The Still Small Voice

The Art of Reflection - Listening for Enlargement

 Chapter Five, Part Eleven




Listening for Enlargement

Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, ‘Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that you would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain.’ So God granted him what he requested. (1 Chronicles 4:10 NKJ)

Almost overnight, millions of Christians began praying this somewhat overlooked verse from the book of Chronicles. It is such an entirely appropriate passage that, if we are not already praying what has become known as the ‘Prayer of Jabez,’ then perhaps we should ask ourselves why not?[18]

Those of us who are wary of the often exaggerated claims of the ‘prosperity gospel’ may find ourselves veering too far in the opposite direction. There is nothing commendable about under performing in order to avoid going over-the-top. ‘Playing safe’ often causes us to live far below the level of faith that the Scriptures call us to.

‘Reduce the size of your tent’ might be a word to the wise to an elderly couple to downsize their family home, but the general tenor of Scripture urges us to rise up and pray to extend our impact for the Kingdom.

For Reflection and Prayer

To realize how wonderful God’s promises really are, try turning some of them upside down! Such an exercise can help us to realize just how powerful the verses are the ‘right way up!’

How about these for a starters?

The Lord is my slave-driver, who always lets me down and leads me nowhere. He drives me on by day and night, and wearies me by forcing me down paths I did not want to take.
(Not Psalm 23:1-3)

Now may the God of all discouragement drain you of all joy and peace as you continue to doubt Him, so that you may end up feeling entirely helpless. (Not the Epistles to the Romans 15:13)

Now to Him who is able to do less than we can ask or imagine, due to the lack of power that is at work within us. (Not the Epistle to the Ephesians 3:20)

You might like to try a few others. You’ll soon get the idea. Praise God for the power of the true and living Word of God!


18 So named after Bruce Wilkinson’s best-selling book The Prayer of Jabez (Multnomah, 2000)