Friday, March 02, 2007

Prayer of Jabez & Secrets of the Vine

The Prayer of JabezThe Prayer of Jabez
Breaking Through to the Blessed Life
by Bruce Wilkinson (Multnomah, 2000)

This simple little book caused quite a stir a few years ago. Anything popular does. While some of the concern was valid, most was manufactured in order to sell opposing books. I think publishing houses look for bandwagons to jump onto or shoot at.

One misplaced accusation centered on what some said was a formulaic prescription for instant success. And while Jabez' prayer (in 1 Chronicles 4.9-10) is quite succinct, it isn't necessarily a magic pill. In fact, Wilkinson's extended devotional on these verses reveals a balanced view that prayer is to be infused with confident humility.

For those not familiar with the "four easy prayers" (critics' view, not mine) to a blessed life, they are:
  • "Oh, that You would bless me indeed!"
  • "Oh, that You would enlarge my territory!"
  • "Oh, that Your hand would be with me!"
  • "Oh, that You would keep me from evil!"
These are not selfish requests. When placed in the context of living for God, whom the author makes clear is the true source of all blessing, then these petitions are rightly extended to mean:
  • Bless me in order to make me a blessing.
  • Increase my influence and impact for You.
  • Without You I can do nothing that lasts.
  • Protect me from evil and causing evil.
Still not satisfied with the brevity of this work? Well, this wasn't meant to be a theological tome. It is what it is - a devotional. Is there more to be said? Yes. In fact, in Bruce Wilkinson's follow up book, he explores John 15 and the pruning (discipline) we must experience if we truly are going to experience a life of abundance.Secrets of the Vine

Secrets of the Vine
Breaking Through to Abundance
by Bruce Wilkinson (Multnomah, 2001)

Taken together, these two little volumes pack an important positive message for believers going through struggle, doubt, and uncertainty. Recommended reading.

For more resources, visit The Breakthrough Series.

1 comment:

Bob & Larry... er, Lyn Perry said...

Note from Blog Host: This came to me via email and with Jen's permission I post it here. lgp

Hi, there-
I attempted to post this comment on your blog yesterday- but wasn't successful. Hope this makes it to you - thank you for speaking out.

Great blog-
I'm only just starting to explore it. I am a Christ follower with a forgiven New Age leadership past. AMEN!

God has called me to speak out against the very old "New Age" and I am working on compiling a book/ testimony from mine and the personal experiences of others who were lead astray and then come home to the Kingdom.

Yours is the only rebuttal that made sense on the internet that I could find on the not so secret "Secret".

I have attended week long seminars and retreats with many of the "teachers" in the book in question, and can personally testify to the 'wrong thinking' (and angry - disillusioned - lonely, more) path that their teachings can lead us down.

Maybe we can help each other help others. Any ideas? Suggestions? Renewed thoughts?

I am still launching my website and blog - should be ready for its debut soon - take a sneak peek and contact me at


PS I'm a Veggie Tales fan, too - I have a 3 year old who was listening to Veggie Rocks this morning!