Small books – say, 50-60 pages long – can contain ideas just as big and life-changing as their more sizable counterparts. It’s not the first time I say this.
The Prayer of Jabez, by Bruce Wilkinson is precisely such a book.
The Prayer of Jabez focuses solely on the story of Jabez (surprise!) as told at the begining of 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 and mostly consisting of his request to God. A four-verses-prayer that dares us to pray bolder.
Don’t ask me why it took me so long to read it, I know it was popular ages ago. The important thing is that I did read it, it echoed some thoughts I read in The Prayer Circle, by Mark Batterson about a year ago.
Most importantly, it was a bit of a wake-up call for me.
Lately, I’ve been praying small. This is a time of in-between for me, and I’ve been praying for God’s daily provision, but in modest amounts. Praying for survival, I call it.
I’ve been dreaming small. Not the night-time dreams kind, but the plans and desires for the now and for the tomorrow. They’re daring, but nothing beyond the limitations of my talents, skills and experience.
Bruce Wilkinson put my current prayers and dreams in a compact equation-type form:
Replace “territory” with “opportunities/dreams/ministry/influence” and you get the picture.
In The Prayer of Jabez, we’re told that when we pray big and daring prayers, the following equation is much more accurate:
This messed up my prayer world, in the best way.