Beyond Jabez: Expanding Your Borders
Dr. Bruce Wilkinson has written this follow-up to his phenomenal bestseller, THE PRAYER OF JABEZ, for several reasons. Primarily he hoped to delve more deeply into each section of the prayer and to explore its deeper practical applications. Also, he felt it necessary to clarify some of the misconceptions that led to controversy over the first book.
"And Jabez called upon 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 Chron. 4:10
This is the prayer that inspired the books and generated strong debate among Christian factions, especially extremists at either end of the spectrum. There were those who decried it as another "name it and claim it" gimmick while others were bursting with positive testimonies of personal miracles when they "prayed Jabez." Dr. Wilkinson says that he never meant for it to be a mantra or a magic lamp but simply a model to help people enrich their prayer lives.
I remember buying the book as a Christmas present for my son. And I prayed the prayer just to see what would happen. Within two days my already bloated caseload increased 25%. The Lord increased my territory! Reinforcing a truth that we often forget, God's ways are not our ways. What we might have in mind and what He has in mind are often entirely different.
While it's true that God cares about our smallest needs and can provide a parking place right up front on a day that you're in a hurry, it's 110 degrees and your hip is killing you. On the other hand, when you get home you may receive that dreaded phone call telling you that the friend everyone at church has been praying for did not survive her latest stroke. So, what's the deal? The real deal is God's sovereignty. His ways are not our ways and we'll never understand everything. We just have to trust that He knows what He is doing. Whether you "pray Jabez", address Him in King James English, or talk to Him as you would to your loving Father, the key is the relationship.
BEYOND JABEZ is an inspiring sequel to THE PRAYER OF JABEZ and is sure to help those who read it expand their understanding of the importance of prayer and faith. Dr. Wilkinson challenges us to broaden our horizons.
Reviewed by Maggie Harding on January 31, 2005