This might throw some of you off a bit, as it is a decidedly Christian post….not the usual spiritually neutral material that you have come to expect from Spiritual River.
But really, I thought it was too good not to put it out there. This little book rocks. It is very powerful, and it matches up so well with the concepts and philosophy of creative recovery that I talk about here on this website.
The Prayer of Jabez is really about abundance, from a Christian perspective.
My thought about recovery is that it should be growth oriented and driven by the individual. Always about positive action, holistic growth, and so on.
Take action, get results.
Don’t be small. Don’t play small. Go big and do great things. Do great work. Get creative. Change lives. Help people. Use your talents, and your gifts, to help others.
Push yourself to grow in recovery, and do not rely on traditional recovery methods. Push yourself to create the life you really want in recovery. Become the person you were always supposed to be.
This has always been my personal philosophy, my own spin on things…..”creative recovery,” I have called it.
Of course this stuff is nothing new, and is certainly nothing revolutionary. The ideas and the concepts have been around forever. I’m just using a new vocabulary to try and convey the concepts and get people excited about living sober again.
So why did this little Christian book set me off and get me excited? Because the concepts that it contains match up so well with Creative Recovery.
Let’s take a look:
The actual prayer of Jabez is pretty short. It reads:
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.
Reading the short little book basically breaks down each line of the prayer and talks about it at length. Very easy, enjoyable reading, and I highly recommend it. Here are my main takeaways that made the book so worthwhile for me:
* There is an idea out there among most people that they should not pray selfishly. But you have to ask for help, and you have to ask God for help to do his will. In other words, you are saying “give me ministry! Bring someone into my life who needs your help, that you can work through me…..” Don’t just bless me, Lord….but bless me a lot.
* When you take small steps, you don’t need God. But when you “enlarge your territory,” you are asking for opportunities to do more of God’s work.
In other words, do God’s work, and go big or go home. If you go big, expect God to help you….especially if you ask for it.
* Push yourself to do great work. Ask God to send you big challenges. Try to take on something meaningful and large enough that you need God’s help to do it. (Your playing small serves no one).
* “That your hand would be with me” – if you are truly pushing yourself to reach out and help others and change the world in a meaningful way, you are going to need God’s help. This is part of the logical progression of this prayer of Jabez. You first ask for him to bless you, then to enlarge your territory, then you ask for help with that. It actually makes sense.
* “That you would keep me from evil” – there is a tendency for self sabotage (especially among recovering addicts and alcoholics), and many people falter once they have success in life. This is sort of the “keep me on track” part of the prayer, to help keep you grounded when you are meeting with success and new opportunities.
* “That I may not cause pain” – pretty obvious….you are praying for the opportunity to help others, not to hurt them.
To me, this prayer is powerful because it helps you to focus on the positive….you see more opportunities to help others, and you appreciate them more. You become excited with the possibility of reaching out to help. Abundance comes to you through helping others, not in winning the lotto….
Now understand that I am not pushing anyone toward religion here…..but if you are not striving for abundance, if you are not trying to “enlarge your territory” and reach out with your gifts and talents, then what exactly are you doing? The message is clear enough: step up to the plate and do great work. Shoot for the moon and ask for help in doing so. This is the path to true abundance.
Of course, anyone might reject the Christian perspective based on their own beliefs, but the concepts are pure gold in my opinion…..