Jabez: The Bible's Little Big Man

Fueling book sales, believers make 'Prayer of Jabez' their own.

Reprinted from The Dallas Morning News.

DALLAS -- The obscure prayer tucked deep within a ponderous genealogy almost defies notice. Yet "The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking Through to the Blessed Life" has managed to fulfill every aspect of the ancient Hebrew's plea by becoming a full-fledged publishing phenomenon.

Written by Dr. Bruce Wilkinson, the pocket-size book examines two sentences in 1 Chronicles 4:10 about a man named Jabez and his very simple prayer.

The Prayer of Jabez

"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 Chron. 4:9-10).

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Although it was released last April, the book has recently topped both religious and secular best-seller charts and has sold more than 3 million copies. Jabez study groups are cropping up everywhere, preachers are preaching about it, and Web sites are devoting space to testimonies from folks who have been praying the prayer.

"We have been shocked," said Wilkinson, founder and president of the international organization Walk Thru the Bible Ministries. "We can't claim any credit or brilliance. It's just God deciding Jabez prayed this prayer thousands of years ago, and maybe now it's time to get it answered."

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