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The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking Through to the Blessed Life (Breakthrough Series) Hardcover – Bargain Price, July 28, 2005

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Book 1 of 2 in the Breakthrough Series

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About the Author

Bruce Wilkinson

Bruce Wilkinson is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Prayer of Jabez® and Secrets of the Vine®, The Dream Giver, as well as numerous other books. He serves as the chairman of Dream for Africa, Global Vision Resources, and Ovation Productions. Bruce and his wife, Darlene Marie, have three children and six grandchildren. They divide their time between Georgia and South Africa.

David Kopp

David Kopp is a writer and editor living in Oregon.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter 1
Jabez called on the God of Israel.
The little book you're holding is about what happens when ordinary Christians decide to reach for an extraordinary life—which, as it turns out, is exactly the kind God promises.
My own story starts in a kitchen with yellow counters and Texas-sized raindrops pelting the window. It was my senior year of seminary in Dallas. Darlene, my wife, and I were finding ourselves spending more and more time thinking and praying about what would come next. Where should I throw my energy, passion, and training? What did God want for us as a couple? I stood in our kitchen thinking again about a challenge I'd heard from the seminary chaplain, Dr. Richard Seume. "Want a bigger vision for your life?" he had asked earlier that week. "Sign up to be a gimper for God."
A gimper, as Seume explained it, was someone who always does a little more than what's required or expected. In the furniture business, for example, gimping is putting the finishing touches on the upholstery, patiently applying the ornamental extras that are a mark of quality and value.
Dr. Seume took as his text the briefest of Bible biographies: "Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers" (1 Chronicles 4:9). Jabez wanted to be more and do more for God, and—as we discover by the end of verse 10—God granted him his request.
End of verse. End of Bible story.
Lord, I think I want to be a gimper for You, I prayed as I looked out the window at the blustery spring rain. But I was puzzled. What exactly did Jabez do to rise above the rest? Why did God answer his prayer? I wondered. For that matter, why did God even include Jabez's miniprofile in the Bible?
Maybe it was the raindrops running down the windowpanes. Suddenly my thoughts ran past verse 9.
I picked up my Bible and read verse 10—the prayer of Jabez. Something in his prayer would explain the mystery. It had to. Pulling a chair up to the yellow counter, I bent over my Bible, and reading the prayer over and over, I searched with all my heart for the
future God had for someone as ordinary as I.
The next morning, I prayed Jabez's prayer word for word.
And the next.
And the next.
Thirty years later, I haven't stopped.
If you were to ask me what sentence—other than my prayer for salvation—has revolutionized my life and ministry the most, I would tell you that it was the
cry of a gimper named Jabez, who is still remembered not for what he did, but for what he prayed—and for what happened next.
In the pages of this little book, I want to introduce you to the amazing truths in Jabez's prayer for blessing and prepare you to expect God's astounding answers to it as a regular part of your life experience.
How do I know that it will significantly impact you? Because of my experience and the testimony of hundreds of others around the world with whom I've shared these principles. Because, even more importantly, the Jabez prayer distills God's powerful will for your future. Finally, because it reveals that your Father longs to give you so much more than you may have ever thought to ask for.
Just ask the man who had no future.
Someone once said there is really very little difference between people—but that little difference makes a great deal of difference. Jabez doesn't stand astride the Old Testament like a Moses or a David or light up the book of Acts like those early Christians who turned the world upside down. But one thing is sure: The little difference in his life
made all the difference.
You could think of him as the Prodigy of the Genealogy, or maybe the Bible's Little Big Man. You'll find him hiding in the least read section of one of the least-read books of the Bible.
The first nine chapters of 1 Chronicles are taken up with the official family tree of the Hebrew tribes, beginning with Adam and proceeding through thou-sands of years to Israel's return from captivity. Talk about boring! The long lists of unfamiliar and difficult names—more than five hundred of them—are likely to make even the bravest Bible student turn back.
Take chapter 4. The descendants of Judah: Perez, Hezron, and Carmi, and Hur, and Shobal.… And that's just the beginning.
I'd forgive you if you suddenly considered putting this little book aside and reaching for your TV remote. But stay with me. Because forty-four names into the chapter, a story suddenly breaks through:
Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, "Because I bore him in pain." And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, "Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!" So God granted
him what he requested. (1 Chronicles 4:9–10)
In the next verse, the roll call for the tribe of Judah picks up as if nothing has happened—Chelub, Shuah, Mehir.…
Something about this man Jabez had caused the historian to pause in middrone, clear his
throat, and switch tactics. "Ah, wait a minute!" he seems to interject. "You just gotta know something about this guy named Jabez. He stands head and shoulders above the rest!"
What was the secret to the enduring reputation of Jabez? You can search from front to back in your Bible, as I have, and you won't find any more information than we
have in these two brief verses:
• Things started badly for a person no one had ever heard of.
• He prayed an unusual, one-sentence prayer.
• Things ended extraordinarily well.
Clearly, the outcome can be traced to his prayer. Something about Jabez's simple, direct request to God changed his life and left a permanent mark on the history books of Israel:
Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory,
that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil.
At first glance, the four requests may strike you as sincere, sensible, even noble, but not terribly remarkable. Yet just under the surface of each lies a giant paradigm breaker that runs exactly opposite to the way you and I usually think. In the pages to come, I want
to show you just how dramatically each of Jabez's requests can release something miraculous in your life.
When was the last time God worked through you in such a way that you knew beyond doubt that God had done it? In fact, when was the last time you saw miracles
happen on a regular basis in your life? If you're like most believers I've met, you wouldn't know how to ask for that kind of experience, or even if you should.
What I have to share with you has been opening up lives to God's mighty working for many years. Recently, I was in Dallas to teach on the Jabez blessing to an audience of 9,000. Later over lunch, a man said to me, "Bruce, I heard you preach the message of Jabez fifteen years ago, and I haven't stopped praying it. The change has been so overwhelming I have just never stopped."
Across the table, another friend agreed. He said he'd been praying Jabez's little prayer for ten years with similar results. The man next to him, a heart surgeon from Indianapolis, said he had been praying it for five.
I told them, "Friends, I've been praying Jabez for more than half my life!"
Because you're reading this book, I believe you share my desire to reach for a life that will be "more honorable" for God. Not that you wish others to reach for less, but for you, nothing but God's fullest blessing will do. When you stand before Him to give your accounting, your deepest longing is to hear, "Well done!"
God really does have unclaimed blessings waiting for you, my friend. I know it sounds impossible—even embarrassingly suspicious in our self-serving day. Yet that very exchange—your want for God's plenty—has been His loving will for your life from eternity past. And with a handful of core commitments on your part, you can proceed from this day forward with the confidence and expectation that your heavenly Father will
bring it to pass for you.
Think of it this way: Instead of standing near the river's edge, asking for a cup of water to get you through each day, you'll do something unthinkable—you will take the little prayer with the giant prize and jump into the river! At that moment, you will begin to
let the loving currents of God's grace and power carry you along. God's great plan for you will surround you and sweep you forward into the profoundly important and satisfying life He has waiting.
If that is what you want, keep reading.
--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Breakthrough Series
  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Multnomah Books (July 28, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590524756
  • ASIN: B002PJ4LTA
  • Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 0.4 x 6.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,566,268 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Ron Brackin on October 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I had the good fortune to read Bruce Wilkinson's book before marketers began to dream of Jabez action figures, illustrated sport-drink bottles, and 1 Corinthians 4 muscle shirts. So the crass commercialism that followed the New York Times best-seller did not adversely affect my opinion of the book's message.

I wonder, however, whether World Magazine, Hank Hanegraaff, James Mulholland, and other critics gave the book more than a cursory read before dashing off their assessments.

"The purpose of prayer," declared Mulholland in a U.S. News & World Report article, "is not to tell God what you want, but to hear what you need." Implying that the motives of Jabez were self-serving and unbiblical?

If so, why does God make a point of telling us that Jabez is "more honorable than his brothers?" And if Jabez's requests were indeed selfish, how could the Lord have granted them when James 4:3 warns that, "when you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures."

"Oh, that you would bless me indeed," Jabez began.

If, as a growing number of critics maintain, it is impious and ungodly to seek God's blessings for oneself, what should we make of Deuteronomy 28 in which the Lord offers two columns of blessings to those who follow his commands?

Was Elisha selfish when he asked for a double portion of Elijah's spirit (2 Kings 2:9-11)? And if so, why did God give it to him?

The Lord even urges his people to pay his tithe with the promise to "throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it" (Malachi 3:10). Is God appealing to our baser natures to get us to write a check?
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Charissa on August 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Years ago, when I was struggling to put my life back together after a messy divorce and working to find my way back to God, I stumbled across this little book somehow. Recently, I picked it back up again to see if it was still relevant. It was, but in a whole different way. When I first picked it up, it became for me a way to explore communication with God, to learn a little bit about how to pray and about the power of praying the same prayer regularly. When I picked it up now, it was more of a thermometer for my own current prayer life.

The Prayer of Jabez is based off of a small section of 1Chronicles 4. A man named Jabez prays, "Oh that you would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that your hand would be with me and that you would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!" The author takes the prayer apart into pieces and walks the reader through how to read this prayer as a part of their daily life.

The principles in this book are solid and Wilkinson has a healthy attitude toward prayer. Prayer does make a difference. Daily prayer makes a big difference and praying the same prayer or set of prayers each day as part of your routine can have immense spiritual effects in your life. I don't think that this tiny little obscure prayer has any magical power. I don't think it's the undiscovered gem of prayers from the Bible that everyone has to know to really pray "right." But I do think it's a great little prayer to study. It is a great start for a daily prayer routine because it has some aspects of daily life included in it and it's short enough to learn easily.

This is not a book about how to pray so you'll get a better job, a bigger house and another car.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Phyllisanakasone on March 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
POJ is a timeless little pocket book w/life changing nuggets about the short prayer uttered by Jabez in the Bible; 1 Chronicles 4:9&10. Wonderful insight about a man who wanted and was not afraid to ask God for extraordinary blessings in his life.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jaime Vendera VINE VOICE on June 16, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've recently read and reviewed a few other books on prayer that I thought were excellent, but what made this little pocket book so nice to read was the fact that it was actually written by a Christian Preacher sharing passages from the Bible and offering a new way to apply them.

Some people may have complained in a few of the reviews that the author is taking one passage of the Bible out of context, but I'd say by the blessings he has received that is is NOT out of context.

The entire Bible is meant to be the human manual for success, love, morality, devotion, etc. so I don't really believe anything in the Word that someone puts forward in a positive light is something taken out of text. I appreciate the author's ability to share his experiences in a short book in order to spread one little gold nugget that he found hidden in the old testament; out of the thousands of nuggets already there, I would've missed this one if not for Bruce Wilkinson.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jonelle Vargo on March 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Prayer of Jabez written by Bruce Wilkinson is a "small" book but filled with such powerful hope that anyone can have a "changed" life. I just wish I had bought the book when it first came out in 2000 instead of 2010. Ah, well, God's timing is always perfect.

If you truly want to see something wonderful happen in your life, then put in your order today!!
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