Background: The book of Chronicles was written to encourage God’s people who had been exiled to Babylon and were wondering if God was still for them. This first section of Chronicles seems like just a long list of names, but it is intended to remind the people of their heritage in the promises given to Adam and Abraham and Moses and David. In the middle of this list of names is a prayer made by an unknown man named Jabez.
Ask the children…
What do we know about Jabez?
“There was a man named Jabez who was more honorable than any of his brothers.” (1 Chronicles 4:9)
So what did Jabez ask God for?
“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!’” (1 Chronicles 4:10)
What did God do?
“And God granted him his request.” (1 Chronicles 4:10)
In the midst of all these names we see the name of an honorable man named Jabez. It is the first and only time he is mentioned in the Bible. He asks God to bless him and to increase his land and areas of responsibility and to protect him.
Does it sound like a selfish prayer? God didn’t think so. He granted Jabez’ request. Why? Because Jabez was an honorable man and he wanted these blessings so he in turn could bless God and others.
God wanted His people to realize that He would bless anyone who came to him with a God honoring request.
Ask your children if they think it is OK to pray to be blessed? Ask them if they can think of any blessings they need that would honor God? Encourage them not to hold anything back. Think BIG like Jabez did. Go ahead and pray with them that God would bless them mightily.
Feel free to share your own stories below in the comments section.
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