He was the one who prayed to the God of Israel, “Oh that you would bless me and extend my lands! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!” And God granted him his request.
—1 Chronicles 4:10
The prayer of Jabez is a cry for deliverance from a life of pain. The name Jabez means “distress,” or “pain,” and accordingly, from the day of his birth, Jabez endured much pain.
Satan seeks to afflict those who are honorable with pain and sorrow in order to destroy their effectiveness. Jabez prayed for God to turn the devil’s curse into blessing and his own limitations into enlargement. Our prayers, too, should be for God to enlarge our territory just as He did for Jabez, who had been through such pain and sorrow. We want to be enlarged, not for personal pride and pleasure, but to reach into the regions beyond with the Gospel.
Jabez also prayed that God would keep him from harm so he could be delivered from a life of pain, sorrow, and distraction. And God granted his request!
Why not pray today for God to reverse the curse and break the limitations you have faced, perhaps even from birth? He will spread His protection over you (Psalm 5:11) and surround you with favor as with a shield (v. 12)!