«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 him what he requested»
(1 Chronicles 4:10).
NURIA ASKED God for that young man with the slanted eyes to one day be her husband. Julio asked Him to make it easy for him to get a divorce, since he was unhappy with his wife. Mary, for her part, did not want to keep on caring for the sick for a living, and asked God to give her another job. However, none of them received what they asked for. For his part, a seven-year old Peruvian child asked Jesus for his father and his mother to be able to find a stable job, since they were very poor. God opened His powerful hand and gave them a place where they could open a small business that soon brought them out of poverty. Why are some of our requests granted by God while others are not? It is impossible to answer this question, but we can reflect on certain aspects of prayer that we find in the Bible.
There is a prayer of which the same biblical passage says that God answered it; I’m referring to the prayer of Jabez. He said: ‘»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 him what he requested.» Jabez asked God for four things in this brief prayer: 1) His blessing, 2) a larger territory, 3) for God’s divine hand to always be with him, and 4) to be delivered from evil. These were four things that the Lord was pleased to bestow.
I believe that there are three aspects of prayer that we must always keep in mind:
«To every sincere prayer an answer will come. It may not come just as you desire, or at the time you look for it; but it will come in the way and at the time that will best meet your need» (White, Messages to Young People, p. 250). Can you have confidence in this?
God honors those who honor Him: «My Father will honor the one who serves me» (John 12:26). Does your heavenly Father feel honored by you? Is yours a life of service to the Lord?
«We know he hears us when we make our requests» (1 John 5:15, NLT); however, hearing does not necessarily imply granting us what we ask of Him. Let us fulfill the requirement of keeping His commandments (see 1 John 3:22) and have faith that He knows what He does.