Devotion: God is able to change it
Written By Dianna Hobbs // Daily Cup of Inspiration // Devotion
I was in my twenties when I first read Bruce Wilkinson’s book, The Prayer of Jabez. My curiosity about this popular title was aroused after multiple friends raved about it. None of them had heard anyone preach about Jabez—me included.
Before getting the short book, I looked Jabez up in a Bible dictionary and learned that his entire life story was contained in two verses: 1 Chronicles 4:9-10. Finally, after getting my copy, I recall poring over the pages of Wilkinson’s book, exploring and discovering all the lessons he shared. What I took away from The Prayer of Jabez is something that had been (and continues to be) reinforced throughout my life in many ways: prayer changes things.
Scripture says this about Jabez:
Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.”
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.
Jabez, in Hebrew, means distress, pain, or affliction—an unfortunate name in light of the fact that one’s given name, at least in Bible days, was viewed as a foreshadowing of their future. Names had somewhat of a predictive or prophetic quality. Considering that, who would want the name Jabez?
Even though Jabez couldn’t change his name’s etymology, he apparently knew God could change his life’s destiny. He confidently prayed for the Lord to bless him, enlarge his territory and keep him free from harm, and pain. Amazingly, the Bible tells us God honored Jabez’s prayer and defied the meaning of his name. This should be an encouragement to you, me and every believer. We don’t have to sit back and passively accept our circumstances or assume things will never change. If your theme song has been “Que Será, Será,” (Whatever Will Be, Will Be), it’s time to change the tune.
Boldly go to the throne of grace and expect to find the help you need (Hebrews 4:16). Ask God to step in, intervene in negative situations and reverse the course of your destiny. Look forward to God answering you favorably, just as He did with Jabez, because prayer still works!
Let me point out, there are seasons of suffering that are required for growth, and trials that are necessary to develop our character (James 1:3). God sometimes allows pain and difficulty to serve His purposes and bring His name glory. We must always be balanced in our view of suffering. Having said that, we should not simply accept trouble and fail to pray against it. In all seasons and situations, we must exercise our faith, while submitting to the sovereign will of God. There are some blessings God will not release to you unless you ask Him and believe.
So then, friend, when the storms of life beat against your house, pray about it, knowing that God is able to change it—and He will change it for you. Again, if He did it for Jabez, He will do it for you.
Pray about your present obstacles, setbacks, challenges and crises. The Lord will hear your faith-filled prayer and work in your favor, just as He did in Acts 12 when the saints prayed for Peter who was locked in prison. While they were still praying, scripture says an angel of the Lord miraculously broke Peter out of jail.
Think about Hannah, who prayed with all her heart for God to open her womb in 1 Samuel 1. The Lord did it and gave her a son named Samuel, who became a great prophet. Consider Moses’ prayer in Exodus 33:12-13. He asked God to teach him, to favor him and the entire nation of Israel. In verse 17, God said, “I will do the very thing you have asked.”
Be like the biblical intercessors, Hannah and Moses, and ask God for what you need. Pray for increase, favor and healing. Petition Him for the enlargement of your territory, the salvation of your loved ones, and supernatural breakthrough. When you pray in faith, God will show up for you.
To remind you of this truth, I’m stirring the words Jesus spoke in John 15:7 NIV, right into your cup of inspiration. He said, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
As you drink down the contents of your cup, be more determined than ever to seek God passionately and remain full of faith that He will change your situation. After all, it delights the Lord to bless you and respond to faith-filled prayer.
Now let’s pray.
God, I need you to show up in my life. I ask that You bless me, give me special favor and get glory through me. I rebuke everything attached to me that does not serve Your purpose for my life. I expect you to perform miracles, signs and wonders, according to Your perfect will. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Listen to Today’s Podcast: Because God Said It [AUDIO]