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The Prayer of Jabez, Another 'Wind of Doctrine'


Ephesians 4:14

"That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;"

As more and more people climb on the bandwagon to "receive God's Blessings," it is worthwhile to take a closer look at Bruce Wilkinson's, "The Prayer of Jabez". I've had opportunity to share why Wilkinson's teachings are false with friends and family and have found that many are seriously lacking in understanding on this issue, and also on what constitutes Biblical prayer. 

Dr. Wilkinson, is  founder and president of Walk Thru the Bible Ministries. 1 "...Under his leadership, Walk Thru the Bible's ministry has grown to include more than 4,000 Bible teaching seminars every year, numerous video series translated into multiple languages, and a publishing ministry which includes books, Bibles, and the distribution of more than 100 million devotional magazines." "Walk Thru the Bible is now the largest conductor of live seminars on earth, religious or secular. And through WorldTeach, our international outreach, we have created the largest faculty of Bible teachers ever assembled." 

Wilkinson, a much desired speaker, is found at many ecumenical, neo-evangelical national gatherings such as Bill Bright's Campus Crusade for Christ, James Dobson's Focus on the Family, Promise Keepers, the Navigators, the Fellowship of Companies for Christ, and Christian Schools International, as well as BIOLA, Wheaton, Mt. Hermon, the Christian Business Men's Committee, Moody Bible Institute, and many others. James Dobson's endorsement of The Prayer of Jabez has caused the book's sales to explode. 

One Evangelical wrote, "As far as daily prayer of this it is no different than "thank you Lord for this food we are about to receive" which is a 3 times a day prayer, or should be." 

If one does thank God by rote--we can suggest that it isn't necessarily done with heartfelt thanks. However, each meal is a new blessing, so one cannot compare Jabez's prayer "word for word" as being the same thing to begin with.

Many believe Wilkinson's teaching provides the words to supply their wants. Among them we see that a Jabez Foundation has been set up, " as a 501C non-profit organization."

"The Jabez Foundation: Receiving God's Blessings and Enlarging Your Territory

"....We decided on 12 original "Jabez Prayer apostles," because of Jesus' original 12 Apostles (Disciples).  All who daily pray the "Prayer of Jabez" will become "Jabez Prayer apostles."  The Greek meaning of apostle, with a small "a," means "a person sent forth," and it also refers to "an early advocate or leader of a new reform movement."  Apostle, with a capital "A", refers to one of the 12 original disciples of Jesus.  Thus, "Jabez Prayer apostles" are sent forth and are committed to this "new reform movement" of claiming the blessings for ALL GOD's CHILDREN, including Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Allied persons.

So... as you choose to be "Jabez Prayer apostles," your commitment is to pray "The Prayer of Jabez" daily and to share the prayer and website with at least 12 people..." 2

Another Jabez advocate comes under "Jabez Networks 3 which is intended to  "Expand your online territory", meaning website creation, sales and so on. One could easily apply 2 Peter 2: 3 "And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you:..." to this take on the prayer. There are also now, "Prayer of Jabez Conferences." 

We cannot build our  theology upon one verse of Scripture.

Wilkinson appeared on CNN's Talkback Live which aired July 5, 2001 -1500 ET. Some memorable quotes from the show titled, 'The Prayer of Jabez': Is It OK to Ask God for What You Want?"

"BOBBIE BATTISTA, HOST: Is a lifetime of miracles there for the asking? "The Prayer of Jabez," the No. 1 best-selling nonfiction book in the country, suggests yes. Ask and you shall receive. And it even gives you the exact words to say in the form of a daily prayer.

However, it warns, don't ask, and any blessings you might be entitled to could be withheld. Spiritual reward or hocus pocus? And what are you thinking of asking for?...Wouldn't it be nice -- you pray for something and you get it? Sound like magic, or the perfect prayer? A lot of people say it works, and the magic words that attract God's blessings are right there in "The Prayer of Jabez." The popular and controversial best- seller insists that you only have to ask for what's yours.

....WILKINSON: Well, there are four parts to the book, and there are four parts to the prayer. And the first part is saying, "would you please bless me," but the other three aren't. ... and the first one is "bless me."... -- "bless me" means make me, in a sense, happy or fulfilled. And when a person is unhappy or discontent, then the rest of the prayer just doesn't work for them, because they're the ones who are needing to find something to make their life more fulfilled.

So, Jabez starts out and says to God something very, very unusual. He says to him: "Would you please bless me," and then he puts a period there -- actually, an exclamation point -- and never tells God how to bless him...

Let's stop here and note that the KJV, which is from the uncorrupted texts,  DOES NOT stop there with a period or exclamation point as Wilkinson states. Here's how it reads. Note that Jabez's vow starts with the word "Oh" and ends with "grieve me!" It is all one sentence.

And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.

Continuing with Wilkinson explaining why he's prayed this prayer for 30 years.

"....oh, I would love to be Jabez. I would love for God to say about us, when it's all said and done, he was more honorable than his brethren.

And I left that auditorium saying to myself, oh, boy, whatever was the secret of Jabez, I wanted to find out what it was. And I went right to the library, didn't go to the next class, and got a book to study all of the verses in the Bible about Jabez, and there weren't any. It was only one verse. And that was the one that followed it. And it was this prayer.

It says: "Jabez was more honorable and than his brethren, and gave a prayer," and the next part of the verse said: "And God answered his prayer." So, I said to myself, if God said this man is more honorable than his brethren and answered his prayer, there must be something..."

"....BATTISTA: ... I think a lot of people are being led to believe that if they say this prayer -- and why do you have to say it for 30 days? Is that like a guarantee?

WILKINSON: No, it's not magic -- there is no magic words in this prayer. It's not like an incantation that something magic is supposed to poof up. But have you ever asked yourself a question: why is it No. 1 in "New York Times" and why is it No. 1 in "USA Today," and it's on prayer?

Wilkinson's statements reflect the belief that the book must be of God because it's a No. 1 bestseller with Christians and non-Christians, who are buying it and saying "it works." This is in sharp contrast to what Jesus taught in such verses as: 

Luke 6:26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.

John 15:19-20  "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

BATTISTA: I think is because a lot of people think that they're going to get rich if they read this book....

WILKINSON: ... That's not why people are buying this, and that's not why people are buying this as a gift. Do you know why they are?

BATTISTA: No, you tell me.

WILKINSON: It's good to be asking you one question for a moment.

BATTISTA: You wrote the book, you tell me.

WILKINSON: That's right. Well, it's surprising. The reason is because it's working. People are praying this prayer.

BATTISTA: Then you are telling people -- now you are telling people again that if they pray this prayer in 30 days, that it's going to work?

WILKINSON: No, people are finding that it works. Barnes & Noble store nearby said that the average person comes in and buys between six and 10 of these books and gives them to their friends. Why would you buy a book and give away those copies to somebody else if it wasn't working for you?

Wilkinson contradicted himself on the show when asked if he was guaranteeing the prayer works. In sharp contrast to his denial that he was promising that "it works" in 30 days if prayed verbatim, we read from the book itself, "I want to teach you how to pray a daring prayer that God always answers …" 

On page 24, Wilkinson "guarantees" your life will be "marked by miracles" if you pray this prayer of Jabez. The "guaranteed miracle" -- will be in 30 days if one has done precisely what Wilkinson says. [p. 86] Clearly, Wilkinson is promising that this prayer is "guaranteed" to always be answered by God, and that He will give you miracles within 30 days!

BATTISTA: ...I mean, if a whole country gets together and says this prayer every day for 30 days, why doesn't the whole country get out of poverty? Why aren't these children saved? Why aren't -- do you see what I am saying? Doesn't it seem awkward to be asking for more material things when that's going on in the world?

WILKINSON: Bobbie, that's a good question, because whenever somebody adds something to the Jabez Prayer, it's not the Jabez Prayer anymore. The Jabez Prayer's very simple. It says, dear God, would you please bless me indeed. And there's no, how do you do that? And in a sense, Jabez is saying to God, you're the only one who knows how to make my heart feel blessed.

What should be obvious is that one cannot claim a prayer that Wilkinson admits is no longer the same, "whenever somebody adds something to the Jabez Prayer, it's not the Jabez Prayer anymore." Since he advocates the repetitive incantation of the words verbatim, he crossed over into pagan practices.

WILKINSON: And would you please do that for me? Whether or not it's money, it may be money, it may be a relationship is restored.

BATTISTA: Well, what if that welfare mother is asking the same thing every day with her six children, and she doesn't know...

WILKINSON: If I was a welfare mother I would be asking God to bless me for sure. Wouldn't you?

.....And Jabez's Prayer is very, very broad and it says would you please bless me, and if that woman needs more food, then maybe that's how God will bless her.

But the issue isn't that there's only one prayer and it's only Jabez. Jabez is one of many prayers you should pray....

Margaret (from the audience): ....MARGARET: Yes, I did read the book, and I have given several copies to friends. When I first read the book, I had to go to the bible to see if the verse was actually there. That was my first approach. After I saw that, then I thought, well, OK, I understand that.

And the author is actually a manifestation of the verse itself, because it's widen my territory. Let me be able to talk to people all over about Christ, is what he is actually saying.

BATTISTA: So you just see it as a way to spread the gospel.

MARGARET: Yes, that's how I view it....

KAREN: Well, I am just kind of curious why Bobbie is taking such a materialistic slant on the prayer when that's not necessarily what the prayer's about.

BATTISTA: Because you do walk away from the book with that sense. You know, I think that particularly if you don't have a let's say a strong religious foundation,.... So it all depends on where you are coming from when you read this book, too.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The book and some of the comments earlier dealt with Christian belief and belief in Jesus. What happens if you are not Christian and you are part of the myriad of other religions, how will this book speak to you as well as you own theological viewpoints?

BATTISTA: That's a good question, Dr. Wilkinson. Is the book religiously tolerant, shall we say?

WILKINSON: Well, it's interesting. I had a Jewish reporter call me from New York and she said, I just have one question. I am a Jew. I said that's wonderful. I just want to know, can a Jew pray the prayer of Jabez or do I have to be a Christian?

And she was ready to fight and I said to her, well, I think that Jabez was a Jew and he prayed and God answered it. So then I said to her, now will you pray the prayer of Jabez just as an objective test? And will you take a pad and in the next 30 days as you pray it, will you write down on your pad exactly what happens, and write an honest story about what happened to you?

And if nothing happened then write that as a story? And she said, well, I think I will meditate on the prayer of Jabez. I says, what do you mean? She says, I am going to think about it every day. I said it's not going work.

What do you think mean it's not going to work? Because it's a prayer. A prayer means you ask God to do something for you. And if you are just meditating, he's not going to answer you. So, will you just take a risk and say, God, I am not sure about all of this, but would you bless me? And she said, no, I can't do that. You see, there's something inside of people that sometimes make them afraid of saying to God -- it happened today. I interviewed with three papers before I came on here and I asked all three reporters the same question at the end: Will you try praying the prayer? All three of them said, ah, I don't know....

Wilkinson's ecumenicalism is clear, as will also be shown with later remarks. The purpose is not as some would like to suggest, that of sharing Christ, but rather, praying to "get from God". His own statements above go entirely against the need for Christ. 

.....[Monsignor Thomas Hartman, director of radio and television for the Diocese of Rockville Center. He co-hosts the national cable TV show, "The God Squad," along with Rabbi Mark Gellman, senior Rabbi of Temple Beth Torah in Melville, New York. The Rabbi is president of the New York Board of Rabbis,...]

....HARTMAN: Well, I am particularly excited about the book. Whenever I used to go to visit my grandmother she had a pair of rosaries in her hand, and that was her form of prayer. People that I know who are prayerful are a people at peace, people who turned their lives over to God.

I like the idea that a person ask for a blessing. I like the idea that the person asked that their borders might be bigger than they would thought of by themselves. I like the idea that we live in the hand of God. And I also like the idea that it suggests to us that we should avoid evil and concentrate on good.

BATTISTA: Is the opposite true? If we do not pray, we are not a peaceful person? We know that that's not true.

HARTMAN: no, some people meditate. I think that almost anyone who is at peace has a form of reflection, whether it's to God or just within themselves. But it seems almost essential that a person take time out to reflect on their lives. ...

GELLMAN: Yeoman's first rule of life is it if it's popular, it's bad, but I think this book is OK, except that it -- it takes the Jewish guy and turns it into a Christian book -- which we Jews are used to -- but that's just wrong. And secondly, it's way, way, way too narrow a sense of prayer. When Tommy and I wrote a book for kids on religion, we -- we told kids that there's four kinds of prayers....

And the four kinds of prayers are: Thanks, gimme, oops and wow! That is....

GELLMAN: This is a book about "gimme" prayers. "God, would you give me this, give me that." And there are other kinds of prayers which are, "thank you for what you've already given me," and prayers of repentance, "I'm sorry for what I did," and prayers of adoration in which we just look at the beauty of the world and acknowledge that God is the one who made it. So this is one of the those prayers.


HARTMAN: But Mark and I are certainly very enthused to hear that people are interested in the book, and interested in praying, because prayer is so important -- not only in religion but in the spiritual life....

BATTISTA: ... we have to look at the fact that part of the reason the book may be so popular is that a lot of people are buying this book and not coming at it with the same religious foundation that other people are looking at it, in which case, so we say, well, at least we're getting people interested in prayer. But is it for the right reason?

.... [...Dr. Larry Dossey. He is a retired internist who left his medical practice to study the healing power of prayer. He is the author of "Healing Words: The Power of Prayer and the Practice of Medicine...]

DOSSEY: Let me quote your own words here. You know, I think that you are misleading people. You say on page 84 and 85: "But I promise that you will see a direct link, and the only thing that can break this cycle of abundant living is sin, because sin breaks the flow of God's power." And in other places of the book, you say that God has favorites...

WILKINSON: Well, go ahead and read the rest of that then. The favorites are people...

DOSSEY: Well, let me quote you: "Simply put, God favors those who ask. He holds nothing back from those who want..."


WILKINSON: ... There are thousands of churches today whose pastors are preaching through the prayer of Jabez, either on a Sunday or on Saturday and so forth, and asking the whole church to pray as families, as individuals and as churches, and I have heard of six churches that have doubled their size in the last six months. And when you talk to the people, how did this happen? The answer comes back, you should hear what God is doing because of prayer of Jabez. So, it's not just personal.

But in Jabez, Rick, it was -- an individual never expected somebody to write a book, I'm sure, on his prayer. Like if you were to get my journal and you were to write a book on a one-sentence prayer I wrote, I would think I can't believe you did this about one of my prayers. I'm sure Jabez is getting more popular in heaven today. Hey, you're Jabez! I've never heard about you before until that book was written.

So, I believe it is corporate. Many families are praying it. Many couples are praying it, many churches are praying it, and God does answer it. It is -- that's why the book is selling to be -- my own read about this, it isn't because of any other reason besides it's working. People are praying. Something happen that makes their hearts so overflow, they say: "I'm going to buy one for you, you got to read this!" That's how it's happening.

....DOSSEY: ....So this gives us a chance to look at whose prayer works, what kind of prayer works, and something about the mechanism of prayer. And what we see in these studies, just to repeat, is that prayer is universal. In the Duke study you have Hindus and Buddhists and Muslims and Jews and Christians praying, and it doesn't seem to matter how they pray, specifically, or which religion they belong to. This suggests that God does not have favorites and one doesn't have to spell it out as Jabez did when he asked for something specific, such as "enlarge my territory."

A simple prayer of "thy will be done" or "may the best thing happen," as long as it's offered with love and compassion, seems to be all that's required.

WILKINSON: You know, it's interesting that Jesus has a comment about what you're saying here, and he couldn't agree any more, but here's what he said. He said, in Matthew, Chapter 7, he says, "if you," talking about adults being evil, "know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him?"

And Jesus made a condition that some things in life need to be asked for to us have them. If we don't ask, we don't get them. Other times, God just gives them, not because we ask. Sometimes you have to act a certain way to get a certain blessing. But in Jabez Prayer, he basically just asks God in a sense, to be giving his will, because he says would you bless me but he doesn't define it in any particular way.

DOSSEY: Yes, he does. He says "enlarge my territory."

Transcripts ~

© 2001 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
An AOL Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.

Among the many claiming the prayer, as demonstrated on CNN's show, are many non-Christians and people of various faiths. Wilkinson's agreement with Dossey is that the suggestion that Hindus and Buddhists, for example, are praying to the same god and getting answers from the same source that a Christian prays to--which is to Almighty God. Their prayers are being answered because "how much more will your father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him?" 

Christians should be able to discern the ecumenical and heretical flavor in what Wilkinson and the other guests are saying.

A review of the teachings found in the "The Prayer of Jabez," reveals the occult concept of repetitive incantation of the short prayer in order to receive God's blessings. Failure to get the desired results simply means lack of faith or sin in ones life. 

One person I corresponded with suggested that,  "All prayer IS and always will be according to the will of GOD."

All prayer is NOT always according to the will of God. If our heart is not focused on serving God and doing His will, our prayers will reflect that. If we are caught in a wind of doctrine, our prayers will not be according to God's will. If we are caught up in sin, our prayers will not be in accordance to God's will. To suggest that all prayers are according to God's will is to say that when Buddhists, Mormons, Hindus, etc. pray, they are praying according to God's will. If one does not belong to Christ, there is no hope of praying in God's will.  Jesus said in John 15:7  " If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you."  James wrote in James 4:3-6:

" Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?  But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble."

If we want to have something in our lives that is not of God--He will not remove it. In fact, He may give us what we disobediently ask for, with dire consequences.

Psalm 106:15  And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.

One needs to understand the historical background of what was taking place when Jabez is recorded as praying what many view as a vow. Many believe Jabez was a son to Coz. The town of Jabez in Judah, was also mentioned in 1 Chronicles 2:55 which gives insight that Jabez was a leader, which is why a town would be named after him.

1 Chronicles 4:8-10  " 8. And Coz begat Anub, and Zobebah, and the families of Aharhel the son of Harum. **  9 And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow.
10 And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.

The prayer is not a self-directed prayer, but rather a vow to accomplish what God had called him to. One writer suggested that, "At this moment in Israel's history, God was commanding that the armies of Israel attack those people living in the Promised Land whose religion was so Satanic that they had "polluted the land" with their Witchcraft practices. "  

Leviticus 18: 24-30 reminds us of the view God had on these matters.

" Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you:   And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants. Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you: (For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;) That the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you. For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit them shall be cut off from among their people. Therefore shall ye keep mine ordinance, that ye commit not any one of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein: I am the LORD your God."

If Jabez was a leader whose role was to destroy the pagan Caananites, which the Israelites had been commanded to do, then his acknowledgement and vow were that with God and if God would provide, he would accomplish the task and be kept from evil. We know that he accomplished his task because "God granted him that which he requested." 

In the Preface to the book, Wilkinson writes: 

I want to teach you how to pray a daring prayer that God always answers. It is brief—only one sentence with four partsand tucked away in the Bible, but I believe it contains the key to a life of extraordinary favor with God. This petition has radically changed what I expect from God and what I experience every day by His power. In fact, thousands of believers who are applying its truths are seeing miracles happen on a regular basis. (Bolding and Emphasis added.)

Wilkinson then describes how to pray Jabez's prayer: 

The next morning, I prayed Jabez's prayer word for word. And the next. And the next. Thirty years later, I haven't stopped. If you were to ask me what sentence—other than my prayer for salvation—has revolutionized my life and ministry the most, I would tell you tell you that it was the cry of a gimper named Jabez, who is still remembered not for what he did, but for what he prayed—and for what happened next (p. 11). (Bold added.) 

I challenge you to make the Jabez prayer for blessing part of the daily fabric of your life. To do that, I encourage you to follow unwaveringly the plan outlined here for the next thirty days. By the end of that time, you'll be noticing significant changes in your life, and the prayer will be on its way to becoming a treasured, lifelong habit (p. 86). (Bold added.)   

If Jabez's prayer is meant for all believers [and non-believers], why didn't Jesus just refer His disciples to that Old Testament verse? Why is there no mention of praying that verse in the New Testament? 

What Scripture is Wilkinson quoting that would guarantee anything by praying the prayer verbatim???? What New Testament teaching? Did Jesus or the apostles say to pray those same words over and over??? 

Do you really believe that by incanting those words that, "You will change your legacy and bring supernatural blessings wherever you go. God will release His miraculous power in your life now. And for all eternity, He will lavish on you His honor and delight."

In Matthew 6:5-13 and Luke 11:2-4, Jesus gives us some instructions on how to pray, none of which include vain repetitions, but rather an admonishment to avoid such prayers.

"And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for our Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. (KJV)

The Scriptures, and as indicated above, Jesus Himself, tell us to not use "vain repetitions." Jesus said "after this manner" is how we should pray. Jesus' prayer was a Biblical guide for us to follow as we talk with God and seek His will for our lives, daily. 

Wilkinson's encouragement for Christians to pray Jabez's prayer verbatim, every day is in direct disobedience to what Jesus clearly stated. One might as well add prayer beads or other paraphernalia to complete the occult image.

The claims that if we'll just pray the 'Prayer of Jabez', word-for-word, every day for a month, will result in seeing God's power released in our lives, is nonsense. If we pray for something-we are to pray believing God will and has answered-even if the answer takes years. That doesn't mean we don't pour our concerns out to the Lord about a situation-we're to cast our cares upon Him. But it does mean that once we've prayed-we're to have prayed believing God will answer in His TIME according to HIS WILL in HIS WAY. We can pray about something many times-just not with vain repetitions as promoted in Wilkinson's writings. 

The magic formula Wilkinson is teaching leaves no room for God to say "No" or "Wait," but rather, a non-answer or negative events is a suggestion we are lacking in faith.  

One wrote, "I need an answer NOW and NO or wait is not an option " Demanding an answer is suggesting that God is our servant- not we, His. If your child behaved in that manner-what would you do? While we can approach the throne of grace with boldness because of Christ, we are addressing Almighty God. We have no business acting like a spoiled child demanding an answer or our way on a matter. Our hearts desire must be conformed to His will-no matter how difficult the circumstances that are testing us by fire. Correction can also be an answer-and is rarely pleasant or feeling like an blessing at the time.

Those who embrace Wilkinson's teachings are not only stating that God won't have a choice but to give the selfish desires in their prayer, but that the prayer is the Biblical formula for asking God for things. The implication is that Jabez was honorable because he figured out the right way to pray. Repetition of Jabez's prayer is for the sole purpose of causing God to release His blessings and to receive miracles—"You will change your legacy and bring supernatural blessings wherever you go. God will release His miraculous power in your life now. And for all eternity, He will lavish on you His honor and delight" (pp. 91-92). 

The Bible teaches that those who know the Lord Jesus Christ will learn to pray gradually within the will of God. By God molding us in our hearts desire to be obedient to Him, our prayers will line up to God's will. If they don't, then we need to ask Him to change our heart desires to be like Him, conformed to His image. 

No man of God would deliberately tell you to disobey or set aside God’s word. In fact Jesus was clear when He said those who belong to Him would abide in Him and by His Words. John 15:4-7  " Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." 

Jesus said in John 14: 24 "He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me."

This mentality of setting aside the Scriptures for emotion and experience is no different than such like John Wimber or Rodney Howard-Browne who has said such things as:

 'Don't let the Bible get in the way of the blessing.'

 'Some of you Bible-lovers need to put-it down and let God work on you.'

 ‘The Bible has let us down. It has not delivered the numbers we need.'

 'You must not let your mind hinder the receiving of the blessing.'  59. 

 [See: More Manifestations ! Less Bible!]

Wilkinson is clearly selling Jabez's prayer as a Biblical incantation that can guarantee blessings, wealth and whatever we desire, regardless of what God has determined for us in the way of ministry and witness, and individual fruitfulness. It also focuses on getting much, even though we know that some will have much and some will not. Some will have health and some will not. 

Matthew 13:8 "But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold." 

Mark 14:7 "For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always."

Wilkinson's incantation and teaching eliminates those truths. The formula focuses on the person rather than the will and person of God.  "Jabez's … request is a brilliant but little-understood strategy for … a blessed life" [p. 63]. 

Wilkinson implies that those who pray Jabez's prayer are just more spiritual and in sync with God than those who don't. Gone is the concept of total dependence on God for all aspects of our lives. Rather it is replaced with, God is there to provide blessings and help in the things, "beyond our ability to accomplish" and the prayer at those times will result as, "you release miracles." [p. 44]

The last section of the book is called "Redeemed For This," and implies that we were saved so we could successfully pray the prayer of Jabez and unleash God's power in our lives. If we fail to see God's power unleashed, we are spiritually deficient, which is no different than other charismatic theology. Wilkinson, who has a forum on his website, is using supposed success stories of others to validate his method.

Success is attributed not to God, but rather, the use of the 'right' words. The validation is also suggested to be that Jabez received much in the way of material things, which we have no knowledge of. There is no further Scriptural mention of Jabez, hence, adding that concept is adding to Scripture, which we are not to do.

There is no difference in these Charismatic stories than could just as easily be found with followers of yoga, the tarot, crystals, or a host of other things for their success. Even the occult chain letters express a similar concept of doing something in order to obtain a 'blessing' in the form of some prosperity.  According to Wilkinson, sin in our lives is the only thing that will stop the repetition of Jabez's prayer from working.

The Bible teaches that when we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, a relationship is begun with Him that is in part defined by submission to the will of God. We learn that omnipotent God can do with our lives as He sees fit, abiding with us through the difficult and easier times. Our growth leads us to understand that God can and will say no to our prayer requests, not to withhold a blessing, but so that we can grow and be more like Him. There is no promise of wealth, prosperity, perfect health or fulfillment of other earthly desires. As James stated in James 4:3 " Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts." Rather, there is a promise of trials and affliction, for the purpose of: 

James 1:3-4 " Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."

Romans 8:28-29 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren."

Paul wrote, although obviously given power to show that he was a servant of God, that he suffered much, while bearing much fruit. 2 Corinthians 4:8-10

"We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body."

There is the promise that we will have victory when we depend on Christ through all that comes our way. I Corinthians 15:57-58 "But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord."

If Wilkinson's theology were correct, each Christian and [non-Christian] should be able to incant those words daily and never have to face any further problem, illness or other bothersome trial that comes our way--which also eliminates the Scriptures like: 1 Peter 4:12-14 "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy..."

God would merely be obligated to answer all our prayers with a blessing and make us prosper in whatever area we felt was needed. 

We cannot know God's purposes, nor can we control or manipulate Him in order to obtain blessings and prosperity. God's purposes for us and our lives are far beyond what we're able to comprehend, and sometimes we don't see His blessings until months or years after He's provided them. Our lives are blessed by walking with Him no matter what, having built our 'house on solid rock.' [See: Persecution Free Christianity, Be Strong in the Lord, Excuses for Sin]

We are not to nag God about personal things, as suggested by one correspondent, as evidenced in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 where Paul wrote: "... lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."

The answer is not always what we want it to be for our lives as Paul so clearly reveals. We need to accept what God has allowed in our lives, no matter how difficult. The question that needs to be answered is, What are you missing in your life that you would be drawn to repeat verbatim a prayer, that asks for things we already have if we are living for Christ?

If we are doing His will, we'll be bearing fruit-little or much, according to HIS WILL. He takes care of our material things--He says we're not to be concerned with those issues, although we can certainly bring any concern to our Lord in prayer. Matthew 6:24-31 and notice verse 25 "Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?"

Can you find any Scripture that promises what Wilkinson states will happen if "prayed Jabez's prayer word for word. And the next. And the next. ... to follow unwaveringly the plan outlined here for the next thirty days. By the end of that time, you'll be noticing significant changes in your life, and the prayer will be on its way to becoming a treasured, lifelong habit ..."?

Again I ask, What Scripture is Wilkinson quoting???? What New Testament teaching? Do you really believe that by incanting those words that "You will change your legacy and bring supernatural blessings wherever you go. God will release His miraculous power in your life now. And for all eternity, He will lavish on you His honor and delight" 

If you cannot find the Scripture, you cannot say it is Scriptural. If it is not Scriptural it is FALSE doctrine. 

What LEGACY must be changed if you have Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior??? What power are you lacking now "and for all eternity" that must be obtained by reciting those words?

What Wilkinson is doing is presenting a false teaching that goes against all the precious promises we have when we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior??? 

What Scripture backs up the idea that praying that verse will cause Him to "lavish on you His honor and delight"? 
"God will release His miraculous power in your life now. And for all eternity" 

In Christ we are already a delight to God and will live in victory, despite any negative circumstances, because of Christ and because we live in Christ.. 

2 Corinthians 2:14-17 "Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:  To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?  For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ."

2 Corinthians 3:3-5 "Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart. And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward:  Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;"

2 Peter 1: 2-11  "Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."


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Copyright . All articles are the sole property of and Vicky Dillen. All Scripture King James Version unless otherwise stated.

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