Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Prayer of Jabez, Revisited

Remember several years ago when the Prayer of Jabez was really popular? 

It's found in 1 Chronicles 4:10: "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.'"

There was a little book that reflected on each of the supplications of the prayer. 

I thought about this prayer today while at Mass. The line that always struck me was when Jabez asks God to "enlarge my territory." In the little book the author made a case that Jabez wasn't praying for more "things," or more stuff, but praying for a greater influence. Jabez was asking God to bring him in contact with more people, so that he could be a blessing to them, so that he could share God's love with them. (I don't have the book anymore so I can't remember exactly what the foundation for this argument was. While that may not be the explicit meaning, or correct interpretation, of the passage I'm grateful for the insight. It helped me see a new aspect of prayer.)

"Enlarge my territory" - That is such a profound prayer, and beautiful request: Asking God to bring more people into my life to share his love with, and help me come in contact with more souls to impact them positively for eternity. I want that to be my prayer every day.

Back to today at Mass. 

I realized that because of infertility the last four years, and now through pursuing adoption, God has indeed enlarged my territory...but in reverse!!! He has brought so many people into MY life to share God's love with ME, and bless ME! I have met other dear women (in-person and online), who are carrying the cross of infertility. Family and friends have been prayer warriors, offered encouragement, and a shoulder to cry on. I have connected with amazing women in the infertility support group I lead. Also at church we have met a number of families who have adopted, and I have heard beautiful adoption stories. These encounters are a tremendous blessing, and have given me hope. I wouldn't have experienced these blessings were it not for infertility or pursuing adoption. 

Thank you Lord for enlarging my territory, in reverse!


  1. what a beautiful reflection MBB. God bless you!

  2. So beautiful - and so true. While at a glance it seems that infertility is only a lack, there are so many gifts along the way, sometimes it is just hard to see them in the darkness. (As I reread that it seems to come across as less sincere than I intend it, like something someone would say to make you feel better. I truly don't mean it that way.)

    1. I think I know what you mean. It is only now that I am beginning to see the good that has come from IF.

  3. Beautiful! Great prayer to pray. You are right in how God can enlarge things. We pray it will be in all the other ways too!

  4. I hadn't heard this prayer...thanks for sharing it!