The Prayer of Jabez Verse-by-Verse & Praying This Powerful Prayer

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If you’re like me, you’ve probably heard of the prayer of Jabez. It’s been making its way around Christian circles for a few years now. And for good reason! This prayer is powerful. But… do you know how to pray it? I didn’t. Not until I sat down and read through it verse-by-verse. That’s when everything clicked for me and I began to see just how powerful this prayer really is. If you’re curious about the prayer of Jabez, or if you’d like to learn how to pray it yourself, keep reading! I’ll take you through each verse of this powerful prayer and explain what it means.

Who is Jabez in the Bible?

Jabez is only mentioned 3 times in the Bible. The first is in 1 Chronicles 2:55 where Jabez is the name of a town:

“he clans also of the scribes who lived at Jabez: the Tirathites, the Shimeathites and the Sucathites. These are the Kenites who came from Hammath, the father of the house of Rechab….”

1 Chronicles 2:55 (ESV)


Then Jabez is mentioned again in 1 Chronicles 4:9:

“Jabez was more honorable than his brothers; and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.”

1 Chronicles 4:9 (ESV)

Jabez’s name means “he causes pain.” We don’t know much about Jabez’s birth other than that, but we can assume it was more painful than usual due to his name.

Names have always been important in Bible times. It is possible that Jabez’s mother was predicting what he would become based on what name she gave him and its meaning.

Stop to think about that for just a second. All of us have been called names at some point in our lives. Often mean names, but occasionally endearing. They will call and label us according to how they perceive us.

image of man's hands folded in prayer with text The Prayer of Jabez Verse-by-Verse & Praying This Powerful Prayer

That’s what Jabez went through. His name became a lifelong label given to him by his mother.

If you feel that you are mislabeled or your name signifies something unpleasant, think of Jabez, whose name is a constant reminder of the pain his mother experienced during his birth.

His name may have been Jabez, but it seems as if this man defied all odds to become someone with a deep belief in God. He prayed and appealed to God with urgency and boldness!

Who was Jabez in the Bible? Genealogies are an essential source of information for many people because they contain details about our ancestors’ lives. By putting ourselves in the place of these original readers, we can learn much from genealogy, such as the one in which Jabez was mentioned.

The genealogy in Chronicles is more than just a list of names. It shows how God has chosen Israel to be an influential nation in history and encourages those who have come back from exile and were struggling to rebuild their destroyed nation.

The names of these people in the book of Chronicles showed that God accomplished his purposes through their ancestors-before David, Moses, or even Abraham.

God’s plan began with Adam.” This genealogy showed that God’s plan and purpose were still in place! The nation of Israel was His chosen people, and they had been given the promised land for a reason.

What Is the Prayer of Jabez?

The prayer of Jabez is a concise yet powerful prayer mentioned in 1 Chronicles 4:10. It reads:

Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked.”

1 Chronicles 4:10 (ESV)

Jabez cried out to the God of Israel. Boldly. Fervently.


Jabez was honored because of his relationship with God. In fact, 1 Chronicles 4:9 says, “Jabez was more honorable than his brothers…”

The record of the genealogy of Judah was interrupted to share about  Jabez. His relationship with God must have been exceptionally close to causing the author of Chronicles to stop and elaborate on this one man’s life.

Examining the Prayer of Jabez Scripture Line-by-Line

Let’s look at each of the lines of scripture in the prayer of Jabez and what they mean.

“Jabez called upon the name of God of Israel saying, “Oh, That you would bless me.”

Jabez knew that his faith in God was the reason for all of life’s joy. He knew the Lord was the source of all blessings, so he asked to be blessed.

The blessings of the Lord are many.  Not just material, like money and success, but also spiritual ones such as good relationships with others or peace of mind. Things such as a quiet and gentle spirit and a compassionate heart.

When we pray to God, He responds by blessing us spiritually and materially. So, the next time you feel your prayers have gone unheeded or that everything is just getting worse and worse in life- know this: it’s not a lost cause. Asking God for a blessing is not a bad thing.  He always answers us.  Maybe not in the timeframe or the way we had hoped, but He does answer us and often in a way more incredible than we could have ever imagined!

The Lord will provide for you, but he does not promise that your life will always be easy. Christ warned us about the difficulties we face in this world and told his followers to expect trials from time to eternity (John 16:33).

God does not promise us that we will be prosperous.  He promises that He will provide for us.

God wants to transform our hearts so we can withstand life’s trials. We must remember that He answers prayers by His will and not by ours!

“And enlarge my border.”

Jabez is not after physical territory; he wants to make an impact on God’s kingdom. It doesn’t have anything to do with land at all!

When we look at the spiritual meaning of this line, it’s different than we might initially understand.

Jabez desired to impact those around him, and he spent time praying that God would expand the boundaries of his heart so it could overflow. He wanted others’ lives transformed for God’s Kingdom.

This is not a selfish prayer. He desired to serve God. 

I have often prayed this prayer over my business, but not financially.  I pray that God would enlarge my border and that I would reach more for His glory!

“and that your hand might be with me”

Jabez realized that he had limitations as a person, so to be effective in ministry, in life, and to accomplish tasks, Jabez needed God’s help.

He knew that God was all-powerful, so he asked for guidance and protection to stay on the right path, but most importantly, to be held close by God’s embrace.

Jabez understood that blessings come from God, and only good things can come from God if you believe in Him.

The blessings of this life are a gift from God; without His guidance, nothing good can come from them.

“and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain.”

Here Jabez refers to his name. As you may recall, the Hebrew word for Jabez means “he causes pain.” When he prays this line, he renounces his name’s sorrowful meaning.

Jabez asks to be protected from harm as Jesus taught His disciples to pray. Jabez looks to God in confidence as his defender.

Pray then like this:

“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name…

And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from evil.

Matthew 6:9,13 (ESV)

Like many of us, Jabez may have needed strength and guidance from God to overcome his pain. God is always there for those who turn towards Him with an open heart!

In a world weighed down by sorrow, one man found hope in his prayers. When we last hear from him, he has been rewarded for his faith with an overflowing blessing that exceeded even what he had asked for. His name could not outweigh God’s blessings.

Prayer is an integral part of our lives. We should always look to God for help when we need it, and He will hear out every request that comes from your heart with His grace around you like a protecting wall!

The prayer of Jabez shows how a child of God can approach their Maker with humility, faith, and reliance on the goodness that he promises.

Along with the prayers of Hannah, Jonah, Hezekiah, Paul—and of course, what we know as the Lord’s Prayer  (Matthew 6:9–13)—the prayer of Jabez provides a beautiful instance of a child of God approaching the Majesty on High in humility, faith, and reliance upon God’s goodness.

Let us then, with confidence, draw near to the throne of grace so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 4:16 (ESV)

The prayer of Jabez is an excellent example of how we should approach God with our requests. His words show us that it’s crucial to depend on Him and call upon His name.  

Scripture has many examples of prayers that teach us to depend on God and call upon Him. The prayer of Jabez is very inspiring and challenging for how we approach God with our requests.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV)

It’s not about asking for things but calling upon the Lord to help us accomplish His promises! Let’s dive in and see how this Old Testament prayer can be applied today as we seek God’s provision, guidance, and protection.

Jabez was a man of faith, not wealth. He did not receive his blessings in return for prayer, but through grace, he received the will God had planned to execute through his life and trials.

Jabez studied and obeyed the law and prayerfully trusted God to guide his life. The city where the scribes lived was named after Jabez due to his knowledge of the law. His legacy lasted because of the many disciples he left behind.

Why is the Prayer of Jabez Important?


The Prayer of Jabez teaches us that God wants to bless us, and He will if we walk with Him and ask for His blessings in heartfelt prayer.

Jabez wants to succeed and increase his sphere of influence for God. What that sphere of influence is is not important. What is important is that we have God on our side when we want to reach our dreams and goals.

Commit your work to the Lord,
    And your plans will be established.

Proverbs 16:3 (ESV)

The importance of staying connected with God cannot be overstated. He will provide the guidance and support we need throughout our lives, so it’s essential to keep him close in your life.

Jabez knows and prays specifically to the only One who can protect him from evil and pain — God. At the end of the prayer, it is clear that God approved of this faithful prayer by granting it.

The Jabez prayer shows that God wants to hear our passionate prayers. He responds with kindness and power when we say His name in faith.

Click on the image below to download and print the prayer of Jabez and write your own prayer to the Lord.

image of prayer of jabez with lines for writing, pdf download

Prayer of Jabez: What does it mean to you?


The Prayer of Jabez is a reminder that each one of us, at times, struggles with relying on self or God.

Whether a deeply devoted Christian or a new believer, everything in life is part of a growing process. 


We need to remember that the Bible, as well as the Prayer of Jabez, is clear that God is faithful and caring to those who believe in Him.

The Prayer of Jabez is an excellent example of how God wants everyone to come to Him through prayer. To grow in your walk with Him or start one, prayer is the best way to begin.

God answers our prayers when we trust Him to.

And when they prevailed over them, the Hagrites and all who were with them were given into their hands, for they cried out to God in the battle, and he granted their urgent plea because they trusted in him.

1 Chronicles 5:20 (ESV)

Prayers to God also please His heart. We can all learn from the Prayer of Jabez and faithfully pray to God about all we do.


The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord,
    But the prayer of the upright is acceptable to him.

Proverbs 15:8 (ESV)

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How Can We Pray Like Jabez?

Jabez revered God in his prayer. He honored God, asked for the right things, and had the right attitude when he prayed. 

To learn to pray like Jabez, we first need to know Who God is in our lives truly. The source of all blessings comes from God alone!

Once we know who God is, what He’s capable of, and His role as our Heavenly Father, we can go to Him boldly and confidently.

Like Jabez’s boldness when he prayed for God to bless him and enlarge his territory, we can ask God just as courageously for big things.

Most importantly is the right attitude. Jabez didn’t ask for material wealth. God may not grant you a million dollars or a Mercedes, but He is willing to give you a heart like that of His Son Jesus.

He also wants to place in your heart a deep desire to spread the Good News of His Son to others. That’s one expansion of territory that genuinely honors and pleases God.

Once we receive His blessings, we must never forget where they came from. We can get so distracted by the blessing that we forget WHO provided them.

Jabez knew this, so he also prayed that God would take the lead and guide him.

If we ask God to be with us at all times and to guide us, He will guide us along the right paths. Our blessings will multiply if we stay on the path God guides us on.

It is also essential to ask God for protection from temptation and evil. So many temptations and corruption of the world can cause us to veer off the path God leads us on.

Because of this evil and temptation, we must ask for His continual covering over us. We can only enjoy God’s blessings when we allow Him to lead us. Therefore, we need to ask Him for protection from anything or anyone who would lead us away from Him.

We need deep devotion to the Lord to place our needs and desires at His feet. We need the confidence that He will guide us on the right path. We are to pray faithfully and with a godly perspective for God to bless us by His will and carry out our purpose on earth.

You may enjoy this brief video on praying your own prayer of Jabez.

The Ultimate Prayer For A Breakthrough | The Prayer Of Jabez

Lessons We Can Learn from The Prayer of Jabez 

  1. Jabez called upon the God of Israel,”

Jabez was a man who knew how to cry out for help. He did not hesitate or fear when his circumstances became too much; instead of trusting in God and letting Him take care of him, Jabez acknowledged God’s lordship in his life.  

When you pray, always begin by acknowledging who God is!

  • Oh, that you would bless me.”

Jabez knows that God is the only true God and recognizes how blessings come from Him alone. Do the promises of the world tempt you?  Are you seeking prosperity through your efforts? 

When you pray, let your heart be full of gratitude and appreciation for all the blessings God has given us.

  • and enlarge my border. 

It is a misnomer to think that Jabez is asking for physical land when asking God to enlarge “my border.” However, if we look at the lineage of Jabez, we can understand that he is not merely speaking in terms of wealth and prosperity but in terms of impacting the kingdom of God. He wanted his spiritual territory to increase, to claim generations for the Lord of Israel.  Do you need to claim or reclaim some of the lands Satan has taken from you? 

Pray so that God will multiply your territory and do more through you!

  • and that your hand might be with me”

Jabez deeply understood how important it is to have God in every moment. He knew that blessings could quickly turn into curses if we don’t rely on His hand to provide guidance and protection throughout our days.

When you pray, ask for more than just blessings and provision; request that God’s hand be with every step of your journey.

  • and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!”

The name Jabez, as mentioned previously, means “he causes pain.”  His mother named him Jabez because of the extreme pain she experienced while delivering him.

When Jabez prays, he renounces the name given to him at birth and the shame that went with it.  He lets go of this shame and asks God that He would keep him from pain.

When you come to God, whether with your needs or desires in prayer – know that He will turn any weakness into a strength through His glory.

“And God granted what he asked.”

When we learn to submit our will and pray like Jabez, God will start moving in mighty ways! What is your prayer today?

God had a purpose for Israel, He had a purpose for Jabez, and He has a purpose for you.  This righteous man wanted God’s will to be done in his life. What about you? Do you want God’s plan for your life?. Why not pray that God will bless you abundantly?

You may also enjoy one of these recommended resources for additional study to to apply the prayer of Jabez to your own life:

The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking Through to the Blessed Life by Bruce Wilkinson 

The Prayer of Jabez Devotional: Thirty-One Days to Experiencing More of the Blessed Life by Bruce Wilkinson

The Prayer of Jabez: Bible Study by Bruce Wilkinson 

 ESV – “Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

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