Today, I want to share an incredible story with you—a story about soccer, friendship, and a profound lesson on prayer. So, grab a cup of coffee, settle in, and let’s dive into the story of watching soccer at Erick’s house. ⚽️

Erick is a soccer fanatic, and I, on the other hand, knew next to nothing about the sport. Despite my lack of knowledge, I was eager to spend time with my friend and support his passion. But there was a catch—I could watch, but if I wanted to understand the game, Erick had to teach me. Just like my experience with soccer, there’s a parallel to our relationship with God. We don’t want a church full of spectators; rather, Jesus desires a church that actively engages with Him through prayer. 🙏

In the book of 1 Chronicles, amidst a list of genealogies, we find the prayer of Jabez—an ancient model of prayer that teaches us powerful lessons in our walk with God. 📖

And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “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!” So God granted him what he requested.

1 Chronicles 4:10

🙌 Blessing: “Oh, that you would bless me, enlarge my territory!” Jabez’s first request was for God’s blessing. This isn’t just about personal gain; it’s about desiring God’s hand to touch our lives on earth. Blessing, here, means experiencing the overflow of God’s goodness in every aspect of life. Our Heavenly Father delights in pouring out blessings upon His children, so we can, in turn, be a blessing to others. 

🌍 Influence: “Enlarge my territory!” Jabez desired an enlarged territory not for land but to expand his sphere of influence. He wanted to show more people the goodness of God through his life. Praying for an enlarged territory means seeking to make a difference, touching lives with compassion, just as Jesus did. 🌟

🙏 Presence: “Let your hand be with me.” The hand of the Lord signifies God’s presence and power. With greater blessings and influence, we must recognize our dependency on God. It is through His presence that we find the strength and wisdom to accomplish the seemingly impossible tasks set before us. We have the privilege of walking in close communion with Him, seeking His guidance in every decision and action. 🙌

🛡️ Protection: “Keep me from harm.” The enemy is always on the prowl, seeking to distract us from God’s purpose for our lives. Jabez’s prayer for protection was not a plea for a pain-free life but for victory in the face of attacks and temptations. He sought protection from the schemes of the enemy before they even occurred. When we trust God in the midst of our trials, our pain no longer defines us. Prayer is about moving toward God, relying on His strength and protection. 🛡️

Jabez’s prayer model shows us the power of overcoming pain and suffering by fixing our eyes on what God has for us beyond our circumstances. Let’s learn from this ancient prayer and apply its principles in our lives today. 📖

I encourage you to embrace prayer as a lifestyle, seeking God’s blessings, desiring an expanded sphere of influence for His glory, depending on His presence, and finding protection in Him. As we pray like Jabez, we will discover a life filled with purpose, meaning, and transformational impact. When we aim at heaven, we get earth thrown in. So, let’s aim high and watch God do wonders through our prayers! 🌟

 Pastor Joe🙏

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