Wednesday, April 9, 2008

the prayer of Jabez

I read the book The Prayer of Jabez in 2000 and I prayed and meditated on the prayer, looking forward to the Lord leading me to new territories. Only a few days into my new prayer focus, I was talked into teaching a children's Sunday School class for a month each quarter. Now, I love leading women's Bible studies, and I love my own children, but teaching other people's kids is not something I find enjoyable. In fact it puts me in a panic. So that was not a very pleasant new territory.

I began meditating on the Prayer again a few months ago, and suddenly found my father's financial details dumped into my lap. I can manage our family finances...usually...but my father's are rather complicated and I found myself telling my friend that I was through with the Prayer of Jabez if it's only going to lead to uncomfortable new territories!

My friend encouraged me not to give up. And I thought about new territories and pioneers and God's unfathomable wisdom, and I realized that the expanding of one's boundaries is always going to be a stretching experience.

Here are my thoughts on the prayer today (interspersed with the prayer itself):

I Chronicles 4:10
If only You would bless me
Lord, keep me in the center of Your will, where I can expect Your guidance and blessing.
Extend my border
Lord, I'm not sure I'm ready for "extending"; please enable me to care for my current territory.
Let Your hand be with me
Keep me aware of Your presence.
So that I will not cause any pain
Keep me kind and gentle and pleasant
with the children
with my husband
with my Dad.

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