The Prayer of Jabez
The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking Through to the Blessed Life is a book by Bruce Wilkinson published in 2000 by Multnomah Books as the first book in the "BreakThrough" book series. It is based on the Old Testament passage 1 Chronicles 4:9-10:
Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, "I gave birth to him in pain." Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, saying, "Oh that you would bless me indeed and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from the evil one." And God granted his request. (NIV)
In the book, Wilkinson encourages Christians to invoke this prayer for themselves on a daily basis:
- I challenge you to make the Jabez prayer for blessing part of the daily fabric of your life. To do that, I encourage you to follow unwaveringly the plan outlined here for the next thirty days. By the end of that time, you'll be noticing significant changes in your life, and the prayer will be on its way to becoming a treasured, lifelong habit.
The book became an international bestseller, topping the New York Times bestseller list and selling nine million copies. It received the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association Gold Medallion Book of the Year award in 2001.
Derivative works and merchandise
The popularity of the original book has led its publisher, Multnomah Press, to extend the line to a number of derivative works targeted at niche audiences, as well as to offer the books in audio and video formats. They also authorized a wide array of official "Prayer of Jabez" merchandise including key chains, mugs, backpacks, Christmas ornaments, scented candles, mouse pads and a framed artist's conception of Jabez himself. A line of jewelry was introduced in 2002.
- Three versions rewritten for children, one each targeted at preschoolers, 8-12 year olds and teens
- The Prayer of Jabez Journal
- The Prayer of Jabez Devotional (one edition for children, one for adults)
- The Prayer of Jabez Bible Study
- The Prayer of Jabez for Women written by Wilkinson's wife, Darlene
- a musical companion, The Prayer of Jabez Music ... A Worship Experience (ForeFront Records)
- The Healing of Jabez by John W. Mauck ('Credo House Publishers, ISBN 978-1-935391-29-6) was published in 2009.
The Cult of Jabez... and the falling away of the church in America, a book alleging an un-biblical premise of Wilkinson's book, reached as high as #77 on amazon.com's top 100 books list in 2002.
The Jabez you Never Knew: Hebraic Keys to Answered Prayers, by Norm Franz, was written to give a historic perspective on the account of Jabez, and to criticize the original work for its emphasis on rote prayer.
The recording artist Derek Webb has said that his controversial song "Wedding Dress" was written after he saw Wilkinson speak about The Prayer of Jabez. Similarly, the Ceili Rain satirical song "Gold God" takes issue with this concept (if not the book) as well, noting the God who "expanded my territory" is "like a Visa card".
- "PAPERBACK BEST SELLERS: September 30, 2001". 30 September 2001 – via NYTimes.com.
- "'Jabez' Enlarges Multnomah's 'Territory'". www.publishersweekly.com. Archived from the original on 2007-11-24.
- What's in a name? Jabez Jewelz at St. Louis Business Journal.
- Franz, Norm (2002). The Jabez You Never Knew: Hebraic Keys to Answered Prayers. Ascension Publishing. ISBN 9780971086319.
- jazzyjey (2 December 2006). "Derek Webb - intro to The Wedding Dress" – via YouTube.
- Ceili Rain - Topic (2 May 2015). "Gold God" – via YouTube.
- "Change In Your Pocket - Printable". www.ceilirain.com.
- In Defense of 'Jabez,' First Things, October 2001.
- Critical reviews of Jabez
- A theological critique of Jabez
- Review of the theological implications of the book by the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod
- Van Biema, David, "A Prayer with Wings", Time magazine