A few years ago, a great debate raged in the Frederick household. It started when Marj brought home "The Prayer of Jabez". In my really abbreviated version of the book, the author talked about this guy
mentioned in 1 Chronicles 4:9-11 who asked God for a better life and God granted his request. In a discussion with my allergist, he gave me an immediate dislike for the book before I ever read it, an opinion he shared with me.
The book sold many copies. Without knowing the author, I can only suggest that if he didn't mean to preach a "Health and Wealth" gospel
, people were misinterpreting him.
Why do I say Jabez was a whiner? Listen to how the verses
read in the New International Readers Version:
Jabez was more respected than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez. She had said, "I was in a lot of pain when he was born." Jabez cried out to the God of Israel. He said, "I wish you would bless me. I wish you would give me more territory. Let your powerful hand be with me. Keep me from harm. Then I won't have any pain." God gave him what he asked for.
Why people think that because Jabez did this, it will work for me, I don't know. Somehow I must have missed the prayer that Jesus prayed to do the same.
I do remember the story of the widow who complained to the judge and here request was granted. I remember more, the commands to feed the poor, care for the widow, give water to the thirsty and cloth the naked.
I may be way off base but... This is a discussion that still pops up in our house from time to time but I don't think Jabez's prayer is as favored as the author would like it to be.