Monday, November 9, 2009

the prayer of juarez...

You have to read it! Really, it’ll change your prayer life, she said. Maybe it’s the rebel in me, but anytime someone says I have to do something, I want to do the opposite. I know, I know, I’m a female James Dean. But since it was a dear friend whom I trusted, I took her word and bought the newest Christian phenom of a book, The Prayer of Jabez. The book is based off an obscure prayer found in the middle of a long section of genealogies in 1 Chronicles 4: “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.”

Here’s the book in one sentence: If we truly pray for God to bless us and be used for His kingdom, good things would happen—God would bless and enlarge our territory and we would serve Him in a deeper and expanded way.

Nothing is wrong with this assertion, but many people read this book like a get-rich-quick manual. Like God is a celestial Bob Barker waiting to pull back a colorful door to reveal A new boat! A new dining room set and china cabinet! A set of jet skis! and other signs of wealth. All we need to do is spin the prayer wheel and ask for the illusive $1.00 spot.

I don’t know if this was the author’s intention, but to me, it was a palatable prosperity gospel* in mini-book form. It didn’t bode over well as I sat back and looked at my mother who was dying of cancer, I was a stellar college grad who was jobless, and my heart was broken for choosing God’s will over mine. I rested the book on my chest, placed my hand on my chemo-ridden mother and thought of Paul the Apostle. According the 2 Corinthians, Paul had frequently been in prison, flogged severely, exposed to death many times, whipped 39 lashes five times, beaten with rods three times, stoned, shipwrecked, and endured dehydration and starvation. But his territory expanded. In fact, he authored more than half the New Testament, was thee early church father, and was a legit theologian who has changed lives even today.

The Prayer of Jabez is a poetic request from God, and yes, God blesses the lives of those who serve Him. But the Prayer of Juarez would include, Thy will be done, not my will. Come cancer, death, success, and health, blessed be your name. You give and take away, but my heart will surely say, blessed be your name.

*Prosperity gospel: the belief that God rewards faithful and sincere Christians with success! Good health! And material prosperity!

50 comments:

Paul said...

you really should consider a career in carpentry because you hit the nail on the head every time... that whole jabez deal struck me the same way.. a get rich quick prayer.. like if we'd somehow convince Him to change His will in our lives.. going through this drought of money and jobs in life, I have come to seek God's blessing and try to ask for some divine miracle time and again.. but the thing the Lord has impressed upon me in this struggle is that not only is it bad to seek our own will but to seek His will our way is out of line with His will altogether as well... so its in the giving up of ourselves that we find that obedience puts us in the place where He wants us and uses us greatly in ways we don't see. I heard this phrase the other day on KWVE that inspired me in this subject and impacted some other lives through sharing it already.. its.. "Its not about just doing God's will, its about doing God's will, God's way!" now i dont remember who said that but its profound in the search for blessing.. thanks for sharing, sista, and be blessed as you bless the name of Jesus..
peace..
Paulie <><

Becky said...

I am really glad to hear your thoughts on this book! (warning: this might be a long comment!) I have been a part of a local ministry and the lady who runs it continues to use this prayer. It's always bothered me but I think in a good way...I went to a prosperity church with my parents for six years...I was 4 yrs old when we started going there and 10 when we left! It was a huge relief in leaving that church! The reason I say it's bothered me in a good way is b/c it has propelled me deeper in my study of scripture and to realize that we live in a fallen world and not everything comes out smelling like roses all the time. I wish it did! :) But I still choose to walk by faith and say "thy will be done, not my will"! Great post!

Daniel said...

I heard someone speak about this book on KWVE a while back as well - and from what I hear about it and even more so now from what you point out, it seems like a prosperity book. It's presented as if a Christian should never face poverty or regular life problems that arise. Look at the Christians who are persecuted in India and Iran, we here do not get to face that but those brothers and sisters put their life on the line for Christ and many are living in poverty. Guess they did not read this book.
Look at the Church in Smyrna in Revelations, mentions they had afflictions and extreme poverty!
Being a Christian will not make you rich, nor guarantee that sickness will never strike us or a loved one. It does guarantee that our Hope is now in Jesus and His promises. As Job said If we are to accept God's blessings we also should accept adversity - and rejoice whether we are in a valley or mountain top.

Amen Bianca - Blessed be the Name of the LORD!!!!!

Quirky Christa said...

Wow! What an awesome post, I'm definitely going to forward this one :)

christy said...

Great post Bianca...people often do think that coming to Christ means an easy life..sometimes it can be even harder that it was to begin with..but now we have His HOPE...

Lydia said...

And perfect relationships with other! Because you are a child of the King!

Yet if we look at how Christ was treated here on earth, how can we expect to be treated any different? May the Prayer of Juarez be the prayer of my heart as well!

Anonymous said...

AMEN, AMEN and AMEN!

-j

Justine Ray said...

Amen!
I have to admit; I have never heard of the prosperity gospel but who ever thought up such an obscure thought apparently has not heard of a man named Job.

You rock!

Diandra Ann said...

oooooo... you're DARING! And usually right! And I love you :)

Jen said...

:) I've not read the book... but I have read THE Book :)

I don't think the original prayer was meant to be a material prosperity "God, give me money so I can do your will" kind of thing. I always read "expand my territory" to mean "give me a wider scope of people to influence for You"

"That Your Hand would be with me" ... guide me o Lord. Keep me within Your will at all times.

"Keep me from harm that I will not feel pain" is (i think) better read from the KJV... "that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me!" Basically... keep Satan away so he doesn't bother me!

Of course, I could be WAY off :)

Jasmine said...

On the flip side, I think the book was meant to let readers (i.e. Christians) know it's okay for people to ask God for things. It's okay to ask to be blessed. We live in a society where we've created this notion of pious living means being a destitute.
I actually liked the book because it gave me to confidence to embrace my blessings...and to ask for more. Yes, more. If God is blessing me and I'm using it for the Kingdom, then I hope it continues.
p.s. If God wants to give me a Porsche, I won't be complaining! Amen.

Staci L. Photography said...

I think Francis Chan (from his new book Forgotten God) said it very well. He was speaking about the promises of God in his word & what the Holy Spirit provides:

"There is a huge difference between believing what God has promised and praying for things you'd like to be true. I encourage you to pray confidently for what God has promised. Don't put your hope in what others promise or what you've been told you'll "get" if you are a "good christian" (e.g. a good job, financial success, the perfect spouse, healthy children, a big house, etc.). And ultimately you need to stake your faith in God alone, not in the gifts (good as they may be) that he gives. Do you trust God when he says no or "not in this way" to you, you still believe he is good and doing what is best?"

I do believe that no matter how little or large the lot you've been blessed with that it should be used to serve & give to others. The woman who gave the little bit she had was highlighted in God's word for a reason as was the man who had tons of wealth that Jesus told to sell & give away all his riches to follow him. He walked away with his head down because he just couldn't do it. THIS is the difference. What do we do with everything we have...not just our financial & material belongings, but our talents, our time, our gifts, etc. Because it is God who gives it all to us anyway. We just like to "think" we've earned it or have done something at the work of our own hands to deserve it. Nothing could be further from the truth according to his word.

Jennie Finch said...

Amen Bi!

Praying the Prayer of Juarez! Doing things for Him rather than doing things to reap. Letting Him shine and not ourselves or what we have... my prayer!

Keep it up! And keep being brave in Faith and brave in Him! Love you!

Jennie Finch said...

Amen Bi!

Praying the Prayer of Juarez! Doing things for Him rather than doing things to reap. Letting Him shine and not ourselves or what we have... my prayer!

Keep it up! And keep being brave in Faith and brave in Him! Love you!

Bianca said...

Thanks for the feedback! I want to clarify two things, however.

1. I'm not saying this book was blasphemy. Perhaps the author never intended it to be interpreted in the way many have.
2. Pray for financial security and prosperity! I do. However, temper that request with accepting that God's will for your life may be different.

@Jasmine, I've seen first hand how God has enriched your territory and I'm a recipient of your blessings. So do yo' thang, Shorty. I love you, sister! PS I forgive you for making me read that book ;)

jennyduffyphoto said...

My husband and I started praying the prayer of Jabez and few years ago. It's was about the time I started my photography business. I literally had to stop praying the prayer and ask my husband to stop praying it as well because I was so overwhelmed with the blessings when it came to my business I was ready for them to stop! I know it sounds hard to believe, but it's true!
This prayer is so incredibly powerful!
Also, when we prayed the prayer, we focused more on the part of enlarging our territory. I wanted to be more of an influence for God. This sunday, my husband and I are going to be launching a new campus for our church downtown Grand Rapids, Mi, and we are the pastors! I believe this is God's answer to our prayer! Never in my dreams would I have thought I would be a pastor, but here I am! So, I don't really view the prayer of Jabez as a prayer which blesses me with tangible things, but something much more wonderful....a greater opportunity to spead the word of God! If your desire is to be blessed for God's glory and you pray this prayer with that in mind, buckle your seat belt because God will do some crazy cool things in your life!

Tish said...

Amen to what jennyduffyphoto said about the Jabez prayer being about tangible things but about greater opportunity to spread the gospel. Not that God can't use tangible items (a camera or nice house or whatever) as a means to "enlarge your territory" but too many people look to the tangible as the blessing. I read a blogger who stated that she had dozens of very expensive designer handbags sitting in her closet because God wants us to "live abundantly"...unfortunately that is the midset of many Christians in America.

Andrew said...

It depends on your focus. Build for things temporal(good tinder) or build into what will last forever; Bianca is taking it with her. Get on board. The train is leaving soon.

サイドビジネス said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
高収入アルバイト said...

性欲を持て余し、欲求不満になっている女性を金銭の対価を得て、癒して差し上げるお仕事です。参加にあたり用紙、学歴等は一切問いません。高収入アルバイトに興味のある方はぜひどうぞ

困っています。 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
副収入 said...

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モテる度チェッカー said...

なかなか彼氏、彼女が出来ない君達の深層心理を徹底解明♪みんなでモテる度チェックをやって結果交換も自由、合コンや休み時間はモテる度チェックで暇つぶし!次にモテ期が訪れる瞬間をズバリ診断しちゃいます

¥倶楽部 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
野外露出 said...

今迄は野外露出がマイナスイメージと囚われがちですが、実際は開放的な気分になり有名人のヌーディストが、オープンになる事を推奨してるぐらいです。このサイトをキッカケに知り合った娘達と野外で楽しみませんか

人妻 said...

最近旦那とマンネリで全然Hしてません。正直もうかなり欲求不満です…誰か相手してくれる方いませんか?空いている時間は多いと思うので都合は合わせやすいと思います。お互い楽しめる関係になりたいな。人妻でも平気な人いたら是非相手してください☆一応18歳以上の人限定でお願いします。上はどこまででも大丈夫なんで excellent.lady@docomo.ne.jp

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当サイトでは無料でオナ動画を見ることができます。また、ライブチャット機能でリアルタイムオ○ニーを見るチャンスも高く、興奮間違いなしです。また、一人Hのお手伝いを希望される女性もあり、お手伝いいただけた方には謝礼をお支払いしております

スタービーチ said...

日本最大、だれもが知っている出会い系スタービーチがついに復活、進化を遂げた新生スタビをやってみませんか?趣味の合う理想のパートナー探しの手助け、合コンパーティー等も随時開催しています。楽しかった頃のスタビで遊んでみよう

モテる度 said...

あなたの異性からのモテ度数を診断できる、モテる度チェッカー!日頃モテモテで充実しているあなたもそうでないニートの方も隠されたモテスキルを測定して結果を活用し、今以上にモッテモテになること間違いなし

救援部 said...

女性のオナニーを助ける場が救援部です。ここに所属してる娘のオナニーを見て気に入ったら、実際に会ってオナニーを手伝っても良いし、エッチしても良し、これで報酬Get出来るんですから美味しいバイトですよ

スタービーチ said...

一時代を築いたスタービーチは閉鎖になりましたが、もう一度楽しい思いをしたい、もう一度出会いたいと思う有志により再度復活しました。本家以上に簡単に出会えて楽しい思いを約束します

女に生れて来たからには!! said...

誰にも言えない秘密があります。実はとってもHなんです、せっかく女として生まれたからにはアブノーマルな世界に飛び込んでみたいです☆普段では考えられないプレイを思う存分楽しみ、経験したいんです♪快楽に溺れさせてくれませんか?一緒に感じ合いましょう!!都合はつくのですぐに時間を合わせられます。18歳よりも上の方がいいです!! quietness@docomo.ne.jp

流出 said...

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グリー said...

日本最大級、だれもが知っている出会い系スタービーチがついに復活、グリーより面白い新生スタビをやってみませんか?趣味の合う理想のパートナー探し、合コンパーティーに興味がある方はぜひ無料登録してみてください。楽しかった頃のスタビで遊んでみよう

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あなたのSM度を簡単診断、SM度チェッカーで隠された性癖をチェック!真面目なあの娘も夜はドS女王様、ツンデレなあの子も実はイジめて欲しい願望があるかも!?コンパや飲み会で盛り上がること間違いなしのおもしろツールでみんなと盛り上がろう

リッチセックス said...

女性には風俗がない!そんな悩みを持つセレブ女たちは、リッチセックスでお金を使い自分を満たします。金銭面では豊かですが、愛に飢えている彼女たちを癒して高額な報酬を手に入れてみませんか

神待ち said...

女子○生の個人情報公開!?遊び盛りの神待ち女子○生の写メ・アドレス・番号を公開中!好みの女の子を選んで直メ・直電で今すぐ待ち合わせしよう

高級チェリー said...

高級チェリーの冬は童貞卒業のシーズンです。童貞を食べたい女性達もウズウズしながら貴方との出会いを待っています。そんな女性達に童貞を捧げ、貴方もハッピーライフを送ってみませんか

友達募集中 said...

初書き込みで申し訳ないんですが、都合のいい男性探しています。不況の中でも会社が高成長してて、忙しい毎日です。お陰でプライベートが充実していなくって、溜まる一方です。財産的にも多少余裕が今のところあるのでお礼もできます。何より、この書き込みが読まれているのかちょっと怪しいですけど…。アドレス置いとくので、消されないうちにメールくれたら嬉しいです。inspiration.you@docomo.ne.jp

出張ホスト said...

結婚してから女としての喜びを失った玉の輿女性達、エリート旦那のそつのない動きには満足できるはずもなく、時間を持て余すお昼時に旦那のお金を使い、出張ホストサービスを楽しむそうでございます。今回も10万円での愛を承っております。癒しの一時をご一緒して謝礼を貰ってくださいませ

gree said...

だれもが知っている日本で一番有名な出会い系スタービーチがついに復活、greeより面白い新生スタビをやってみませんか?理想のパートナー探し、合コンパーティーに興味がある方はぜひ無料登録してみてください

玉の輿度チェッカー said...

当サイトは、みんなが玉の輿に乗れるかどうか診断できる性格診断のサイトです。ホントのあなたをズバリ分析しちゃいます!玉の輿度チェッカーの診断結果には、期待以上の意外な結果があるかも

デリバリーホスト said...

男性との甘い一時が奥様達には必要になっております。刺激のない私生活はとても辛く、ココロもカラダもストレスが堪る一方、そんな中にデリバリーホストに癒しを求めている奥様、セレブ女性は大変増えてきており、男性の方が不足状態です。女性達の癒しとなる仕事をあなた様も一度体験してみてはいかがでしょうか

リア友 said...

メル友らんどでは誰でも気軽にメル友が作れちゃう、参加無料でいつでも利用可能なコミュニティサイト♪ご近所の気の合うリア友や、真面目に彼氏彼女探しなど、楽しみ方は無限大!自分にぴったりの相手を見つけちゃおう

出会い said...

大好評の逆ナンイベントが毎週開催決定!素敵な出会いのきっかけ探し・アイナビにきませんか?積極的な出会いを求める人達なら無料参加OK!あなたもほんの少しの勇気で素敵な彼氏・彼女をGETしちゃおう

お家遊びに来てくれる人いないかなぁ? said...

一人暮らし寂しいよ~(泣)誰かお家遊びにきてくれないかなぁ?休みの日とかも全然予定ありません。料理作るの得意だから来てくれたら食べてほしいな♪見た目は悪くないと思うから安心してください!(笑)細かい事は気にしないけど18歳未満の人は微妙かな、気軽に仲良くしてください milky-yukinko@docomo.ne.jp

神待ち said...

冬に1人でネカフェとか寂しすぎやし、でも自分から積極的に声を掛けれる娘ばかりと違い、内気な娘は神待ちと言われるように自分の事を助けてくれるのを待ってるんです。貴方の優しさを待ってる娘は意外な程多いよ

家出掲示板 said...

あなたのご近所の女の子たちと無料でカンタンにであえる家出掲示板!大学生・専門学生、まさかの女子○生まで!ちょっとしたお小遣い稼ぎに全国の女の子たちが殺到中!ノーピンクからちょっぴりHなお誘いまで…自分に合ったコを選んでメッセしちゃおう

名言チェッカー said...

簡単な設問に答えるだけで貴方にふさわしい名言がわかる、名言チェッカー!あなたの本当の性格を見抜いちゃいます。世界の偉人達が残した名言にはどことなく重みがあるものです

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