By Toni Ford
The church I attend just completed a series on prayer, as well as our bi-annual 21 Days of Prayer. During this time, we are all encouraged to readjust our focus on the Lord and let prayer be our first response and not our last resort. Our church provides a simple prayer journal for those interested in learning different prayer models from the Bible. One of my favorite models that I would like to share from our prayer journal is called the “Prayer of Jabez.” This is a model we can pray daily and taken from I Chronicles 4:10, which says, “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.” The four areas of prayer from this Scripture are:
Blessing. Jabez begins his prayer by asking God for His blessing. We need more of God’s blessing, not just for ourselves but in order to be better equipped to make a difference for His Kingdom. God wants to bless each of us, but He is often waiting for us to ask with the right heart. Ask God for His blessing, recognize your need for His provision and set your heart toward wanting to be a blessing to others.
Influence. Next, Jabez asks for more influence. As God’s blessings increase in our lives, we ask for and experience greater opportunity to influence the world around us for Him. God has the power to open doors of opportunity for us to make a difference. Pray for more influence. Knowing that God can make a way, trust in Him to open doors and lead you on the best path for your life and for His glory.
Presence. As we ask for blessing and influence, we also need to ask for His presence as Jabez did so that we are not operating out of our own strength but through the presence and the hand or our Almighty God. In humility, may we acknowledge our need for God’s presence in our lives daily.
Protection. Finally, Jabez asks the Lord to protect him. If we are influencing the world for Jesus, we must understand the enemy will try to stop us. Jesus already has won the victory, so we don’t need to fear destruction. God promises to be with us and protect us, and because He is with us, we have nothing to fear.
Father, I pray for more of Your blessings so that I can bless others. Please make me effective in my sphere of influence and open new doors for me to be able to influence and reach more people for Your kingdom. Lord, I recognize my need for You and I am desperate for Your presence in my life. As I walk out Your purpose in my life, I pray You stop every attack of the enemy against me and my family. Thank You for covering me in every way.