Genuine Prayer Leads to an Above Average Life
By Rick Warren
“[God] is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” Ephesians 3:20 (NIV)
God wants you to live your life to the fullest. He doesn’t want you to live an average life—without any dreams and goals. As we read yesterday, God wants you to have great ambition and a growing faith.
He also wants you to have a genuine prayer life.
Jabez had a genuine prayer life. And it was the real secret to accomplishing his dreams. He prayed, “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” (1 Chronicles 4:10 NIV). And then the verse continues, “God granted his request.”
Did you know that you can’t out-ask or out-dream God? The Bible says, “[God] is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20 NIV). Go ahead and stretch your imagination to the greatest thing that could possibly happen—and then realize that God can go beyond that.
Jabez knew this about God, so he prayed three things:
Jabez prayed for God’s power in his life. He prayed, “Oh, that you would bless me.” You might say, “I shouldn’t ask God to bless me. That’s selfish.” But according to God, asking for blessing is absolutely fine. He’s not some big policeman up in the sky waiting for you to make one wrong move so he can pounce on you. He wants to bless your life.
Jabez prayed for God’s presence in his life. He prayed, “Let Your hand be with me.” He asked for God’s presence. Jabez knew that if he got more land and a larger territory, he would have greater demands and more responsibilities. He knew he’d need God’s help with it all.
Jabez prayed for God’s protection over his life. He prayed, “Keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” Why does Jabez ask for God’s protection? Because he knew this: The more successful you are, the more critics you have. The same thing is true in the Christian life: The closer you grow to the Lord, the stronger you become as a Christian and the more the Devil will hassle you.
What do you want God to do in your life? Help you with a problem? Ask him. Help you with some goals? Ask him.
First, get the motive behind your goals and dreams in alignment with God. Next, pray the three things Jabez prayed—for God’s power, for God’s presence, and for God’s protection. And then watch how God answers your prayers!
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“Perhaps the most important role you can play in the life of a child is teaching them to trust God through prayer. It’s the key to living with hope.” —Pastor Rick
That’s why it’s so important to strengthen the hope of kids by introducing them to Jesus’ model for prayer at an early age. And we’re excited to help you do that with Pastor Rick’s children’s book, The Lord’s Prayer: Words of Hope and Happiness.
Filled with thoughtful insights from Pastor Rick as well as stunning illustrations from award-winning artist, Richard Jesse Watson, this book brings the poetic scripture from the King James Version alive for readers young and old. It’s sure to become a meaningful bedtime ritual, a treasured memory, and by God’s grace, a legacy that bears good fruit for generations to come.
This book is a perfect way to share the beauty and richness of The Lord’s Prayer with the children the Lord has placed in your life. And it’s our thanks for your gift below to help Daily Hope take the Good News to more people everywhere. So please request a copy for yourself or a friend today, and thanks for your generosity!
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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