Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Prayer of Jabez...Divine or Evil?

The Prayer of Jabez…divine wisdom or evil manipulation?

Well, it seems that there is a mixed view out there of whether this book is good or laced with poison. Based on several negative reviews I found on the Internet (within hundreds of positive ones), the same sinking and fearful comments came through: they were suspicious of the author’s motives and the authenticity of the information.

Apparently, this book, and the author’s ministry, have expanded greatly since the book came out in 2000. The author attributes these blessings from his life’s devotion to God and praying the Prayer of Jabez. The critics balk that this book focuses only on “The Prayer of Jabez” and that the author declares it a key to not only praying but receiving God's Blessings. They protest to his implication that by reading his book and praying this prayer daily, you will receive the blessings of God...like Jabez. And, that although he quotes from the Bible, it is taken out of context and that he does not emphasize actually reading the Bible.

Okay, let me back track a minute. This book came to me recently from a dear friend who, as a motivational speaker on the many ways to be happy, is known for his excellent discernment. His book came to him by a colleague who greatly admires his work. I am confident to guess that the book came to her by someone who thought highly of her. It seems to be a book that comes to you or you want to give based on good intentions. Just by that nature, this book seems to hold a kind of spiritual energy that spreads by the momentum of joy... and not cynicism.

My perspective: Like my speaker friend, I do a lot of personal development and spiritual reading, including the Bible. Many of the books I read are metaphysical and speak of unseen things and the power of the universe and God’s love. Many people, like me, seek God outside of the box, looking for the miracles in the living moments of life and through those who are inspired. And, from the success of the Secret, a bestselling book and movie this year about the Universal Law of Attraction, people are really interested in understanding the nature of God and the workings of Spirit in everyday life. This would explain why these types of books are selling like crazy.

Back to Jabez; this life-changing book is tiny in size and has only 90 pages. Its main purpose is to examine a prayer that randomly appears in the Bible, of which jumped out to someone as a viable clue from God on how to pray and receive Blessings. He felt that God brought this to him; revealing not that the prayer itself was the only way to Blessings, but that it was in the essence of the prayer that gave it its power: Blessings come when you willing put yourself into God's hands.

The Prayer of Jabez
And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying,
“Oh, that You would bless me indeed,
And enlarge my territory,
And that You would keep me from evil,
That I may not cause pain!”
So God granted him what he requested.
1 Chronicles 4:10(NKJV)

The prayer in a nutshell:

Bless me,
Increase me,
Use me,
Protect me,
Direct me.”

This sounds like the basis of a simple, yet effective prayer. Its easy; just fill in the blanks.

For a nation that is in conflict about God, I would say that it is a Blessing in itself for this little book to sell millions of copies. Even that millions of people show an interest in praying. It tells me that we do want to know God and are ready to receive His Blessings. Personally, I don’t see the poison in using this simple prayer as a guideline to open a humble dialogue with God. It is not selfish, but self loving. Its Power is in one thing: God’s Grace

Here's a thought: if the author pushed his readers to read the Bible, perhaps people would have shyed away from this important message about prayer. On the other hand, for those who read this book and incorporate this simple prayer in their daily life, they just might find themselves gravitating to the Bible.

With an open mind and a pure heart, I share this book with you. It is my hope that God blesses you, increases your territory, works miracles through you, protects you from harm and guides you to His kingdom of peace and unending joy.

One catch, you have to ask God first!

In light,


P.S. I also recommend reading the Bible; it is a very good book!