The first line of the prayer of Jabez, is:
“Oh, that you would bless me, indeed…”
First of all, the word “indeed” is a way of adding emphasis, much like we would do with an exclamation point. It wasn’t enough for Jabez to merely make his request, he made it passionately and emphatically.
The request of Jabez is that God would bless him, really bless him. This is an entreaty for supernatural favor. The desire to be blessed, however, is not so that Jabez could have a better life or live in comfort and with ease.
He sought blessings so that he in turn could be a blessing to others. This is what God earlier promised to Abram (later called Abraham), when he said, “I will bless you…and you will be a blessing.”
Asking for blessings for ourselves would be selfish and self-serving and not likely to receive a favorable response from God. However, once we realize that all we have is God’s, which can therefore be used to help others, a request for blessing is in reality a plea to be able to help others even more.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.