Gladney and the Prayer of Jabez

Sunday, September 13, 2009

There are a lot of ways that people can support Gladney. Usually we focus on folks volunteering their time and talents, providing financial support, increasing awareness of the joys of adoption, etc. Another area that could receive more attention is prayer. Gladney has a noble, child-centered mission of Creating Bright Futures Around the World, a mission that is surely aligned with God’s heart. Why not pray for Gladney ?

I do. And I think the prayer of Jabez is a good framework. The prayer of Jabez has been around for a good while, 3000 years or so. (See I Chronicles 4:10.) About 10 years ago, it was “dusted off” in a book by Bruce Wilkinson. (After all, I Chronicles is pretty hard to find.) Here is the prayer, replacing “me” with “us” and “Gladney”…….

“Oh, that you would bless Gladney indeed
and enlarge our territory,
that Your hand would be with us
and that you would keep us from evil.”

“That You would bless us” – This is not a selfish prayer. It’s not focused on material blessing. We simply want what God wants for us. We want governments to find favor with us, birthmothers to locate us, adoptive parents to work with us, and sure, financial support, all designed to improve the lives of children around the world.
“Enlarge our territory” – We want to make a greater impact; we want to expand our influence; we want to be among the leaders in the adoption and child welfare discussion.
“That Your hand would be with us” – I want to know that God’s handprint is on everything we are doing at Gladney.
“And that You would keep us from evil” – If we are on the front lines doing God’s work, we’ll encounter resistance. Here we simply ask God to go before us.

I hope you’ll join me in this prayer. Let’s watch God work.

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