- Ambition in Prayer
Thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my
coast. 1 Chron.
is an ambition in prayer which is well-pleasing
to God. He is not honoured by the presenting of minimum requests.
Because we are coming to the throne of a great King, we should
Him by bringing worthy petitions. Granting
them will not strain His resources.
is an example of ambitious praying which merits
our emulation. That his praying met the conditions
of divine approval is attested by the divine response:
God granted him that which he requested".
Despite the hereditary handicap hinted at
in his name (Sorrowful) his
prayer life lifted him far above the level of his
contemporaries. "Jabez was more distinguished than his brothers."
From the graveyard of
the dead whose names are recorded in these opening chapters, he alone is singled out
for honourable mention. And it was his prayer
which gained him this fame.
intensity of aspiration is evidenced in its opening clause - the
vocative plea of Holy Writ. He would be content
with no ordinary blessing from the hand of God.
He appealed for an extension of his boundaries. He
was not "content to fill a little space" for God when he
could fill a great one. The unselfishness and purity of
his motives is guaranteed by the answer granted. Such ambition will prevent our
spiritual stature from shrinking.
true realism he asked that God's hand might be with
him to equip for larger responsibilities. Because enlarged
territory inevitably attracted increased attention
on the part of his enemies, he pleaded for God's
environing and protecting presence. His prayer antedated the
prayer of our Lord, "I pray that thou shouldest
keep them from the evil one".
is still looking for men and women whose ambition
expresses itself in such a prayer as that of Jabez.