Rabbi Schneider - Can We Ask God for Blessings?
As we've been doing a study on the great prayers of the Hebrew Bible. I'm gonna continue today with a very well-known prayer called the Prayer of Jabez. I'm gonna begin reading now from the Book of 1 Chronicles, chapter number 4, verses number 9 and 10. Hear the Word of God: Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother named him Jabez saying, Because I bore him with pain. Now Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would help me and keep me from harm that it might not pain me. And God might not pain me. And God granted him what he requested. granted him what he requested. What a beautiful, pure, child-like prayer.
Can't all of us relate to this prayer? I mean these were just simple, pure, child-like, heart issues. And you know what, beloved? God answered that prayer. And when you and I pray to the Lord with a pure heart, these simple things as Jabez prayed, we can be assured that God is gonna answer those prayers and that his goodness towards you and me will be the same as it was towards Jabez. Do you know the Bible tells us that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, get this now, is toward us.
And you know the Scriptures begin in almost every letter that Paul wrote the same way. Paul says, blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. And then he says peace to you. He says, grace and peace to you, Paul said, from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. What this means is that God's favor is on you and me. And God wants us to believe that he loves us. He wants us to believe that his favor is on us. He wants us to believe that when we ask him for good things he's gonna give us good things.
Jesus said, if you, speaking of you and I, know how to give good gifts to our children, he said how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those that ask him. So right now, Father, in Jesus's name we break off every wrong concept that we have about you. Father, we break off every thought that's making us think that we're condemned before you. We break off every lie that's telling us you're mad at us. We break off every deception from the devil that makes us think that there are bad things up ahead for us. Father, we declare today that you love us, that we're your children, that you desire for us to prosper and be in good health according to your Word, even as our soul prospers, that you're our daddy, and that you're gonna do for us, Abba, even what you did for Jabez.
Many of you know when I just said that name, Abba, that's the Hebrew word and it means daddy. You know the Bible tells us that we've been given the spirit of adoption by which we cry out, get it now, Abba, daddy, Father. Do you ever call God your daddy? Let me give you a little witness test here. If you look at your prayer life, if you listen to yourself pray, let me ask you this question. When you listen to yourself pray, do you address God as God, or do you address him as, get it now, as Father, as Abba, as daddy, or as papa? Now some of you, if you're honest, every time that you pray you never say Father, you never say Abba, you never say daddy, but every time you pray, I'm just trying to help you, you always say God. And you know, God is our God, but our God came to us in the person of Jesus, get this now, so that he could become our Father and so that we could know him, get it church, as daddy, as Father. We've not received a spirit, beloved, of, of isolationism, but we've received the spirit of adoption by which we cry daddy, Father.
I recently read the story of a Muslim from Pakistan, and she was telling the story how she was raised on the Koran, and went through a very, very difficult time in her life, how some supernatural things started happening to her. Eventually somebody put a Bible in her hands. She wasn't even interested in the Bible but so many supernatural things began to happen that she began to pick the Bible up, and she began to pick up the Bible, the Judeo-Christian Bible. Spiritual life began to emerge in her. Suddenly as she began to read the Bible, the Old and New Testament, it was like something became alive in her. But she was terrified 'cause she was taught her whole life that the Koran was right and that the Bible that we have as Christians is incorrect, that the Koran told her that Jesus isn't really the Son of God, that he didn't really die on the cross and ascend to heaven, that Muhammad is the highest prophet.
So when she began reading the Old and New Testaments, she discovered that the writing of the Old and New Testaments contradicted what the Koran told her and what she had been taught as a Muslim. And she began to become very, very confused. Finally in desperation she fell on her knees and she said, God. She held up the Koran in one hand and the Bible in the other hand, and she said, God, which one is true. And she said the Spirit of the Lord spoke to her, get this church, and said to her, which one tells you to call me Father? Because in the Koran she was never taught to relate to God as Father; in the Koran God was just way up there, too holy to be really approached, too holy to know. But in the Judeo-Christian Bible, in the Old and New Testaments, Jesus said, when you pray, pray in this way, Our Father, that art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Jesus said, children it's your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
And so I want you to know as we study the prayer of Jabez, beloved, we're praying to one that is a Father to us and loves us as his children, that God has good things in store for you and wants to bring good things, hallelujah, into your life. Wasn't that a moving story though that I just shared with you about that Muslim? It's a true story. Which one tells you, the Lord said to her, to call you Father? And as soon as she got that question, she knew once and for all that the Judeo-Christian Old and New Testaments was the right version, was, was, was the real Bible, and that Jesus was God's Son the Messiah, and the only way to heaven, and the only way to know God as Father. And it saved her life, and she was changed and transformed forever.
Well just building up that confidence how God loves us as his little children, that he's our good daddy, he's our papa, he wants to do good things for us, with that background, let's look again at Jabez's prayer knowing that God wants to do these same things for us. So once again, Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother named him Jabez saying, because I have born him in pain. Then verse 10: Now Jabez called upon the God of Israel. Beloved, our faith in Jesus, get is now, it's a Judeo-Christian faith. Jabez called upon the God of Israel. Your God as a Christian is the God of Israel. The God of Israel is the Father of the Lord Jesus. That's why it's important for you to know your God, not just in the vacuum of the New Testament only, but to know God's revelation in the Old Testament so that we can have a complete and full understanding of our faith.
This is why Jesus said to the woman of Samaria in John, chapter 4, salvation's from the Jews. Jabez's prayer was to the God of Israel, who's the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ. He's your God. Now Jabez called upon the God of Israel saying, Oh that You would bless me indeed. Don't you love that? I mean, Jabez didn't just want to be blessed, get it church, he wanted to be blessed indeed. I mean, he wanted God to bless his socks off , in some of your language. I mean, this is an awesome thing. We've got a big God. Let's believe God, get it church, for big things. Let's not believe him for a little bit. Let's believe him for a whole lot, Amen.
When Elijah told the king to jump for victory and to stamp his staff on the ground for victory, and to take his sword and his arrows and stamp for victory, the king only did it like three times. Elijah said, you should have done it six or seven times, and you would a had a complete and an absolute victory. But now because you only believe God for a partial victory, that's all you're gonna get. Jesus said, be it done unto you according to your faith. And so I want to encourage you not just to believe God to bless you, and not just to ask God to bless you, but ask him to triply bless you. Ask him to do what Jabez did for you, to bless you indeed.
Father God, I just speak blessing, and blessing, and blessing on top of the people of God because we are doubly blessed in you, Jesus. And we want to bring glory to your name by living in that blessing because you gave your life and spilled your blood, Jesus, that we would walk in it. We receive it. We believe that we are blessed and doubly blessed and highly favored, and we thank you for it, Papa, Abba, Daddy, God, in Jesus's name.
So Jabez began, says, Lord, that you would bless me indeed. And then he continues on and he says, that you would enlarge my border. So first Jabez says, Lord, that you would bless me indeed, and then he continues and says, and that you would, get it church, enlarge Jabez asked, my border. God wants to bring you and I into a fuller and bigger place in the Spirit. Listen, God doesn't want you to stay where you're at. God wants more for you. I'm gonna say it again. God does not want you, I don't care who you are. I don't care who you are. God does not want you to stay where you're at. He doesn't want me to stay where I'm at. He wants more for us because our God is a God, get it church, of always more. There's always more. There's always more. And it's gonna be like this forever.
And so Jabez prayed, Lord, and enlarge my border. Bring me into a fuller experience. Bring me into a fuller peace. Bring me into a fuller victory. Bring me into a fuller joy. Bring me into a fuller dimension. Bring me into a fuller happiness. I want you to know, my friend, there is more for you and I in Jesus. If you and I don't believe that, then something's wrong. Did you know that our God is continuously, effervescently, effortlessly, eternally bubbling up more? He's always new. He's always fresh. He's always more. That's why those angels in the Book of Revelation, chapter 4, don't cease crying out day and night, forever, and ever, and ever, and ever, and ever. Day and night, they continually cry out, holy, holy, holy, holy.
Every time they say holy, it's because they're responding to a new revelation of the glory of God. Every time they say holy, it's like a fresh wave of who God is, is rolling over them. And so every time they say holy, it's like their breath has been taken away. And every holy that they say is in response to the ever new thing that they're experiencing. God has more for you and God has more for me. And so Father, we pray right now that you would not only bless us indeed, but that Father, you would enlarge our borders in Jesus, that you'd bring us into a deeper peace, a deeper realm of your Shalom, a deeper experience of fullness in the Holy Spirit, a deeper place of knowing you.
You said, King Jesus, that if your spirit was in us he would become within us a well of living water springing up to eternal life, and we would thirst no more. Father, I speak more over your people, an enlargement, Father God, over their souls and minds in Jesus's name, Amen and Amen. There's more for you. Keep asking. Keep seeking. Because as you continue to ask, as you continue to seek, and as you continue to knock, God's gonna bring you and I in to more. Aren't you excited about that? That's what's making, that's what makes living for Jesus exciting, because it's a walk of discovery, a discovery of the more. And so Jabez prays here, enlarge my border. And then Jabez prays this: And that Your hand might be with me.
And so Jabez is praying, listen, get this now, that wherever I go, he's praying to Father God. He's praying, Father, wherever I go that your hand might be with me. Don't you want to walk with a supernatural consciousness of God's favor on your life? That's what Jabez is saying. He's saying, Lord, put your hand on me. Wherever I go, may your hand go with me, that you would give me favor wherever I go, that you would open up the way for me wherever I go. Remember Jacob? Wherever Jacob went, wherever his sheep were, his flock multiplies. Wherever Jacob was, he was blessed because God was with him wherever he went. And not only that, whoever was with Jacob was blessed just for being with him.
Do you know I believe that's what God wants for you and I. He wants to bless us indeed just like Jabez said. And not only does he want to bless us, but listen, he wants everybody that is connected to our lives to be blessed and to be better off for having been in relationship with us. I know that's how I am. I want all my staff to be blessed because of their relationship with me and to this ministry. I want everybody that's part of my congregation to be blessed because I'm the shepherd and pastor of the congregation. And that's what God wants for all of us. He blesses us, beloved, just like he did Jabez to make us a blessing. And so once again, Jabez is praying here, that your hand would be with me and that I'd carry the blessing, and that I'd have favor wherever I go.
Notice Jabez continues here and he says, and that you would keep me from harm. Beloved ones, this is so important. There are so many dangers in the world all around us. And these dangers in the world, they're not pretend dangers for people that don't know God. But for people that do know God, we can have the assurance, listen beloved one, of being safe and secure even in this dangerous world. Psalm 91 is a beautiful example of this. In Psalm 91, we read, he that abides under the shelter of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty; that a thousand may fall at our side and ten thousand at our right hand, but no evil will come near us or near our dwelling because we have made the Lord, the God Most High, our refuge and our dwelling place.
I remember years ago I was struggling in life. And I was seeing all these dangers around me. And I was seeing so many of God's children just failing, and getting hurt. And I was so grieved by it. And I said, God, I mean, what can I do. I mean, I want to trust you and I want to believe you, but it seems like so many that say they know Jesus are, are not being protected. And the Lord spoke to me and he said, the reason you're seeing what you're seeing is 'cause my people are not clinging to me. In other words, they're not abiding under the shelter and the shadow of the Most High God. They're out there on their own not depending on God, but living independently of him, even though they call themselves Christians.
First the Lord showed me that, that because of that, they weren't living under his protection. And then the Lord said to me this, he said, he gave me the assurance that I could trust him for Psalm 91, that I just quoted you. And I said this, I was in my office and my, my Bible was outside in the sanctuary under a chair. And I said Lord, if I can really believe you for Psalm 91, that you'll really do for me, this was years ago. I said, if I can really believe you, Father God, to do for me what Psalm 91 says that you'll do, that you're gonna keep me safe under your protection, that a thousand may fall at my side and ten thousand at my right hand, but no evil is gonna befall me.
I said, Lord, if I can really believe you for that, if I could really trust you to do for me what Psalm 91 says, I said, then I'm gonna go out there to where my Bible is, sitting under the chair in the sanctuary, and I'm gonna go pick up my Bible. And Father, I said, if I pick up my Bible and if when I open it up, I open it up just randomly and it's at Psalm 91, then I know that I can trust you to do for me what Psalm 91 says you do. You know what happened, beloved? I walked into the sanctuary, I took my Bible out from under the chair that it was sitting, I just randomly opened it up. Where did it open? Exactly to page 91, and beloved, what he does for me and what he's doing for me, and is gonna do for me, he'll do for all his children as we trust him, and get it now, and cling to him, church, not living in our flesh, not living independently, but living, beloved, depending on him.
Well finally, Jabez says here, he says: that You would keep me from harm, listen to this. And finally he says, get it now, and not pain me. Let's read it one more time. Now Jabez called on the God of Israel saying: Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm that it might not pain me. And it says, and God granted him what he requested. I'm here today, beloved, to announce to you the good news of King Yeshua HaMashiach over your life. I've come to preach the Gospel. You know what the Gospel is? The Gospel is good news. And I bring you good news today, that the relationship which Jacob enjoyed with the God of Israel, you and I, every one of us, also now enjoy with the God of Israel through our relationship, church, with the Lord Jesus Christ.
And I'm here today to proclaim and assure you of the good news, that what God did for Jabez, listen, he'll do for you and I. But hear me, we must ask him. Jabez asked God. I want to encourage you as part of your prayer life, begin your day doing what Jabez did. Ask God to bless you today. Ask God to enlarge your territory, to open you into a fuller place in his Spirit where you'll experience more joy, more peace, more love, more Shalom, and more dominion in the Spirit. Ask God that he would go with you where you go today as you depend on him, giving you favor and opening up the way for you. Ask God to keep you from harm and to keep you from unnecessary pain through his divine protection your whole life. As you look to him in love, beloved, he's gonna do it. I love you today. Most importantly, Jesus loves you. God bless you, church, and Shalom.