Thoughts to Ponder

Responses to my review of the book Prayer of Jabez

Below are messages I received about my review of the book Prayer of Jabez. The messages I received are in blue and my responses are in green.

Hello dear brother, I have just about 100% agree with you in the past until now that is. I am sorry that you feel this way but I disagree with you about this book, as a mater of fact this past weekend in Houston, Tx @ Lakewood Church by the Pastor of Joel Osten had as his guest speaker was Bruce Wilkerson the whole weekend was the Prayer of Jabez Conference also my pastor here in San Antonio (Pastor John Hagee) stands by this book as well and we as a church say this prayer on a daily basis and as a Cell Leader @ Cornerstone Church we teach this prayer, so my brother I will pray that God will touch your heart and re-think your heart.

I am sorry that you see it this way and I am sorry to hear that so many other people do too. Let me just ask you a question. Do you agree or disagree with the Catholic practice of saying the Hail Mary over and over again? If so then why do you feel that the prayer of Jabez is any different? How does repeating a prayer over and over again bring you closer to God? The book says it is the prayer that God always answers, but why? Why this prayer? Why won't God answer any prayer His children pray to Him? Why not pray a prayer that comes from your heart instead of one that you just repeat over and over again?

I think this book is very dangerous for Christians, it leads them away from God not towards Him. How do you strengthen a personal relationship with God when you are just repeating words?

God bless you too, and I pray that God will open your eyes.

Ralph

Dear Friend:

I am a pastor in the Atlanta area. I am probably the last to jump on the bandwagon where anything is concerned. That is probably explains why I just read the book. I initially saw it as faddish and something of a style that would soon end.

I received the book for Father's Day. I read it and decided I would use it as a tool for Bible Study. So, I read it again and with the aid of some extra-biblical sources undertook to a word study. I discovered more was in the prayer than what the author wrote.

I believe your comments about the book are unwarranted. I also believe you missed the point of the book. The book in my estimation helps people seek God for more, whatever more may be to them. The book also reminds us that in our seeking there is a level of responsibility that accompanies our attaining more. That seems to be consistent with scripture. It also comes through in the prayer.

Maybe you might want to engage in a word study yourself and discover the truth of the passage as well.

Finally, outside of the fact that most people don't know how to pronounce the word "Jabez", I loved the book. jabez is spelled "ya'bets" and is pronounced "yah-bates", not Jah- bez.

You are arguing the wrong point. You are saying that I need to do a word study to see what Jabez's prayer was about. Fine maybe you are right, but how does that change the fact that the author clearly (no word study needed) stresses to pray these words, word for word, day in and day out so that God will bless you?

Do you agree that a person should find a prayer in the Bible and pray it word for word every morning for at least two weeks and that if they do miraculous things will happen in their life? That is what the author says about this prayer. I still say that you can't find out much, even with a word study, about Jabez from the two short verses in scripture, but again that is not my point. I would disagree with the author even if it was the Lord's prayer that he was promoting in this manner.

One other question, what about the author's statement that we will not sin unless we are tempted? Do you believe that is biblical? I don't. The Bible clearly states that it is our hearts and our flesh which is evil. I said in my review that there were good concepts in the book, but the bad parts make it poison. I continue to believe that.

Have you been to the official website and read the testimonials? I ask that because you may think I am the one who took the book the wrong way, but if you read the testimonials from people who read it just like I did you will see that they took the book in the same manner as I did. The difference is that they believed this is the magic prayer, while I don't.

You did not use one of my quotes from the book and defend it, so I am not sure where you think I went wrong. I find this to be the case with everyone so far who has disagreed with my review. Was I wrong to suggest that the author is telling people to pray these certain words over and over again? Am I mistaken that the author states that if you do pray these words over and over again that God will do miraculous things in your life? Am I wrong in saying that no where in the book does it encourage people to read or study their Bibles? Am I wrong to say that it does not promote a close relationship with God the Father (I say that because the person is not taught "how" to talk to Him, only "what" to say.)?

Again I am not saying that Jabez's prayer was wrong for him, but to tell people that they should pray the same prayer because it is the prayer that God always answers is poison to a believer's spiritual life. No word study of the original language will get me to change my mind about Wilkinson's book.

I thank you for your thoughts, but I will have to continue to disagree with you.

Ralph

Back to my review of Prayer of Jabez

Sir, I think you need to read the book again. You have misconceived ideas that are not written in the book. You say that you wouldn't read anything that is not 100% pure. Then what do you read? Because there is not one Christian Book that is 100% pure. Every book in the Christian community has personal views and thoughts and ideas that were added by men. I suppose you only read a Hebrew-Greek Bible because thats the only Bible that is 100% accurate. And there were over 216 transcripts of the New Testament. Sir if you are becoming a critic I would like to give you some advice and tell you to stay saved and watch who you attack with your critical remarks. Or you will find your self in the place of other critics. It was the Pharisees and the Saducees who were critical in the Bible. Jesus even told the disciples when they camer to them and asked about those who were preaching in his name, to leave them alone as long as they were preaching a resurected savior. The Body of Christ has become so divided that all we do criticize one another and the world looks at us and says why in the world would I ever want to be a part of that Church (speaking of the Church in general) they can't even get along thats no different than the worlds system! So I challenge you to not be so critical of things that other men and women of God do! Thanks for your time! May God Bless you and your ministry.

I did not say that I would not read anything that was not 100% pure unless you mean by that something that does not have poison in it. I did say that I would not feed my spirit something that was only 99% pure, that is why I read with discernment and speak out when I see something wrong. You say I need to read the book again but you did not give me one reference where I said something that was not true. I quoted and gave page numbers for my quotes so if I am wrong it should be an easy matter to show me where I am mistaken.

I don't mind you disagreeing with me, but you criticize me for being critical, yet what was your letter to me? Do you agree with praying meaningless words, word for word, day in and day out for 30 years as a way to get what you want from God? Or do you deny that is what the author said he has done? Here is the quote again from the first chapter of the book: I picked up my Bible and read verse ten--the prayer of Jabez. Something in his prayer would explain the mystery. It had to. Pulling a chair up to the yellow counter, I bent over my Bible, and reading the prayer over and over, I searched with all my heart for the future God had for someone as ordinary as I.

The next morning, I prayed Jabez's prayer word for word.

And the next.

And the next.

Thirty years later, I haven't stopped.

If you were to ask me what sentence--other than my prayer for salvation--has revolutionized my life and ministry the most, I would tell you that it was the cry of a gimper named Jabez, who is still remembered not for what he did, but for what he prayed--and for what happened next. (PoJ page 11)

Have I, as you said: "misconceived ideas that are not written in the book"? I think it is pretty hard to misunderstand what the author is saying.

Maybe that is not what you are saying, maybe I am misunderstanding your message, maybe you don't see anything wrong with repeating the same words day after day for years.

I am sorry you think I attacked anyone, I went out of my way to say that there were some good things in the book, but that I feel the author is wrong to advocate praying "this" prayer because it is special and therefore guarantees God will answer it. This is what is wrong with the Christian community today, a lack of biblical discernment.

If you can show me scripturally where I am mistaken, then please do, but to attack me without showing me where I am mistaken makes no sense. It is worse then what you claim I did, since at least (whether you think mistakenly or not) I did give my reasons and scripture to back up my views. I also used the authors exact words, not vague references to what he said, not out of context, but his words with reference page numbers so that anyone could go see if what I said was true or not. Please give me the same courtesy.

To tell people not to point out error in the Christian community may make us all seem like we agree but it will do nothing to dispel heresies which creep in. Paul thought it was important: (1 Timothy 4:16 NIV) Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

Again Paul warns Timothy: (2 Timothy 4:2-4 NIV) Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction. {3} For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. {4} They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

By the way Jesus never told the disciples not to rebuke someone who was teaching error, He only told them to leave others preach who were preaching the truth.

I agree with you about what the world thinks of us at times, but I don't think that is a reason to allow false teaching to continue. In the end which is worse?

Ralph

Back to my review of Prayer of Jabez

Dear friend in Christ,
I would urge you to go to brother Wilkinson himself, which is scriptural, if you think that he is sinning or being deceptive in his teaching and ask him to explain what you percieve to be the poison in the steak dinner. Doesn't it say in scripture that God is no respecter of persons. What He did for Jabez He can do for you as well. If Bruce Wilkinson is asking us to read/pray 1 Chronicles 4: 9-10, is He not telling us to read God's word? And if we do this doesn't God reveal things to us through His word? Does He not change lives? I have read the book and our pastor preached on the prayer of Jabez. More importantly, I have tested the Spirits and have asked the Lord to reaveal His will to me. I have written a song and this is what the Lord revealed to me through His word and He has blessed me abundantly since.

Thank you for writing me. I take it you are speaking about Matthew 18? That does not really cover this situation. Mr. Wilkinson has not done anything to me, nor am I trying to say that he is sinning, I just think he is mistaken and is misleading people. I am speaking out to those people, many who have already bought the book and read it.

You did not address any of my stated concerns about the book. I agree that God can bless anyone He wants to, but I still have a problem with anyone teaching "a" prayer that God always answers. I also have a problem with anyone teaching people to pray the same prayer word for word every day. We are to have a relationship with our Father. Is that how a person builds a relationship, speaking meaningless words? I would say the very same thing if Mr. Wilkinson was telling people to pray the Lord's prayer word for word, day in and day out as a way to obtain blessings from God. I might add that at least the Lord's prayer directs the person in the right direction: God-ward instead of self-ward, yet I don't believe Jesus was teaching us to mouth these same words over and over again.

I mentioned in my review that Wilkinson does not try to get people to read the Bible, so I guess that is what you were referencing with the comment about him encouraging people to pray 1 Chronicles 4:9-10. Two verses is not what I call encouraging people to read the Bible, and even if I did consider that, that is not what he encouraged them to do. He wrote out those verses in his book and this is what he encourages: Reread this little book once each week during the next month, asking God to show you important insights you may have missed. (PoJ pages 86-87)

You said you have tested the Spirits and asked the Lord to reveal His will to you. That is great, but I might ask how did you test the Spirits? If you did not do so by using God's word then I encourage you to go back and give it another try. I certainly won't try to tell you what God's will is for you, but testing this book by God's word showed that it fell short of many biblical principles, which I listed in my review.

I think it is a shame that so many pastors have jumped on this band wagon, but that does not make it any more biblical. Too many times pastors will run after the 'in' thing because they feel that is what people want to hear and if it is maybe they can build their numbers, or at least stop those numbers from dwindling.

I stand by my review, which I felt led to write. If you can show me in scripture where I am wrong, I will take the review down and write a retraction, but you have to do so using God's word, it is all that counts.

Thank you again for writing.

Ralph

Back to my review of Prayer of Jabez

Ralph,

Are you a teacher? It sounds like you have a lot of Biblical knowledge, but I would suggest you are missusing it codeming others. To call something you don't agree with "rat poison" is very egotistic. It assumes that you are the judge of truth.

Also, are you a published writer? If you are not, you must realize that words in print are not the Bible and most authors would admit that they did the best they could at interpreting God's Word and will.

The Prayer of Jabez and Discovering God's Will are good because they summarize something that most Christians don't understand - God's Will. They both probably make some doctrinal errors, but you probably do too. You are just not recognized enough yet to come under public scrutiny.

I applaud your zeal for the truth, but encourage you to provide positive rhetoric of your own that is doctrinally sound. Don't waste your gifts picking others and their material apart. God's Spirit will help others discern. If His Spirit is not working with them, they probably won't listen to you either.

Thank you for writing me Pastor. Your comments to me would suggest to me that you don't see anything wrong with teaching people to pray the same words over and over day after day to obtain some blessing from God. You condemn my review but you did not address my points. I do feel that there is something wrong with teaching people to pray the same words over and over. If I am wrong and off base scripturally then please show me.

The reason I used the rat poison illustration was so people would see that I was not saying the whole book was bad, but that the parts that are wrong are bad enough to make it dangerous. I am not the judge of the truth; God is and He allows us to judge things by His word. So by your statement we should not speak out about anything, because it would make it appear that we are the judges of the truth?

To answer your questions, no I am not a teacher, I am a former Deputy Sheriff who felt led to post his testimony, which by the grace of God brought people to my site. Those people often attacked me personally and Christianity in general. I decided that if God wanted me to have a website then He must want me to witness, so I started answering people's questions to the best of my ability and asking God to help me. I now have over 400 pages of material on my site. I don't say that in pride, I am saying that because you told me I should use my gifts to provide positive rhetoric of my own that is doctrinally sound.

You also said that I should not use my gifts to pick other people's work apart. Which gifts do you think the Holy Spirit gave me? What if I told you my gifts are prophecy and discernment? How should I use those gifts? I am not sure how you interpret the gifts, but the gift of prophecy in my life is used to speak out, correct, rebuke and encourage. I can't tell you what I will have for supper today, much less give you a prophecy of the future. But I can speak out when the Holy Spirit reveals something to me.

You mentioned that the Prayer of Jabez is good because it summarizes something most Christians don't understand - God's will. And what is that will according to the Prayer of Jabez? Is it what Wilkinson says; that God wants us to pray selfish prayers? Or is it God's will that we pray these words to Him day after day?

I may make some doctrinal errors, but that should not stop me from using my gifts in the way God wants me to. One of my problems with the Christian community is that no one wants anyone else to expose false teachings. I often hear the statement that I should be careful because we all make mistakes. Yes we do all make mistakes, but if we never speak out and try to correct them where will we be? I will tell you: (2 Timothy 4:3-4 NIV) For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. {4} They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

Is "this" prayer the prayer that God always answers? Making it the prayer that we should all pray because it is magic? I want to teach you to pray a daring prayer that God always answers. (PoJ Preface page) (Matthew 6:7 NIV) And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Isn't that what the author is saying; to repeat this prayer over and over so God will answer it?

Is it God's will that we pray selfishly and not as Jesus taught us; in God's will? Is it possible that God wants you to be more "selfish" in your prayers? (PoJ page 19)(Matthew 6:9-10 NIV) "This, then, is how you should pray: "'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, {10} your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Emphases added)

Are God's blessings for us to be the ultimate value in our lives? I thought that God's plan and will should be our ultimate goal and value. When we seek God's blessing as the ultimate value in life, we are throwing ourselves entirely into the river of His will and power and purposes for us. (PoJ page 24) What happens when what God wants to do in our lives does not appear to be a blessing to us? There is a difference between seeking God's will for us and seeking God's blessing. One places the focus on God and the other places the focus on us. (Matthew 6:33 NIV) But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Where is that idea promoted in this book? The author claims that Jabez was doing just that, but he buttresses that idea by saying we can know it because God answered Jabez's prayer. That is a pretty weak argument, since God can answer anyone's prayer whether they are a believer or not.

Are miracles a "guaranteed" by-product of seeking God's blessing in our lives? In the pages to come, I want to show you just how dramatically each of Jabez's requests can release something miraculous in your life. (PoJ page 15) Let me tell you a guaranteed by-product of sincerely seeking His blessing: Your life will become marked by miracles. (PoJ page 24)(Matthew 16:4 NIV) A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah." Jesus then left them and went away. I will grant you that seeking God's blessing was not what the people Jesus was talking to were doing, however, we can fall into the same problems when we demand or expect miracles to accompany anything as a "guaranteed by-product."

I am not a Theologian like you and Mr. Wilkinson, but God can still use a poor simple person like me to speak out. I have no problem with men being men and making mistakes and especially misstating something. I have done it in my writings and have been called on it and have corrected my misstatements. That is not my problem with this book, it is not misstatements that are made it is wrong ideas. A simple reading of the book will show what the author's intent was. His intent was to get people to pray these specific words day after day, word for word as a way to obtain blessing from God. I have a real problem with that kind of unbiblical teaching. Can you honestly tell me that is not what the author is teaching?

1. Pray the Jabez prayer every morning, and keep a record of your daily prayer by marking off a calendar or a chart you make especially for the purpose.

2. Write out the prayer and tape it in your Bible, in your day-timer, on your bathroom mirror, or some other place where you'll be reminded of your new vision.

3. Reread this little book once each week during the next month, asking God to show you important insights you may have missed. (PoJ pages 86-87)

You are right that the Holy Spirit is able to help people discern, I just wished you believed that He was capable of helping me discern too. I will also agree with you that people probably won't listen to me, but then again that would not be the first time God asked someone to speak out even though He knew the people would not listen: (Ezekiel 3:5-9 NIV) You are not being sent to a people of obscure speech and difficult language, but to the house of Israel-- {6} not to many peoples of obscure speech and difficult language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely if I had sent you to them, they would have listened to you. {7} But the house of Israel is not willing to listen to you because they are not willing to listen to me, for the whole house of Israel is hardened and obstinate. {8} But I will make you as unyielding and hardened as they are. {9} I will make your forehead like the hardest stone, harder than flint. Do not be afraid of them or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious house." I am not trying to elevate myself to the level of Old Testament prophet, but my point remains that just because people won't listen does not mean that God is not asking me to speak out.

I thank you for the time you took writing me. I am sorry that we will apparently continue to disagree on this subject. Maybe we can discuss it further sometime in eternity to come.

Ralph

Back to my review of Prayer of Jabez

Dear Brother In The Lord -

Thank you for your reviews. I have read your reviews of The Prayer of Jabez and Experiencing God. Unfortunately, our church has jumped on the "trendy" bandwagon with both of these books and with a frightening allegiance to the books and their authors. People are constantly encouraged to read the books while the books are quoted as though they are inspired. I have discovered that both of these books have come on the heels of change in our church leadership.

I have been exposed to both books and fully agree with your discerning review of them. I praise the Lord for the wisdom He has given you. I have passed your website on to several people - keep up the good work. We can be certain that there will be more books and authors that people will want to honor. The sheep do wander! Galations 5:15-16 "Be very careful, then, how you live - not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil."

There is nothing more dangerous than evil that is dressed up in goodness.

Back to my review of Prayer of Jabez

I've been hearing so much about this Prayer of Jabez, that I decided last night to "surf the web" and find out what it's all about. I checked out the Prayer of Jabez Home page, and after spending and hour or two reading it, I went to bed feeling rather depressed! I'm appalled that Christians everywhere are "buying into" this stuff! It smacks of superstition and like you said, it smells a lot like the "name it and claim it" philosophy which abounds in Christian circles. I agree with everything you wrote in your review and I'm glad I had the opportunity to read it. Keep up the good work! God bless!

Back to my review of Prayer of Jabez

Thanks for bringing out the real truth about the book "The Prayer of Jabez." When I started hearing about this prayer, I wanted to know more about it. After reading an online excerpt of the book, I felt uneasy. I too, believe that there is no magical prayer to pray that will cause God to do what we want Him to do outside of His will for us. God is not Santa Claus! Some Christians are too busy trying to seek the hand of God instead of a personal relationship with God through obedience to His word -- we want blessings without the cost of being obedient! Praise God for your discernment.

A Lover of the Truth

Back to my review of Prayer of Jabez

I'm glad you wrote this review. I read the PoJ and began adding it to my prayers, However, never felt comfortable so never did it regularly. It felt like "glorified begging". Your review had great insights, and I'm going to abandoned the PoJ and continue building a relationship in my own words.

Back to my review of Prayer of Jabez

A question, would the world be better off if this book was not published?

Also, God says put your trust in him not man, if this is the way he wants it, is it up to you or I to set the record straight, or can he take care of it on an individual basis?

If you don't agree with what someone writes, did I miss instructions somewhere that tell or ask us to set others straight? If so how can you be sure you're right?

Wondering why I'm writing? I'm not saying you or I or the author is right or wrong, I just hate to see negative comments about something directed towards helping us.

My point is if we spent our time working for the glory of God and not trying to be a self appointed judge could we accomplish more?

It's just that when an idea is shared with me I feel close enough to God that through study prayer and time I can decide what's right for me.

There may be a constructive reason you tear at the authors opinion but I can't figure out what it would be, would you share it with me? And from whom your appointment is?

Thanks

It is not whether the world would be better off if the book had not been published, the question is would the Christian community be better off? Personally I think it would have been. Maybe, just maybe then pastors would be exhorting their flocks to read the Bible instead of this book. However, I am sad to say that they probably wouldn't, since most didn't before the book either.

I do put my trust in God and not in man, but what does that have to do with me trying to point out what I believe is error? Let me ask you a question, does God ever correct error by using people to speak out? God is capable of taking care of error Himself, but that does not mean that He does not (often) use people to speak out against something instead of taking direct action Himself.

You asked if you missed the instructions somewhere to set people straight, yes you did, it is in the Bible.

(2 Timothy 4:2-4 NIV) Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction. {3} For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. {4} They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

(Titus 2:12-15 NIV) It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, {13} while we wait for the blessed hope--the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, {14} who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. {15} These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.

(1 Thessalonians 5:21 NIV) Test everything. Hold on to the good.

(Philippians 1:9-11 NIV) And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, {10} so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, {11} filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ--to the glory and praise of God.

Paul tells us that God gave some to be teachers and some to be prophets. Both of those gifts can be used to discern error and if it is found they have the responsibility to speak out.

Your message pretty much parallels others I have received. You say you hate to see negative comments towards those who are trying to help us. Yet what have you done to me? You don't think it is useful to criticize what you think is wrong, yet what are you doing to me? I personally don't mind because I believe that is how the church is to learn and grow. I don't think we should swallow everything that comes along without checking it out ourselves.

Look at this passage: (Acts 17:11 NIV) Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Now my question to you is this. If the Bereans were more noble because they judged what Paul said by checking the scriptures, what should they have done if they found something that they felt did not line up with scripture? I guess you are saying they should have not said anything, just go along with it since Paul was trying to help them. If that is true then why does God say they were more noble?

I am not a self appointed judge. I tried very hard to be fair with my review and to use the Bible to judge the book. You also asked who my appointment is from. As self serving as this will sound I believe it is from God. I have the gift of prophecy. Now the gift I am speaking of has nothing to do with predicting the future, I can't even tell you what I will have for supper tonight. Rather the gift of prophecy is for building up the church in truth, by speaking the truth from God's word. That often means criticizing false or erroneous teaching.

So why did I write a review of this book? Because I saw how the whole Christian community was running after this magic formula the author was offering. It is wrong and I felt lead to speak out. You may disagree with my review and the way I stated my arguments and that is fine, but can you truly disagree that praying the same prayer word for word day in and day out is wrong? Jesus told us not to pray meaningless words as the pagans do, yet that is exactly what this book promotes. There is no nice way to put it. I used quotes from his book so that people could check out what I said and judge for themselves. Judge the book by the Bible and if you find it to be without error then go ahead and pray this prayer word for word everyday, but at least discern it for yourself.

Ralph

Back to my review of Prayer of Jabez

I think you are going a bit far in your review of PoJ. The author never claims that his book is gospel, yet in your analysis, you dissect his work as if he claimed it to be God breathed. In any book such as this, any thinking person would know to measure what they read with God's word and let the Holy Spirit guide them from there. Too often we expect authors, entertainers, politicians, etc. to think for the masses. People can think for themselves. The truth is, no one knows with absolute certainty what God has in mind for their neighbor. We have a tough enough time trying to discern His will for our own lives.

Also, in PoJ, Wilkinson does not harp on using those exact words Jabez prayed. He extrapolates them out to ideas. For example the mother's prayer on pg. 32. He plainly states that his prayer of salvation was the most important prayer he has ever prayed (PoJ 11). The ideas in his book sound to me like the Holy Spirit's revelation to him. He wanted to share that revelation with us, but being human could not possible convey to us exactly what the Holy Spirit spoke to him. Haven't you ever felt a certain spiritual understanding that you just were not able to articulate, no matter how hard you tried?

I was leery too about the name it claim it 'gospel' that has been running rampant, but as I read, the more I saw that Wilkinson was not speaking of piling up grain in our own barns, but becoming vessels to do the will of God.

I think you need to first look at how Wilkinson defines blessing, territory, and temptation. Then, you can better understand/analyze his work. That is all I'm saying. God bless you and have a good day.

Thank you for writing me. I do not try to claim that the author says his book is gospel, nor do I think it has to stand up to that standard, but I think it should be correct teaching. I won't deny that in places the author said other things like on page 32, but that does not change the fact that he did stress praying this prayer word for word over and over again. You said that any thinking person would know to measure what they read by God's word. Well did you bother to go to the official Prayer of Jabez web site and see for yourself what people think of the prayer? I quoted a couple of the testimonials there, but there are hundreds of them.

I guess I don't understand your point. You say that the book sounds to you like the Holy Spirit's revelation to him. So are you saying that you believe that God wants all of us to pray this prayer every day word for word to get His blessing? Again I say that is what the author is saying. Let me quote from the book again:

1. Pray the Jabez prayer every morning, and keep a record of your daily prayer by marking off a calendar or a chart you make especially for the purpose.

2. Write out the prayer and tape it in your Bible, in your day-timer, on your bathroom mirror, or some other place where you'll be reminded of your new vision. (From page 86 and 87 of the book Prayer of Jabez) I think it is pretty hard to mistake what the author is saying in those two steps which encourages the readers to do each day.

You mentioned that on page 32 he said that the prayer of salvation was the most important prayer he has ever said. Well look at this quote, it restates that but look at what came in second:

If you were to ask me what sentence--other than my prayer for salvation--has revolutionized my life and ministry the most, I would tell you that it was the cry of a gimper named Jabez, who is still remembered not for what he did, but for what he prayed--and for what happened next. (PoJ page 11)

Through a simple, believing prayer, you can change your future. You can change what happens one minute from now. (PoJ page 29) Here again it is obvious he is speaking of this prayer.

You may like the book, you may have even taken away some good principles for your prayer life, but it is still an unbiblical book. It still promotes the saying of a particular prayer day in and day out. I have looked at how Wilkinson defines blessings. It does not matter because he is still promoting the saying of a particular bunch of words to get those blessings.

I do not have a problem with anyone promoting asking God to bless them and give them more opportunities to witness etc... but I do have a problem when to do so the author promotes using canned words. This is not the prayer that God always answers as if it is magic.

This to me is more then just 'name it and claim it' this is more 'let me show you the words that will compel God to do what you want Him to do.' I see that as wrong. I also think it will cause people to try to manipulate God rather then striving to have a real relationship with Him. That to me is rat poison. With that kind of false teaching in the book, no matter what good there is also is not enough to get me to recommend the book to anyone.

Ralph

Back to my review of Prayer of Jabez

I am a teacher of religion and teach at the highschool level. It isnt often that I find a 15 year old that sincerely and personally is involved with prayer on a daily basis.

I have not read the book the Prayer of Jabez, but I believe that anything that gets people who would never open a Bible to do so is good. I leave the rest to God expecting in faith that as he intends for things to happen, things happen. At least people who read this book are in some kind of relationship with God that is personally meaningful to them. And they are praying. Pray ceaselessly I remember. Just pray, be in communion with God all the time. I believe it is possible to do and that this book despite its imperfections calls people to prayer. And as a result millions of people are praying.

I think you should read the book. I think it is possible that God will reach out to someone who is reading this book, but believe me this book has few redeeming qualities. It does not encourage people to read their Bibles, it does not encourage them to deepen their prayers lives, unless you call telling them to pray the same words over and over again deepening. It does not help a person get a closer relationship with God, unless you can saying certain words to make God act the way you want Him to having a closer relationship.

God says in His word that we will find Him when we search for Him with all our hearts. That is a promise from God. So I believe it is possible for someone who wants a deeper closer relationship with God to get this book and God to speak to them. Not because anything in the book is correct but because God is honoring the desire of the person's heart and His promise. My point is that it is very possible that out of the millions of people reading this book, some are getting deeper walk and a better prayer life, but that is not to the credit of the book, it is to God's glory because He is keeping His promise. On the other hand I fear that the majority of those millions will actually have a worse walk with the Lord after the book. They won't sit down to talk to God as a friend and Father, they will repeat the words of this prayer mindlessly over and over again expecting God to dutifully give them what they are asking for.

Please read the book. Read it as a teacher, read what it says, not what you wish it said. I praise God if He has used this book to bring people closer to Himself, but the fact remains that the book is teaching unbiblical actions.

I thank you for writing and I hope you will check this out for yourself, you may be able to save a few people from the hurt and disappointment they will feel when the great genie in the sky does not automatically do what the author 'guarantees' He will do. God does love us and He does want to bless us. I have no problem with that message, I have a real problem when the author claims to have found the magic words that will cause God to bless us.

In Christ,
Ralph

Back to my review of Page 2 of responses to my review

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