This well-known prayer has many interpretations. One theme that is undeniable, however, is that Jabez recognized that he lived in a fallen world and asked God to protect him and to keep him from becoming ensnared by the sin around him. This is a prayer we should offer regularly so that temptation will not overtake and destroy us.
It would have been better if Hezekiah had accepted God’s pronouncement. God granted him another fifteen years of life, during which time his son Manasseh was born – a man whose wickedness was so great that he was called an “abomination before the Lord.” Do not be afraid to accept God’s decrees. While your human desires may be granted they will never be superior to God’s perfect plan.
God wants us to bring our petitions to Him – regardless of their size and scope. Sometimes, like with Isaac, He answers immediately; sometimes He delays until the timing is perfect; sometimes He responds by not responding. Regardless, our joyful task is to bring our needs to Him daily and to regularly seek His will.
Faith and prayer select the subjects for petition, thereby determining what God is to do. Christ holds Himself ready to supply exactly, and fully, all the demands of faith and prayer. If the order on God be made clear, specific and definite, God will fill it, exactly in accordance with the presented terms. (Adapted from E.M. Bounds, The Necessity of Prayer)
Genuine, authentic faith must be definite and free of doubt. Not simply general in character; not a mere belief in the being, goodness, and power of God, but a faith which believes that the things which He says will come to pass. As faith is specific, so the answer likewise will be definite. Faith and prayer select the things, and God commits Himself to do the very things which faith and persevering prayer nominate, and petition Him to accomplish. (Adapted from E.M. Bounds, The Necessity of Prayer)