The sons of Judah: Perez, Hezron, Carmi, Hur, and Shobal. Reaiah the son of Shobal fathered Jahath, and Jahath fathered Ahumai and Lahad. These were the clans of the Zorathites. These were the sons of Etam: Jezreel, Ishma, and Idbash; and the name of their sister was Hazzelelponi, and Penuel fathered Gedor, and Ezer fathered Hushah. These were the sons of Hur, the firstborn of Ephrathah, the father of Bethlehem. Ashhur, the father of Tekoa, had two wives, Helah and Naarah; Naarah bore him Ahuzzam, Hepher, Temeni, and Haahashtari. These were the sons of Naarah. The sons of Helah: Zereth, Izhar, and Ethnan. Koz fathered Anub, Zobebah, and the clans of Aharhel, the son of Harum. Jabez was more honorable than his brothers; and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” Jabez called upon 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 harm so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked. 1 Chronicles 4:1-10.
So that’s where “The Prayer of Jabez” is. I remember when this prayer became a cottage industry as it started turning up on all kinds of household items, and there was even a book about it. It was probably a good prayer for it’s time. If you think about it, God’s earliest marching orders were: “Make babies and fill the earth.” And every man saluted and commenced knocking out kids with multiple wives and concubines.
Generations later, they were given the law by Moses, and commanded to take a certain land, establish God’s government, and purge the land of idolatry. And the slaying began; a generation late because of initial pushback, but it got started.
When Jesus came we got some new orders. He told us to love one another, and even our enemies. He also told us to preach salvation in His name, obedience to his commands, and to relieve poverty and suffering from sickness and demonic oppression.
Unfortunately, it seems like we think these last orders expired, and that we are to hunt down every promise and prayer that will make us rich.