Monday, August 20, 2007

The prayer of Jabez

The Prayer of Jabez is a minor prayer by a minor figure in a minor part of the Bible. However, its influence belies its insignificance.

The Prayer of Jabez is a major bestseller that is a major component of a major Evangelical marketing campaign. Nine million copies sold. Top of The New York Times bestseller list. Numerous spin-off products.The core product is the overpriced, undersized book The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking through to the Blessed Life by Protestant minister Bruce Wilkinson. Wilkinson says a number of years ago he began to say a short prayer daily and, in response, God poured out blessings on him. Now he encourages others to say the prayer daily in expectations of blessings. In many cases such 'blessings' equate with financial gain.

Should Christians pray the Jabez prayer? Well, sure. There isn't anything wrong with the prayer itself. The problem is Wilkinson telling people they should say it daily, expecting God to uniquely reward this prayer.There is no such thing as "the Jabez blessing." God made no such promise, and inflating a microscopic Old Testament character with modern, Madison-Avenue, Evangelical ad-speak does not create one.

Unfortunately the ruthless gold digging TV Evangelists and 10-a-penny Pastors exalt the Jabez prayer as they preach a prosperity gospel devoid of any human compassion.

1 comment:

amelia-albertine said...

Amen to that! I agree.