The Mantra… I mean Prayer of Jabez

“Do you want to be extravagantly blessed by God? Are you ready to reach for the extraordinary? To ask God for the abundant blessings He longs to give you? Join Bruce Wilkinson to discover how the remarkable prayer of a little-known Bible hero can release God’s favor, power, and protection. You’ll see how one daily prayer can help you leave the past behind – and break through to the life you were meant to live.” – From the back cover of The Prayer of Jabez“Do you want to be a kipper for God? Are you ready for the most profound sort of immaturity? Just chant the Jabez mantra, and God will make you into something like a little canned fish, vacuum sealed from temptation and ready to be eaten without satisfying anybody. Soon you too will feel an adrenaline rush that you can call the Holy Spirit and use it to justify any fool thing you want to say. It’s, it’s, it’s like Harry Potter for modern Evangelicals!” – From the back cover of the Mantra of Jabez

Well, by now you should know more or less how I feel about such things as The Prayer of Jabez. But I just wanted to recommend this little parody of the prayer to you. =)

The Mantra of Jabez is by Douglas M. Jones, senior editor of Credenda/Agenda magazine. The book is part of the “Upturned Table Parody Series” from Canon Press in Moscow, Idaho. The full title of the book is…

The Mantra of Jabez: Break on Through to the Other Side

As opposed to Bruce Wilkinson’s The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking Through to the Blessed Life.

I really want to encourage anyone who has read the Prayer of Jabez and thought it the most wonderful thing to consider just how important it is to grow in the Christian Faith and to move on to maturity in Christ.

I was able to hear Bruce Wilkinson preach, back in the summer of 2000 before this whole thing blew into what it is today. He preached about his new book and what the prayer meant to him. He talked about how he had used it for well over 20 years and that it had changed him and given him many opportunities to witness and minister.Basically he was telling us to amend the prayer of Jabez in the Bible to pertain to asking God to increase our borders of ministry so that we can be more open to sharing our faith with others. Back in those days when I heard Wilkinson preach I was a different person and not as critical or thoughtful as I am today. Some may say that I’ve changed for the worse, but I don’t think so. The shallowness and cheap grace that I have grown up with in the realm of modern day Evangelicalism is something I will never return to, Lord willing. And I hope that I may be used of God all the days of my life to encourage others to do the same in seeking to know Christ more fully and deeper than they ever thought possible.

My point is this… Do you really think that all your personal ministry, as a Christian, is missing is this prayer of Jabez? Do you really think that Jesus missed the boat when He taught His disciples how to pray? I don’t think so! But The Prayer of Jabez would have you think that, based upon some man’s mystical experience, you can say this prayer each day and God will undoubtedly bless your life. But if you don’t pray this prayer, well, I’m afraid you’ll just have to settle for a lesser life in the Christian community. Shucks!

I would like to end this entry with the preface for both books. Enjoy comparing and I hope your offense is not too great!


The preface to The Prayer of Jabez:

“Dear Reader,

I want to teach you how to pray a daring prayer that God always answers. It is brief – only one sentence with four parts – and tucked away in the Bible, but I believe it contains the key to a life of extraordinary favor with God.

This petition has radically changed what I expect from God and what I experience every day by His power. In fact, thousands of believers who are applying its truth are seeing miracles happen on a regular basis.

Will you join me for a personal exploration of Jabez?

I hope you will!

Bruce H. Wilkinson”

The Preface to The Mantra of Jabez:

“Dear Newbie,

I want to teach you how to chant a daring mantra that, unlike burdensome traditional prayers, God always has to answer. It is brief, which is really nifty for modern evangelical attention spans – only one sentence with four parts. You can even shorten it more if you remove all the consonants. Just hum the vowels. It’s tucked away in a silly part of the Bible, but I believe it contains an automatic formula for favor with God.

This mantra has radically changed what I expect from God and what I experience every day by His power. In fact, thousands of believers who are humming it are seeing wonderfully short-term things happen on a regular basis. Many of them are even touching fewer and fewer material things!

Will you join me for a personal exploration of the mantra of Jabez? Anyone can hop on. It doesn’t demand anything of you, just mouthing some words.”


As you can see above, this parody expresses why I dislike The Prayer of Jabez so much. At the end of the parody there is an explanation of why the author chose to write such a harsh thing and I would like you all to take a moment and read it…


“The Upturned Table Parody Series

The “upturned table” in our series name points back to Christ’s anger with the merchants in the temple. Our parody series isn’t as concerned with money in the Temple as it is with what modern Evangelicals spend on abject silliness. Now you can’t say that sort of thing or publish parodies without someone pointing out that you’re no genius yourself. And we don’t claim to be. First, we see out parodies as sermons to ourselves before anyone else. For we too are responsible for the lame state of popular Evangelicalism today, even those of us who are from more classical Protestant backgrounds. We, too, exhibit some of the targets of our own barbs. Second, we also don’t claim to sit aloof, all clean and wise, looking down on others’ silliness. We are a part of the Evangelical community ourselves. These are our bothers who write these things; they represent us too. We have no doubts about their sincerity and good hearted goals and wonderful characters, but we all must do light-years better.

The first response from many who love the books we aim to skewer is to be “wounded” and “offended,” but that is the tiresome refuge of every little god who thinks blasphemy restrictions apply to him (oooh, notice the evil gender violation there). We all need to grow up and take the heat. But what about all those for whom these “precious” books have meant so much? One answer is that medieval folks could say the same thing about their relics. Relics made people feel warm and fuzzy too, but they were evidence of sickness.

Christian reality is a rich and fascinating blend of truth, beauty, and goodness. It is an exuberant love of life and light and celebration. Even with some of the glorious heights of Christian culture reached in prior eras, the Church still hasn’t truly begun to plumb the magnificence of the Triune God. We’re only scratching the surface, all the while non-Christian visions are perennially addicted to death. In order to mature, Evangelicals need to move beyond the bumper sticker shallowness of the past four decades and long for the true wisdom. Parodying our silliness is one small nudge in that direction. To whom much is given, much is expected.”

=====================It is my hope that you will take these things to heart and seek to know the one, true God and Jesus Christ whom He sent!

5 thoughts on “The Mantra… I mean Prayer of Jabez”

  1. I agree with the evaluation of the shallowness of Evangelicals in the church. The question is how do we respond? Do we leave them behind in their worldliness and only talk about in depth spiritual matters, or do we allow them to wallow in their shallowness? After some consideration, I have come to think that we should allow light programs to continue in our churches. The reason for this is that even though they are light, they have the potential of raising people up to a slightly higher level of spirituality. The purpose driven life is fluff, but it could possibly lead a carnal christian to at least take an interest in spiritual things. While I still bemoan the general condition of the church, I have after some prayer and thinking concluded that instead of opposing programs that are light in spiritual content, I should be encouraging weaker brothers and sisters to participate in them. As they participate in something basic, it gives me the ability to have a begining dialouge with them that could evolve into a greater spiritual commitment on their part.

    I personally am still responsible for growing spiritually (which requires a deeper study than something ‘seeker-sensitive’) but that is something that I should do outside of my church. While I miss being served Spiritual steaks at church, I realize that I have the ability to cook a full course meal at my house.

    One thing that we should not tolerate is the watering down of doctrinal truths. You can simplify spiritual things until they are almost unbeneficial, but they still have spiritual value. (even if small) BUT we need to actively oppose anything that perverts the gospel in order to bring people into the church. There is a fine line here. (I think this fine line is the difference between Joel Osteen and Rick Warren)

    The Prayer of Jabez is an example of a fad that had both good things and bad things about it. A Good thing was that it actually did cause some people to crack open their dusty Bibles. A Bad thing was that it caused some people to treat God as a genie. It is a tough call as to the net effect of the book on Christianity as a whole. That is why we need spiritual leaders in the church to stand up and help guide the weaker Christians. Pastors should leap on the worthless fads that bombard Christianity and glean the truth out of them for their congregation. Why fight against worldly Christianity when we can use it as a building block to bring people back to firmer Christianity. There are three keys to doing this: trust in the soveriegnty of God, prayer, and discipleship.

    Sorry Glenn that was an awful long comment but I really wanted to get all of that down. It has been on my heart for the past few days.

    ~~Jim May

  2. Thanks for that post Jim and I’m very glad to know what’s on your heart. I don’t think I need to respond any further since I liked what you said. 😉 I’ll think about it and the next time we get together maybe we can discuss it further. =)

    Also, David, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I’ll try to be more succinct or maybe post them in multiple portions.

  3. [quote]Many of them are even touching fewer and fewer material things![/quote]

    I can’t stop laughing at that one!

    …will have to get the book. I love it.

  4. Don’t worry about the length of your posts. Say what you have to say until you’ve said it all. This was excellent commentary!

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