blood. You are valuable in the kingdom of God. No more excuses. You see, this all comes down to the end of the prayer, and God granted him what he requested. That's good news. Now, let's not forget.

Let's go back. The boy's name is Pain. Pain called on God. If you're in pain today, you qualify to be more noble than those of us who don't have pain in our name. If you're in pain today, you qualify to be viewed by God as one of his special citizens, to be more honorable, that is to have a higher status with God than those who are too cute to let folk know their name is Jabez. See, some folk in here today, their name is Jabez, but they don't want you to know it. They're too cute to let you know their name is Jabez.

So they're going to borrow some good sounding name that makes them seem like other than what they are. But if there are any Jabezes in the house, I want you to know God says He grants the request of folk named Jabez, of folk who are coming to Him in their pain, out of their pain, with their pain, and in spite of their pain, it says He called on God and God heard. He got it all for the ask. That tells me grace was operating in the Old Testament.

That's not just the New Testament concept. He got it simply because He asked for it. But He asked seriously, indeed. And He says, oh, that you would bless me. In other words, you hear the passion, you not only hear the words, oh, that you would bless me. Oh, that you would take away this complaining attitude and you will let me see my borders are only limited by what I see.

Oh, that you would reverse my scenario. And then you do like Jacob, you said, I won't let you go until you bless me. I won't let you go until you what? Change my name. I won't let you know until Jacob, the word trickster, becomes Israel, the one the Lord has helped. I will not let you go until I see your hand in my situation.

So we wind down where we started. Are there any JBASes in the house? Are there any folks here who are willing to say my name is JBAS?

Pain of not being understood, pain of being passed over for that promotion, pain of being rejected by my mother and father, pain of financial circumstances, pain this, pain this. Every time I show up, somebody calls me JBAS. I'm tired of being known by my pain and not by my God. And I want to challenge you to make the prayer of JBAS your prayer all year long, that every day you wake up in your pain, you wake up going to your God, and you tell God, bless me today indeed. Do something today to expand my borders. And as you expand them, let me know you right there with me because I don't want to go without you.

And then keep Satan off my back so I can move forward and enjoy your blessing. Located two miles from my house on Lafayette Avenue in Baltimore where I was raised was a duck pen bowling alley. Duck pens were where you bowl with the little teeny balls. And you threw the balls down the lane, and it wasn't sophisticated like it is with all the mechanics that they have today. And therefore, oftentimes, things didn't work right.

You'd knock down the pens, the machine would come down and not pick up all the pens. Something was always going wrong. But whenever something went wrong, you'd push a button. When you pushed the button, you saw little feet walk in the back of the lane behind. Somebody had been bowling back in the day. And you saw little feet back there walking, running, setting the pens up. Sometimes they had to set them up by hand.

Sometimes they had to restart them in the machine. Today, I don't know what that man looks like. Because you never got to see his face. You only got to see tennis shoes running up and down because one time he had to fix my lane. Next time he had to fix somebody else's lane. He's always at different lanes because stuff wasn't working right.

Somebody in here Satan has been using as duck pens. And he's been knocking you down time and time again. And every day you get up, you look forward to being knocked down again. But the prayer of Jabez wants you to know, even though you can't see his face, even though you cannot physically look at him, he sees you being knocked around with no ability to get up on your own. And the tennis shoes of the grace of God are moving to and fro. And his job is to set up what's been knocked down.

You say, but wow, it depends on my lifestyle. You got to push the button and say, Lord, I've been knocked down too much. I'm hurting too bad. But I pushed the button and I want you to pick me up and set me down in the right place. I'm tired of trying to pick myself up because I fall right back down. But if you pick me up, you ain't praying with me.

If you pick me up, I'll be able to stand up and I'll be able to deal with the enemy. And I want you to have a new hope. I want you to take the prayer of Jabez and give it to God. Bless me indeed. Expand my borders.

Take the pain from me. And then be able to testify the Lord granted me my request. Dr. Tony Evans wrapping up a message on the prayer of Jabez. As always, copies are available. Just visit us at for the details. Or better yet, get it as a part of Tony's short but powerful audio collection, Your Best You. As I mentioned earlier, all five full length messages in this collection are yours as our thank you gift when you make a contribution to help keep the alternative coming your way. This is a limited time offer, so don't wait. Contact us today at or call our resource center at 1-800-800-3222 where team members are available day and night to help you.

That's 1-800-800-3222. A lot of people consider faith to be intangible, something you're more likely to be able to feel than touch. But on Monday, Dr. Evans will talk about how we can build a concrete confidence in God. I hope you'll join us. On behalf of all of us here at the alternative, happy New Year.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-09 02:02:01 / 2024-01-09 02:10:42 / 9

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime