When I began my recovery from a nervous breakdown some years ago, a little book called The Prayer of Jabez became my constant companion and I bought a half dozen at a time to give to others.

A sweet neighbor called me one day and told me about this little book.  She thought it would help me.  I went to Walmart, sweats and all, and bought a copy and from that time for months I had a copy of that little book with me at all times.  It became my security blanket.  I kept one by my chair, by my bed, in my car.  I sent a number of them to Limestone Prison and they started a Jabez prayer meeting every Friday night.  The crowd grew until they were given a larger place to have their meetings.
So many “God Things” happened to me while I carried that little book.  The book didn’t do it but I read it constantly and memorized the prayer and would sometimes repeat it when the pain came.  It helped me begin to regain my sanity and begin my journey with the Holy Spirit.
Jabez is mentioned only once in the Bible in 1st Chronicles, Chapter 4, verses 9 and 10.  This chapter deals with genealogy.  So & so begat so and so and in the middle of all that here are these two little verses: “There was a man named Jabez who was more distinguished than any of his brothers.  His mother named him Jabez because his birth had been so painful.  He was the one who prayed to Isreal, ‘Oh, that you would bless me indeed and enlarge my territory.  Please be with me in all that I do and keep me from all trouble and pain!” And God granted him his request.
“ Enlarge my territory,” was the part that I loved.  God did bless me indeed and brought me back to the world of sanity from which I had nearly gotten lost and when I was able, I prayed Jabez’ prayer.  “Oh, that you would bless me indeed and “enlarge my territory.”  I got on my knees and talked to God.  I told Him if He would send the hurting to me I would do what I could.  I didn’t try to bargain with Him, “If you will do this, I will do that.”  I just stated a fact and He has kept me busy ever since and how He has blessed me over and over!  Each time you do something for someone else, you are the one who is blessed beyond measure.  That is how it effects you if you truly believe and have faith.
I was visiting the nursing home one day and several of us were talking and a man began to tell this story.  A family lived in an old house that only had three rooms and they were awful.  There were holes in the ceiling, the floors were falling in and the woman was expecting yet another baby.  She went to the yard and told her husband she was having pain and she believed something was wrong.  His answer, “git in there and git in that bathtub!  You know what to do!”  The poor woman got in the rusty bath tub and had that baby all alone in that filthy house and she named him Pain because she had such a miserable time having him.  Jabez came immediately to my mind!  What a story repeating itself! As the man talked I got chills from head to toe.  A Bible story repeating itself.  Unbelievable!
This man and some of his friends were building this family a house with six bedrooms so each child would have his own room.  I never knew the man’s name but I would like to know how the story ended and what kind of man Pain became.
There are stories everywhere if we only listen.  There is so much to be learned from the pain of others and we should never turn our backs when it is in our power to help someone if nothing else just lend a shoulder or a box of tissue or send a card.  There is pain all around us.  We see it daily.  Sometimes we can help and sometimes it is beyond our help but we can pray for them.  God hears our prayers.  I know He does when we believe as we pray.  He has come to me so many times when I needed Him and he has answered my worrying prayers when I had no where else to go.  Believe me, he is not a myth.  He is real.  We must remember that as we go about dealing with our fellow man from day to day.  We must remember we are all God’s children, whether it is someone we believe is an upright Christian or the dirtiest, trashiest man in town.  God loves them all the same and He blesses us if we bless them.
Sermon over.  Stay tuned.

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