Be careful what you pray for

Prayer is such a powerful tool. But one thing I have definitely learned? Be careful what you pray for!

Almost 2 years ago I started praying the Prayer of Jabez daily. 1 Chronicles 4:10 says  Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.

Almost immediately, God started speaking to me. This was my first real experience with prayers being answered so regularly. It was simple really. I prayed this paragraph every morning, and then I went about my day – always listening for the voice of God. And ministry opportunities and blessings both came rolling in.

Around this time, my husband lost his job. Being a stay at home mom? This was terrifying. How would we pay our bills? How much were our lives about to change? I knew one thing, I needed God. And I immediately hit my knees. I started each morning with the prayer of Jabez. I went about my day, praying small prayers as we went. And then in the evening as I walked my dog one last time? I would pour my heart out to God. And as we’ve walked this rocky road the past 2 years? Our needs have always been met. And my ministry opportunities have always kept flowing in. I have no doubt that God is in control and that he has big plans.

So let’s take a step back. One of the things that’s happened since I have been praying this prayer is that my ministry opportunities have been abundant. I went from being a quiet person sitting in the sound booth at church, to sitting on the board of our women’s ministry. I have been a guest speaker at women’s retreat – speaking on serving. I lead a life group for women at my church. I run the Facebook page for our women’s group at church. And most recently? I’ve been blessed with a few women who have come to me for guidance. And all of these things? Were most definitely not things I searched out – God sent people to me to place me in these spots.

That last one still floors me. I am by no means an expert in all things Biblical. Heck, most days? If I remember to say a quick prayer and read my “Bible In A Year” plan? I’m winning!

But here’s the key. I asked God to enlarge my territory. And he did. In big ways.

In some ways, it really is that simple. But in other ways, it’s not.

See, you have to pray. But then? You have to do the leg work. If you hear his voice, feel his nudge or even if an opportunity keeps presenting itself? You have to answer. God wants to use our prayers to bless us, but we have to be obedient to his calling. The work can be difficult, and it will challenge you at times. But it is so very worth it.

Prayer can be dangerous! Asking God to expand our borders is no joke. He listens. And he will answer.

My challenge to you is to find a prayer – no matter how simple – and pray it daily! A good way to do this? You can jump in with the prayer of Jabez. You can pick your favorite psalm. A quick google search of “Daily Prayers” took me to Short Prayers, a page of simple and short prayers. But simply start praying, and before long? You won’t even need those pre-written prayers! (Although it’s always nice to have a good fallback!) And God will start talking back to you!

Do you have a daily prayer? Or a great testimony to share about prayer? Please leave a comment, I’d love to hear about it!


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