New Thought Editorials > Enlarging a Blessed Territory
Enlarging a Blessed Territory
On a recent Hour of Power telecast, I was quite impressed by the guest, Bruce Wilkinson, author of a little book titled The Prayer of Jabez that has become a best seller. It concerns an obscure Old Testament figure whose life story is condensed into two verses curiously stuck into the middle of a long, boring list of names in I Chronicles. Both the King James translation of the Bible and Charles Fillmore’s Metaphysical Bible Dictionary indicate that the name Jabez means "because I bore him in pain" or "he causes sorrow," not a very auspicious name to give to a child. But we are told that Jabez was "more honorable than his brethren," and that he used a four-part prayer. The Bible then states, "So God granted him that which he requested." Wilkinson revealed that he himself has been using the prayer of Jabez for many years, with incredible results.
What did Jabez ask for and receive that was so incredible and valuable? Here is his prayer: "Oh, that you would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!" (I Chron. 4:10, NKJV). He asks God to bless him a lot, but he does not outline what the blessing will be, leaving it completely up to God to select perfect possibilities for him. Then he has the audacity to ask for more territory, wider responsibilities and resources, trusting that God’s blessing will make him able to handle it, to be and do more for God and his fellow human beings.
This little prayer has particular interest for New Thoughters. Charles Fillmore explains that Jabez means "the earnest desire and prayer that the awakened individual directs toward God, inner Spirit, for deliverance from error that he may be blessed and may not reap error’s results." I decided to check various translations of the Bible in addition to the King James, and was amazed to find that the Lansa version reads, "And one of them was dear to his father and to his mother, so they called his name Our Eyes. And they said to him, The Lord shall surely bless you and enlarge your territory, and his hand shall be with you and shall deliver you from evil, that it may not have power over you, and he shall grant you that which you request him." (I Chron. 4: 9-10). This gives a very different picture of a beloved child and an affirmative style of prayer.
No matter which translation we use, there is rich material for us to meditate on. What if we were to ask God to bless us big time, letting God decide what those blessings will be, then expecting God to give us more to work with, bigger and more daring plans for our lives? What if everyone reading these words were to ask for and receive God’s blessing for him- or herself and for the International New Thought Alliance? What if more of us became individual members of INTA, then sought to spread the word about INTA in our communities? What if an amazing number of us decided that Norfolk in July might be a great place to be, came to the Congress, and left transformed with spiritual renewal, radiating joy and energy? What if not just clergy, but laity as well, started getting great new ideas for growing INTA, for regional activities that would bless more people than ever? What if our blessings included healing, creativity, financial abundance, and understanding hearts? As New Thoughters, we know that "thoughts held in mind produce after their kind"; what if our daily thoughts include the idea that God is blessing us and enlarging our territory, so that we need to be constantly looking to see what those blessings and territories might turn out to be? What might we do for the whole world?
Try praying the prayer of Jabez, and then hold on to your hat because, remember, "God granted him what he requested." You’re going to be surprised and delighted!