Ask God to Bless You

Bruce Wilkinson released a popular book in 2000 entitled, The Prayer of Jabez.  It is based on a section of scripture found in I Chronicles 4:9-10, “Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, ‘I gave birth to him in pain.’ Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, ‘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.’ And God granted his request” (NIV).  Initially, the concept of asking God to bless and bring increase was foreign to me; however, since my husband and I began claiming this scripture are lives have been impacted significantly.

The blessings we have petitioned God for aren’t just financial, but also relational, spiritual, and physical.  We’ve asked God to cause us to flourish in all areas of our lives (family, careers, and church); and to enlarge our territory, which also means to enlarge our sphere of influence. God continues to layer this life lesson through a sermon at church that encouraged us to write down the blessings that we see God manifesting in our lives.  As a constant reminder of how good God is, we posted a list on our refrigerator door where we wrote down what we saw God doing – no matter how “insignificant.”  Seeing this list grow has caused us to be even more thankful in the small things, so that God can continue to bless us in the big things!  Here’s a sample of what’s on our list:

It is amazing how quickly you start to see the positive rather than the negative situations surrounding you, when you start concentrating on the blessings in your life. Gratitude changes your perspective.  Have you ever noticed how easy it is to dwell and focus on the unfortunate things that may be happening to you? Even in Jabez’s life, he could have focused on the meaning of his name of “being born in pain,” and sensed that his mother didn’t want him and then felt sorry for himself.  Instead, he focused on God and the abundance that God could bestow on him.  Because of his expectancy on God, Jabez received blessing and favor over his life.

Having a special needs child, and dealing with the daily requirements as a caregiver, could cause me to focus on disappointments and make me discontent.  But, every trip I make with her to Children’s Hospital, I’m reminded of how fortunate I am to see her growth and development, rather than the despair and hopelessness.  So many other children are fighting life threatening illnesses and have more involved health challenges than my daughter.  I have determined that while on this journey with her, I’m going to strive to live with excitement and enthusiasm so that she flourishes with the delight of the Lord.  I Timothy 6:6 says, “But godliness with contentment is great gain” (NIV).

When you concentrate on giving to others, your problems don’t seem as big; you find yourself grateful, and in your thankfulness, God will continue to bless you more than you could ever imagine!  Just as an earthly father is more apt to reward his children with gifts when they appreciate them, so our Heavenly Father will pour out blessings on us if we show Him that we are truly thankful for all that He does for us! 

My encouragement to you is to ask God to bless you, to increase your realm of influence, to enlarge your territory, and you will see Him step in and do exactly as He’s promised.  As He fulfills these promises, don’t forget to be thankful so He will continue to pour out blessings that there isn’t room enough to contain them!  The Lord declares in Genesis 12:2, “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing” (NIV).

 

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