Family Bible Study lesson for March 2: Praying That Pleases God
February 14 2003 by Crate Jones , 1 Chronicles 4:9-10; 1 Kings 3:5, 7-10; Ecclesiastes 5:1-7

Family Bible Study lesson for March 2: Praying That Pleases God | Friday, Feb. 14, 2003

Friday, Feb. 14, 2003

Family Bible Study lesson for March 2: Praying That Pleases God

By Crate Jones 1 Chronicles 4:9-10; 1 Kings 3:5, 7-10; Ecclesiastes 5:1-7

Jabez was a descendent of Judah, mentioned only once in the Bible and remembered for his short prayer. Five elements in his prayer (1 Chr. 4:10) will serve as the outline for the lessons of this month.

Experience God's blessing

1 Chronicles 4:9-10

"And 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 his request." (NKJ)

We consider first his cry: "bless me." (Bruce Wilkinson's little book, The Prayer of Jabez, will be helpful reading.)

We should guard against seeing it as a form of "prosperity theology" for material gain. Actually, it goes much deeper and more lasting than that.

What we call prayer may be little more than repetitious words. One man prayed the same prayer every night. Finally he wrote it on a piece of paper and stuck it on the wall. He would kneel, point to it and say, "There it is, Lord." (Once I prayed for a car; God sent me a Rambler. Next time I was more specific!)

When Jabez prayed, "Bless me indeed!" it was like putting emphasis on the sincere desire of his heart. In light of the rest of the prayer, it was not a selfish request.

It was a heart cry for God and for whatever God would choose to do in his life. The Psalmist cried, "My soul pants for God, for the living God." Jesus prayed, "Not my will but Thine be done." He taught us to pray, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

There's a story of a famous violinist. In concert, a string on his violin broke; then another and another until only one was left. Concentrating on that one string, he played a magnificent, soul stirring composition.

The title of Anne Graham Lotz's book, "Just Give Me Jesus," should be the one all-encompassing desire of the Christian's heart. God honors the prayer of a pure heart that submits to His will. He should be approached with reverence and in the name of Jesus.

Act with discernment

1 Kings 3:5,7-10

King Solomon is remembered for his wisdom, riches and honor. His acquiring of these treasures came from his response to God appearing to him in a dream: "Ask for whatever you want Me to give you." Here, the story takes an unusual turn.

Knowing his inexperience and inability to rule the nation, he asked for a "discerning heart ... to distinguish between right and wrong." God honored his request and added a huge bonus.

Solomon had a humble heart and a desire to serve the Lord and His people. It was a totally unselfish response; the kind that pleases God. He did not ask for "stuff," only wisdom.

God always gives us more than we may realize. Inviting Jesus to come into our hearts is the most discerning thing we can do.

By Jesus we receive true riches: eternal life, forgiveness, the Holy Spirit, abounding love, joy overflowing and surpassing peace. He gives us a new purpose in life and a paid-in-full deed to the mansion He has prepared for us "over there."

Hear and honor God

Ecclesiastes 5:1-7

"When you go to the house of God ... go near to listen" (Eccl. 5:1). It's easier to talk to the Lord than listen to Him. We honor God by silently waiting in awe of Him. We honor Him by obedience to what He says. Paul heard God's call on the Damascus road; he answered with a lifetime of service.

Preachers are known for wordiness. I was talking with a young mother who had her small child in her arms. The little one kept interrupting. Her mother said, "Stop being a motormouth. Do you know what a motormouth is?" She didn't. "It's someone who talks all the time. Do you know anybody who's a motormouth?" questioned mama. She pointed at me and replied, "Mr. Jones."

Maybe all of us need to talk less and listen more. Especially when we pray.

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2/14/2003 12:00:00 AM by Crate Jones , 1 Chronicles 4:9-10; 1 Kings 3:5, 7-10; Ecclesiastes 5:1-7 | with 0 comments
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