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on 12 August 2003
Who would have thought that a character who only appears in about 4 lines of print in the book of chronicles should have such a profound effect on people today? Yet Bruce Wilkinson has been able to show that adopting this prayer and 'claiming' it has shown incredible results in lives changed and amazing things happening. I can say something similar albeit on a much smaller scale. Read it, it will change your attitude every morning as you go to the office dreading the pressure. Read it if you're unemployed and need encouragement. Claim the promises for yourself!
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The best way to understand any material is to help others learn it. This leader's edition of The Prayer of Jabez Bible Study is an excellent resource to help you do that. Further, the essence of the Jabez prayer is to take on greater spiritual tasks for God, and this little book will help you to do so!
I suggest that you begin by reading The Prayer of Jabez and then the Devotional that supplements it. When you are ready, start praying in the Jabez format on a daily basis. Next, spend four weeks using the Bible Study to guide your further learning, and keep a journal as you do. Then, invite family, friends, and acquaintances to engage in the Bible Study with you as the discussion leader. Keep up with your journal. Then, go through the Bible Study again on your own. From there, let God direct your steps.
One of the benefits of undertaking the Bible Study first on your own is that you will find some minor errors in the Scriptural references. By locating and solving those mistakes in advance, you can help your study group more easily overcome those little hurdles, as well. In that way, you can help amplify God's message!
The Bible Study is organized around four aspects of the Jabez prayer. First, blessings from God are discussed. Second, the focus shifts to having an expanded territory to accomplish His will. Third, you look at the importance of having God's help. Finally, you address avoiding evil and sin.
Each section contains a quiz to help you assess how well prepared you are spiritually to reach out and connect with God's purpose. There are also questions designed to challenge beliefs that may be disconnecting you from God. Many scriptural references from both the Old and New Testaments then give you additional proof of the Jabez prayer's potential. There are also stories about people who have been using the Jabez prayer.
I was especially pleased to see that the Bible Study addressed the discomfort that many Christians feel about having a personal ministry on God's behalf. I felt reaffirmed and encouraged to testify my own beliefs and experienced.
The Bible Study is also very good for connecting to the goodness and beauty of living for God, rather than some other purpose.
After you complete these studies, listen . . . watch . . . and reach out for more of God's messages. You will soon be joyfully enveloped in His love and plans for you!
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HALL OF FAMEon 29 June 2005
There has been a lot of excitement over the book `The Prayer of Jabez', by Bruce Wilkinson. I must confess to you, my sister and brother readers, that I am not one who is excited about this book, on the whole. It presents difficulties for me theologically and methodologically. I will probably have legions of people decrying my treatment of the book. There are redeeming qualities about the book, to be sure, but overall it gives me great unease. Permit me to tell you why.
Before the reader even gets past the preface, there are problems here. Is Wilkinson saying there are prayers that God doesn't answer? Is Wilkinson saying that, by following the form of the prayer of Jabez, you will get whatever you ask for? Perhaps he would retreat to the security of the answer that `God sometimes says "no" to our requests in prayer.' If that is true, then this prayer becomes no different in that respect than any other prayer. The prayer of Jabez is not a magical incantation to force God to make or do whatever it is one asks of God.
Now, one of the benefits of a book like `The Prayer of Jabez' is that it does, in fact, encourage people to pray. It brings God back into the lives of people, inside and outside of the church, who have somehow put God aside. It reorients the life and redirects attention toward something more worthy. To that extent, it is worthwhile. Most things that do this are worthwhile.
`The Prayer of Jabez' also helps to demonstrate another point about prayer - it need not be long, drawn-out or complex. Prayer can be simple. In fact, in my life some of the most effective prayers have been even simpler than the four-part prayer of Jabez. What having a prayer in parts does do is to highlight a process, a development, a continuing progression of prayer that for many people is a new idea. So again, there is something worthwhile here.
But one also has to confront, early on in the text, that the prayer of Jabez is effective because Jabez was an honourable and worthy man. The passage from the book of Chronicles that Wilkinson highlights begins with 'Now Jabez was more honourable than his brothers'. This sets up a works-righteousness model that leads the reader/pray-er to think that, unless a great deal of effort is made toward being worthy, there will be no efficacy of the prayer. Aren't the prayers of the unworthy heard by God? Who among us is worthy?
True, Wilkinson makes some strives to overcome this danger later in the book, but this rather gets lost in the shuffle for most readers. More attention needs to be devoted to the freely-given grace of God, that is available regardless of worthiness, regardless of our status, and regardless of our form of prayer.
My concern for the text is that it seems a plea for selfishness, and it appeals to many people at that level. While Wilkinson does state that this increase should be sought and then used for the furtherance of the will of God, not enough attention is devoted to this point. Stockbrokers will see that it is okay to ask for higher values. People will view it as okay to ask for more of whatever it is they want. And this book gives example after example of instances where this prayer did precisely that.
It is a wonder that there are no examples where the prayer of Jabez didn't work. There are lots of minor examples and several major examples of success, but one must forgive my insistence on some research methodology here - where are the counterbalancing examples?
The prayer of Jabez worries me in that is seems different in character and tone to the prayer I consider to be far more central - the Lord's Prayer. In this prayer, we are not asking God to increase our territory and give us what we want. We are asking to be given what we need. Particularly in the English translations (but also many other languages), the Lord's Prayer is immediately a common prayer, a communal prayer, -- the use of the word our at the outset makes it one that concerns us all, and the petitions continue to include the community - give us today our daily bread. The prayer of Jabez, by contrast, is individual. No wonder it appeals to those in Western society who hold the good of the individual as sacrosanct.
Ultimately, it is the assumption of the magical quality of the prayer of Jabez that makes me uneasy. It is as if you can conjure up whatever you want with a simple formula. The book starts on this theme and ends on this theme. That is what most who talk about the book seem to carry away. What happens if you don't get your wish? Does that mean your faith isn't strong enough? Does that mean you aren't worthy enough? Does that mean God doesn't care about you? These are important questions that get lost in the shuffle as readers around the world get starry-eyed with excitement that finally there's a way to make God do what we want God to do.
I hope that those who have a good experience with the prayer of Jabez will look to the God of grace rather than the magic spell. I hope that those who do not have a good experience with the prayer of Jabez will not feel abandoned by, and thus in turn abandon, God and prayer.
To the extent that this book renews the importance of prayer and consideration of God in one's daily life, it is worthwhile. However, it suffers serious flaws which, in my opinion, make is a dangerous book for the inexperienced, who seem to be the primary audience.
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on 7 October 2004
The Prayer of Jabez is an absolute Christian gem. If you have difficulty finding the words for asking for what you want/need in prayer, the Jabez prayer is a great way to get started. The content of the book is rich and beautiful, concise and powerful. You won't be disappointed.
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on 4 March 2014
Highly recommended and very informative. It can be used in conjunction with his original book - the Prayer of Jabez.
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on 30 January 2012
A good bible study of the Jabez prayer and helpful or not as you see it - you take as much as you want from it.
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on 18 May 2015
excellent service and book
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on 15 April 2015
Enjoyed this guide.
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on 30 March 2015
an excellent in depth study, i didnt realise just how much you could get from 1 small prayer........ i used it a a group Bible study and had to order more copies ,,, were having a Jabez revival
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on 1 June 2015
Very good
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