Who was Jabez?

I see that name a lot in Protestant religious articles and I’ve heard of the book called the “Prayer of Jabez”, but who was he and why is he so important to them?

I don’t know too much about the book “prayer of Jabez”, but here is a link arguing against the book, and here is a link for the book.
As for the Person named in the Bible, I found this info on Jabez:

Jabez’s name appears in the genealogy of the line of Judah. In 1 Chronicles 4:9-10, it states that Jabez is more distinguished than his brothers, and that his mother named him Jabez because she had a difficult time during his birth. The name Jabez means “distress.” He prayed to God to bless him at his work, and to keep him from evil and disaster, and God granted him his request.

That’s all there is in the Bible about the man named Jabez. However, in Chronicles 2:55, Jabez is the name of a city in Judah that is the home of several families of scribes. Its location today is unknown, and whether there is a link between Jabez the man and Jabez the city is unclear at this time.

Mainly an excuse to pray to God for lots of money?

Here is a link…


Myself, if I had lots of money, I can think of plenty of charities to donate some of it to, starting with AA. Money is NOT evil. It is the LOVE of money which is evil. Fine line, there.:frowning:

So it’s a prayer for success? I guess I’m not getting it…
Why isn’t this such a big Catholic thing? And shouldn’t we be praying the Our Father which came from the lips of the Divine rather than the prayer of a man?

Well, I do at least six OFs as part of my daily Rosary, plus a 7th for the Pope (to gain indulgences for the souls in Purgatory):o

1 Chronicles 4:10:
“Jabez prayed to the God of Israel: Oh, that you may truly bless me and extend my boundaries! Help me and make me free of misfortune, without pain!” And God granted his prayer."

There is nothing wrong to use Bible verses to pray.
If what Jabez said expresses your intention, you can use it as your own prayer. Just like we use Psalm 23, written by David, as our prayer to God. Or, like the Efficacious Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, quote what Jesus said, and use them as part of our prayers.

As a former protestant who used to read and pray the ‘Jabez Prayer’ I can tell you that it is a classic example of how alot of protestants take hold of one little verse in the Bible and blow it all out of proportion. It is also a big part of the ‘prosperity gospel’ that really turned me off.

There is nothing wrong to use Bible verses to pray.
If what Jabez said expresses your intention, you can use it as your own prayer.

You are right in that there is nothing wrong in using Bible verses to pray. However if you have read the little book about the prayer by Bruce Wilkinson, you will quickly learn that it is all about obtaining as much blessing from God - but shallow blessings. For instance I quote from the book:

"If Jabez had worked on Wall Street, he might have prayed, “Lord increase the value of my investment portfolios.” "

How is this about growing in sanctity as Pope Benedict has recently talked about? To me it emphasized the shallowness of protestant spirituality which is a big part of what led me to the Catholic Church.

Thanks for your explanation. Glad to know you are converted to Catholic.:slight_smile:

jlcasey has it right on. I am a cradle Catholic, but I read the Prayer of Jabez book because it was highly recommended to me (by a Catholic of all people!). I didn’t like the book, because it is all about how to increase your blessings from God. jlcasey’s term “prosperity gospel” is an excellent description of what this book is about. It’s a self-serving attitude.

So say that I want to go to World Youth Day in Sydney coming up in 2008. I’m saving up money and need all the finances I can get. Not for a selfish reason, but to follow Christ’s Vicar to Australia to increase my relationship with God. Then would/could I use the prayer of Jabez?


I noticed later last night as I was flipping through my Bible that in almost every book there is a part that says “And so-and-so began to pray:” or “and blah-blah prayed to the Lord:” and most of the prayers are for non-material blessings. So it’s interesting why Dr. Wilkinson would choose that prayer which is so small and unique to only Jabez’ situation. I think that yes, it probably is part of that wealth-gospel ploy going around the Protesstant denominations.:frowning:

I think we need to heed the lesson of Jesus who said ‘seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things [material needs] will be added to you’.

By all means, I encourage you to pray for your needs.

III John 1:2
"Beloved, I hope you are prospering in every respect and are in good health, just as your soul is prospering."

God is our Heavenly Father. He wants to give us all the good things.

Wouldn’t parents want their children to be provided with all good things? Doesn’t God love you more than your parents love you? If your parents want to give you all good things, God, who loves you more than your parents, will give you all the good things. The above Bible verse clearly says it.

There is no question that we have to put God first in our life.
But that does not mean we shouldn’t pray for our needs whether they are spiritual or material as long as we trust in the Lord and know whatever answer He gives, either “YES” or “NO” or “NOT YET”, we hold the attitude of “Thy will be done” and always give God thanks and praise.

The reason we disapprove the Protestants’ prosperity preaching is not because we are not supposed to ask for any material things, like a good job, necessary funds to fulfill our dreams, money for down payment of a house, etc… It is the attitude and mentality that are questionable.

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