The author suggests that we can access God's blessings by ritually praying certain words connected to Jabez, a little known Bible character.
God is viewed as a butler who responds in a mechanical manner when certain words are recited." The book makes a mountain of presumption out of a little verse in the Bible and then suggests that if a person is not enjoying massive material prosperity in their life, then they have not learned the proper method of praying like Jabez. When the disciples of Jesus came to Him and asked Him how they should pray, He didn't tell them to go look up Jabez in the scroll and pray like that! The opening statement in the book says: "I want to teach you how to pray a daring prayer that God ALWAYS answers... I believe it contains the key to a life of extraordinary favor with God..." Wow! Yet, somehow, Mr. Wikinson, ignores all this instruction and instead teaches that if you pray a rote prayer (the exact same prayer, verbatim from Jabez), every day, over and over, that God must grant you prosperity! Did he forget that Jesus said (in Matthew 6:7): "And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words." Seems Scripture actually indicates that this is exactly NOT the way to get your prayers answered. That doesn't mean God doesn't love us or that we're not praying right... What really annoys me about this book is that Wilkinson says that THIS prayer is THE KEY to a life of extraordinary favor with God.... God's favor is not poured out on us because we commit rote prayers. Who in the world is this knucklehead to suggest that praying the words of some obscure mention of a dude named Jabez in the Old Testament over and over, day after day, is THE key above all keys to God's favor? I also remember reading several Roman Catholic publications at the time that Jabez was so popular and Catholic leaders were commenting that they were encouraged by the Protestant excitement over the prayer of Jabez because, while Protestant Christians have long criticized Catholics for the futility of rote praying (i.e. the Rosary, etc.), now suddenly they were all jumping on board as though this was God's ultimate will for the whole world! I believe Jesus simply gave us an example of how our heart should be in approach to God. Humility, simplicity, hope, forgiveness, praise, thanksgiving and faithfulness... How different is the heart of this prayer from Wilkinson's Jabez concept: Matthew 6:6-13 - (Jesus said) "Here's what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won't be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply.
I read this book in a couple of hours which is doable because its so short. There comes a distinct point in your walk where you desire more.
A former student asked me about this book, which I had never read.
I love always to read books on prayer. Frankly, I have read Muslim books on prayer that are more inspiring and blessed than this book! Jesus says to seek the Kingdom of God first and foremost and all else will be added as a bonus when we least expect it, but not what these super-star American flashy preachers in the Evangelical Christian media. This is frankly the worst book I have ever read in my entire life on prayer.
This is pretty much the worst book I've ever read.
Jabez wanted what God did in his life to define him, not his name. If we are loving God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength like the Bible says, then we will pray Jabez's prayer the way it is intended. I have been praying this prayer daily for more than ten years because I want live the life God has planned for me and not miss out on any blessings from Him. I want all I do to be directed by God and not let evil keep me from doing all I can for God. You have to read through this book a few times to fully understand what the verse is all about. Check out this book and see how this seemingly misplaced verse can change your prayer life.
This book is for those who have experienced sorrow, who desire increase, who need practice in meditating on God's Word day and night. This book takes one Scripture and teaches the principles of meditating on each of God's promises.
Bruce Wilkinson is recognized as one of the world's foremost Christian teachers and speakers.