“Jabez looked at his circumstances and concluded, “surely I was born for more than this!” That sentence is what stands out most in the third chapter of The Prayer of Jabez because I’ve said the exact same thing several times over the past year. Don’t get me wrong, my life isn’t terrible, but I’m also clear that my reality doesn’t currently match the promises God has made to me or the abundant life offered through Christ. Something is off and it’s time to right that wrong.
The second part of the prayer of Jabez is about asking God to enlarge our territory; to redraw the boundary lines so that we have more space to move and operate. It’s not about real estate (although at times it may include that), but I believe it’s about influence, opportunity and possibilities. As a pastor my prayer has to be for God to grant me and Second Chance enlarged territory because there are greater things for us to do. In 2016 I’m asking God to expand our territory to include the Northland Community Council, Northland Business Association and other key community partners so we can begin vision casting and meeting people who desire to see the zip code of 43229 changed for the better. Our enlarged territory means being in regular conversation with people who either haven’t encountered the good news of a God who gives second chances or have been hurt by the “church folks” who have preached a different God through word or actions. Our larger boundaries means regular appointments with other pastors and political representatives because everyone has the right to live the best possible life without restrictions imposed by unjust systems. Our enlarged territory includes a building that accommodates our mission and ministry without restrictions.
I am trusting God to hear my honest prayers for enlarged territory so he can work through me. I’m claiming more blessing, greater influence and enlarged territory.