A Year of Increase – Prayer of Jabez –

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My prayer for you and me in 2017 is that this will be a year of, “Increase.” Why increase? Because nothing in life stands still. We either progress or go backwards, but things and people do not just stand still. If we attempt to stand still, we lose ground because life goes on and effectively we suffer.

A great prayer for “Increase” is found in the prayer of Jabez. I encourage you to take a moment and read the prayer. As you read this prayer, please notice what Jabez asks of the Lord. Jabez asks for specific things from the Lord, but he asks in a way that is expansive and not limiting. Jabez asks four things of the Lord:

    1. That God would bless him
    2. Increase his territory
  • Be with him
  • Protect him

 

1 Chronicles 4: Jabez was honored more than his brothers; and his mother named him Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” 10 Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from hurt and harm!” And God granted what he asked.[1]

The part of the prayer that speaks to me as we sit at the beginning of a New Year is the concept of “Increasing his border.” I interpret “Increasing the border” as meaning, “Increase my potential.” To me this is a different type of prayer. Often we get less from God because we do not ask enough from God. Our prayers are sometimes so specific that we limit ourselves because of our imagination. It is not unusual for a person to ask God for a specific job, specific man or woman, but not ask God for a more expansive prayer that is less specific but more all-encompassing.

My prayer for you in 2017 is that this will be your year of “Increase.” I believe the Lord has a blessing with your name on it. Take a cue from Jabez and ask for what you want. Seek and you shall find. Knock and the door will be open to you. In the photo above, Chenthia Wooten brought her children by our house for me to meet her daughter’s friends from college. The three college students are poised to graduate this spring. Her son is the little guy with the big smile. As I spoke with the three college seniors, I thought about the concept of “Increase.” The students are completing college and setting their sights on graduate school. To me, each of the students represents promise, hope, and opportunity. My prayer for each of them and for you is that 2017 will be your year of “Increase.”

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Jabez was honored more than his brothers; and his mother named him Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” 10 Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from hurt and harm!” And God granted what he asked.[2]

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Questions for Reflection:

  1. What types of things do you pray for?
  2. Which parts of the “Prayer of Jabez” do you incorporate into your prayers?
  3. If this year is to be a year of increase for you, what will you pray for?

 

Prayer: Lord, make this new year a year of increase! Increase my imagination. Increase my strength. Increase my energy. Increase my wealth. Increase my health. Increase my capacity to give and receive love. Through Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.

 

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (1 Ch 4:9–10). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[2] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (1 Ch 4:9–10). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.