I’d like to tell you about a little prayer I prayed one day that I believe saved my life. Maybe it will do the same for you!
Several years ago, I read a book by a man named Bruce Wilkinson. The title of the book was “The Prayer of Jabez.”
In the book, Bruce talks about a little known man named Jabez who was in his day, well-respected and was in the lineage of the kings’ tribe of Judah. He prayed a prayer one day that has had an impact on many people around the world. You can only read about Jabez in the book of 1 Chronicles. Verse 4:10 says,
“Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, ‘Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.’ And God granted his request.”
If you look closely at that verse, Jabez asked for four things:
- Bless me
- Enlarge my territory
- Keep me from harm
- Keep me free from pain
If you read this little book, you’ll see that it is okay, if not downright wise, to ask for these four things. These are definitely things that I want to have in my life, and in the lives of those in my family.
After reading the book, I began praying that specific prayer each morning during my quiet time. I don’t know how long I prayed it, but it was probably several years. After a time though, I stopped praying it. I don’t know why—I just stopped. This was back in the late 90’s.
Several years later, I was doing my quiet time one morning, and remembered the verse. I felt compelled to pray it that morning. I remember thinking to myself that it was strange that I had remembered it on that specific day and that I truly felt like I had to pray it.
I went to work that morning, same as usual. Nothing out of the ordinary happened at all. By the end of my workday I had basically forgotten anything about the prayer I had prayed that morning.
I was on my way home, going east on I-85, which is a very busy highway in Gwinnett County. I was merging onto 316, which at that time was a large curve that merged to the right off of the interstate.
I was riding along with the flow of traffic, which was probably moving at about 65 mph. I was towards the rear of an 18-wheeler, which was in the right lane. Because of the curve, I couldn’t see beyond the front of the truck. At that point, I was probably doing 3 or 4 mph faster than the truck. I had moved about half way up the truck when, all of a sudden, I could see that there were cars that were stopped directly in front of the truck. But the truck was still doing about 65! I’ll never know, but I’m thinking he had taken his eyes off of the road in front of him.
I could tell that there was no way he was going to miss the cars. There was definitely going to be an accident, and it was going to be bad. I knew that if he swerved into my lane, I’d be crushed. So instead of slamming on the breaks (there were cars behind me!), I hit the gas.
Within a split second, I heard the first crash as he plowed directly into the car in front of him. That caused a chain reaction as car after car smashed into the one immediately in front of it. I looked in my rearview mirror and saw two cars careening into the lane behind me—having been squished out by the impact, and missing me by only a few feet. I could hear crash after crash to my right. It was horrible!
I can’t remember my heart ever pounding as fast, and I could feel the adrenaline rushing through my veins. I never do this, but I literally started shaking.
About ½ mile down 316, there was a ramp on the right, so I decided to get off the road and get myself under control.
I pulled into the parking lot of a Duncun Doughnuts, got out of the car, and heard these words, “And keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” If you’ve never heard God’s voice before, it’s not (or at least hasn’t been for me) out loud. But it’s a distinct voice in your head.
God was telling me that he had heard my prayer that morning… I had prayed the prayer, and He had kept me from harm.
Most mornings now, Sandy and I pray together. We pray for our family, our days, our friends, what’s going on in our lives—specific stuff. The circumstances of life change daily, and so do our prayers. But I always pray this for our whole family, “And keep us from harm, so that we will be free from pain.”
Maybe you should to.
Remember, He hears them all. Might as well ask.