Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Prayer of Jabez (1 Chronicles 4:10)

There are a lot of things I want to do that I just never actually do. An article on prayer is one of a long list of such projects. Every time I thought of working on the prayer project, I felt that warm fuzzy gentleness of spirituality that I love. I followed the feeling straight to the main branch of the county library system. My line of inquiry stumped the research librarian. I've never met a research librarian that wasn't competent, helpful and ever-so-willing to help. Research librarians are among the most helpful folks you'd ever want to come across. I've never stumped one before but this time they had nothing for me. He did eventually guide me to some shelves "Where you may find something." I immediately spotted a little book. I knew instantly there was value to be gleaned.

I came across a little book called the Prayer of Jabez. The author claims that there is a little tiny reference to Jabez in Chronicles amongst a boring list of names that says he was more honorable then the rest. Later, the good book shares his little prayer while ignoring every other named mentioned in the list. The prayer is a follows:

Oh, that you would bless me indeed,
and enlarge my territory,
that Your hand be with me,
and that You would keep me from evil

In the book, the author analyzes the prayer quite well. The first line is a calling for blessing. Indeed, the author states was the ancient equivalent to writing the words in all caps and underlining it three times. It is a shout, nearly a demand. Bless me! Give me exactly what you promised. Provide the bounty! And that bounty allows one to be in service to "God".

Bless me that I can do Your work...

Enlarge my terrority means just that. Remove the bonds that shackle me to a place that limits my ability to work for "God". Push me past the limitations I set for myself.

Open up new vistas and provide opportunities to be in service...

that Your Hand be with me means under the guidence on the divine will instead of what one may think is needed. Direct me in accordance with higher purpose.

Allow me to set aside the glory of my ego for the love and service to that which is greater

And that you would keep me from evil was an even more interesting interpretation. Basically, the author states that many Christians pray to succeed over temptation. In that, the battle is lost he claims. The prayer means to keep all temptation away. Let there be no battle at all. I really liked that part. Temptation means evil to him an something else to me but his interpretation was spot on.

Let me not waste energy fighting pointlessly with meaningless and harmless things. Keep them out of my sphere!

I have rewritten this little prayer a few times so it is more meaningful to me. I have also been in a tarot mood of late as I am writing more classes and working n the book. So, I've included the relevant cards as I see them.

[HGA Name] or [Helpful Deity Name] bless me fully with your power and guidence, (Hierophant)
remove all barriers to service of the divine/HD (Fool)
help me put aside myself that I may hear, see and be in service (High Priestess)
keep from me all distractions (the 7's are the distractions), save those that provide needed rest (10 disks).

It did take a bit of discipline not to be distracted by the sadly evangelical nature of this otherwise beautiful little book. That effort was well worth it. This is a prayer worth knowing, using, adapting and I do recommend obtaining the book. I think it will set you back $1.72 on Amazon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. I've been using the Prayer of Jabez for a number of years as a Pentecostal Christian before discovering and falling in love with the beautiful world of Magick. The prayer has become all the more sacred to me now that I have a little more understanding of how things Work. I'd be interested to read any more you might have to say about the use of Christian prayers/traditions in the process of accomplishing the Great Work.
Many Thanks.