You’ve heard of The Prayer of Jabez; maybe listened to a sermon on it; maybe prayed it for yourself. The speaker starts telling you how radical this prayer is and how it can change your life, or that God will bless you immeasurably.
Every Sunday you sit in church listening and singing along with the latest and greatest of praise & worship music written by today’s popular artists. As you listen to these popular teachings, you nod your head, maybe clap your hands, or shout out an AMEN! This little “tickled pink” feeling floods your mind, heart and soul as you raise your hands and hit the floor foaming at the mouth. *humor*
Now that you are grinning ear to ear and thinking fuzzy thoughts, let me slap you and bust your bubble. You are singing dangerous words. You are praying dangerous words. You are unleashing the powers of the deep on your life and soul. There is no going back.
Yes you heard me correctly, but do not despair. There is more!
I would like to pause and share some irony. As I sit here typing this, a very specific song comes to mind that I was planning on sharing. This song literally just popped up on my iHeart Radio that I have blazing in the background. Dangerous words…
You are singing dangerous words. You are praying dangerous words. You are unleashing the powers of the deep on your life and soul. There is no going back.
These words are beautiful, they make my soul so hungry…
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
Equally as beautiful, are the words that Jabez prayed to God (1 Chronicles 4:10)…
He was the one who prayed to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!” And God granted him his request.
Now I can picture you sitting there right now with your arms folded tightly, ready to get all up in arms defensive of my supposed slander of these words and lyrics. Rest easy. All is not as it seems.
These words are dangerous for one reason: every time you say them or sing them, you throw an atomic bomb on the enemies plan for your life. Stop and THINK for a moment what you are saying. Feel the movement of each word on your lips, let them echo in your heart and mind. Do you hear the explosion?
Both the prayer and song I have listed have a parallel theme: you are inviting the Spirit into your life, surrendering control of your mind, will and emotions. But there is a catch!
Where in the Bible did God ever say he was going to hand us the life we want on a silver platter? If you ask God to physically expand your borders, is he just going to hand you 100,000 acres of land? No. He is going to hand you the tools to obtain that land if it is within his will for your life.
Think about it like this. Your kids are running around the house driving you nuts. Grandma gave them a can of Mt. Dew and there they go bouncing off the walls. You mutter under your aggravated breath, “God give me patients…mumble, mumble…” Do you really think God is going to give you patients? Not likely. In fact, just about that time, the caffeine really starts to work it’s magic and the kids go straight bonkers. Guess what, God just answered your prayer. He gave you an extreme opportunity to exercise your patients. It’s called disciplining your mind, will, and emotions. If you do not use and maintain the tools in your workshop, they get cobwebs and start rusting.
You see, God has already handed us the tools we need in this life to make it. The question becomes, are we maintaining those tools?
So, these are dangerous words. Are you starting to follow me a little bit? Lets break it down:
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders — You just got an endless, dark path. He has already given you a Guide to light the way. Your feet have already been shod with the gospel of peace to walk with confidence wherever you go.
Let me walk upon the waters, Wherever You would call me — You just opened a floodgate. Get ready to be washed away! If you have faith, the size of a mustard seed, you can move mountains, part oceans, crush any trial in front of you. So, that shield of faith is not just for shielding yourself from the arrows of lies from the enemy, it is now your spiritual water-board.
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander — What? Now you are asking to be drowned? Are you going to be a Peter and walk on those rough waves, keeping your eyes on Jesus? Or are you going to freak out that God is working miracles in your life, and start stumbling all over your problems?
And my faith will be made stronger, In the presence of my Savior — Remember asking for patients a little bit ago? How is your faith going to be made stronger if it is not being exercised? Get ready for all hell to break loose on you. You want to be stronger? You hit those dead-weights and start pumping.
Now it’s your turn. Go pick apart The Prayer of Jabez.
Dangerous words indeed.
All irony, humor, and jokes aside. These thoughts humble me. You see, I have prayed that prayer many times. I have laid on the ground in reverent worship singing those lyrics, many times.
You want to know about my day? I woke up depressed, frustrated, my spirit felt crushed. God has had these thoughts on my heart for weeks. Every week a still, small voice telling me to write them down. This morning these verses were laid on my heart:
I have called you back from the ends of the earth, saying, ‘You are my servant.’ For I have chosen you and will not throw you away. Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. “See, all your angry enemies lie there, confused and humiliated. Anyone who opposes you will die and come to nothing. You will look in vain for those who tried to conquer you. Those who attack you will come to nothing. For I hold you by your right hand— I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.
Isaiah 41:9-13 NLT
God has no interest in destroying us, or making us teeter on the ledge. He is interested in enabling us in overcoming our fears, being victorious, and overcoming all odds while we give him the glory.
It took all day at work, mulling over these thoughts to come to peace with the chaos that is taking place in my own personal life right now. The question is, am I diligently excising the tools I have been given?
This week I am fasting a few things. Every time I think about wanting food, or partaking in some activity I have given up for a week, I am going to stop and pray, thank God, and praise him for all the blessings he has put in my life. Then I will worship him and seek for his wisdom and guidance on whatever matter eating away at my heart.
So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.
1 Corinthians 15:58 NLT