by Toni Birdsong
“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.” 1 Chronicles 4:10, NIV
This amazing little prayer roars with incredible promise for our online time. Like so many others, I consumed the little book The Prayer of Jabez when Bruce Wilkinson wrote it in 2000. It opened our eyes to the power of inviting God into our daily plan and honoring Him as the “Lord” of our work. Jabez wanted to succeed and increase his sphere of influence in the world. As Christ followers, and digital scribes, we share Jabez’ goal only in a digital land.
Can you imagine the impact The Prayer of Jabez might have if prayed in earnest over your online time? The prayer has four parts that could alter everything as you seek to digitally multiply Kingdom territory . . .
1. Jabez asks God to bless him. It may not be a common practice for you, but try this today and notice the changes that happen: pray before you get online. Ask God to bless every digital step you take today. Ask Him to open your eyes to the “post behind the post” or the “tweet behind the tweet.” Ask Him to join you on the journey and blow your mind by pointing out the scenery you may not have noticed before!
2. Jabez asks God to enlarge his territory or increase his responsibility. Considering that you likely have a true reach of one to two thousand people in your online circles (do the math!), this part of the prayer is key for Christians living in the 21st century. Our territory (mission field) has increased exponentially. Our words, thoughts, and values travel at the speed of light. Ask God to increase that reach even more; to trust you to speak, do, and cultivate the digital land He has given to you.
3. Jabez prays that God will be with him and stay close. We need God for every click. Before you get your fingers flying and hit the RT button a hundred times, slow down and breathe. Remember who you are and to whom you belong. If you rush into this day minus the Holy Spirit, you could misstep on the cyber highway and blow your best intentions sky-high. Remember, no one sets out to screw up.
4. Jabez asks that God keep him from harm so that he will be free from pain. A prudent move on Jabez’ part, we too need God’s protection to enfold our words, our actions, and our hearts daily. Only God can steer us away from the cyber landmines.
Proverbs 16:3 (NKJV) says, “Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.” Feeling proficient in an environment is great—however, it’s often our in our comfort zone that the enemy pulls his slickest moves. Self-confidence in ourselves can’t come close to inviting Jesus to walk with us in the big and in the small.
Tweet/Post this today:
Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my [online] territory, Lord! Without You today, it’s just chatter. #LiveSticky
How might your online time would look differently if you prayed The Prayer of Jabez?