Another thing that I did not learn until I was in my sixties….you can never ask for too many blessings. I used to think it was selfish and greedy to ask God for too much. After all, there were a whole lot of people who needed God’s blessings a lot more than I did. I was doing pretty good and besides, how many times had I let God down. I would try to remember to pray at least once a day. My prayers would always start out with me thanking God for all the blessings He had already given me. (Actually, I still usually start out that way.)
Then I would ask God to take care of my family and friends, praying for specific needs about some struggle or heartache that I knew they were going through. Then I would ask God’s help for someone that I had read about in the newspaper or had seen on TV, or to comfort somebody who had just lost a loved one, or pray for people all over the world who had been hit by some tragedy like an earthquake or hurricane. Lastly, I would meekly ask God to take care of me.
Now, don’t get me wrong! I still ask God for all of these things. I still pray for family, friends, and even strangers who need God’s love and blessings, but I also ask for much more for ME! I think part of my problem about asking for things for myself was due to my upbringing. My mother, a good christian woman, taught me from a very early age that it was not nice to ask for things. When we would go visit my grandma or my aunts, if I saw something I really really liked, no matter how small a trinket, I was never to ask for it. If they saw me admiring something and offered it to me, I could accept it with a proper amount of thanks, but I was never ever to ask for it.
How stupid or naive to think that God had a finite amount of blessings to give out! Showering me with blessings would deprive another person from receiving all the blessings they needed. Then, I read about Jabez.
You’ve probably never heard of Jabez. He is only
mentioned one time in the Bible in in 1 Chronicals 4: 9-10. Chronicals is a rather boring book of historical data on who begat who. Certainly not anyone’s favorite book of the Bible. But hidden in this book is the story of a man named Jabez. His mother gave him this name because it meant pain, saying she gave birth to him in pain. What a way to start out in life.
But Jabez was more honorable than his brothers and he prayed earnestly to God this prayer:
“Oh, that you would bless me, indeed, that you would enlarge my territory, that your hand would be with me, and that you would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain.”
Now that’s a pretty simple prayer, that even I can understand. I consider myself an infant in my spiritual journey. The only part of the prayer that I did not fully understand was the part about “increase my territory.” I wondered if Jabez wanted more property and somehow I doubted that. A little research taught me that this line “that You would enlarge my territory” meant “let me grow, expand my opportunities that I may impact and touch more lives for Your glory. Let me work for
I pray this prayer daily, sometimes
several times a day. It is truly life-changing. I keep seeing and doing things that would have never entered my mind to do a year ago. God has certainly enlarged my territory and He has blessed me over and over.
Remember, God has an unlimited number of blessings to give you. Don’t let them go to waste. All you have to do is ASK.
Has my territory been enlarged? You’re a first-hand witness who can attest to that. You’re reading this, aren’t you? Would I have been able to write this a year ago? No way! My next article will be about what I’ve learned about the acronym P R A Y. Hope you join me.