The Prayer of Jabez: The Bible and the Book -- By: William E. Arp

Journal: Journal of Ministry and Theology
Volume: JMAT 06:2 (Fall 2002)
Article: The Prayer of Jabez: The Bible and the Book
Author: William E. Arp

The Prayer of Jabez:
The Bible and the Book

William E. Arp

Professor of Greek and New Testament
Baptist Bible Seminary, Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania

The book The Prayer of Jabez by Bruce Wilkinson has been an amazing success.1 Its preface gives the reason for its success. In it Wilkinson writes Jabez’s prayer is a prayer that “God always answers” and that it “contains the key to a life of extraordinary favor with God.”2 He also writes that thousands of believers who are applying its truths “are seeing miracles happen on a regular basis.” It is no wonder that people are eager to pray this prayer which Wilkinson encourages them to pray every day.3

These are amazing statements and an amazing statistic. What kind of prayer is this that produces such a statistic as this? What kind of prayer is this that causes such statements as Wilkinson makes? A prayer such as this demands careful consideration.

The book also demands careful consideration. Does it merit all the applause, attention, and application which it is receiving? Does it correctly interpret and then apply this prayer? Is the book biblically and theologically correct? These are important questions which must be answered.

The purpose of this article is threefold: (1) to explain the meaning of Jabez’s prayer, (2) to examine Wilkinson’s exposition and emphases in light of the meaning of the prayer, and (3) to give careful consideration to this prayer and to the book in order to answer the above questions. Therefore, this study will first look at the context of the prayer: Where is it found?

Then it will look at the character of Jabez: Who is Jabez? Next it will look at the reason for Jabez’s name: Why did his mother name him Jabez? Then it will look at the content of the prayer: What did Jabez pray? After this, it will make a comparison between Jabez’s prayer and Wilkinson’s book by looking at Wilkinson’s exposition and application in order to evaluate the book. Finally, this study suggests a conclusion concerning praying Jabez’s prayer.

The Consideration Of Jabez’s Prayer

The Context Of Jabez’s Prayer

Jabez’s prayer appears rather abruptly in 1 Chronicles. The Chronicler4 inserts his prayer seemingly without connection into the first section of 1 Chronicles (1:1...

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