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Is 'Prayer of Jabez' Formula Religion?

Cal Thomas | Syndicated columnist | Friday, May 18, 2001

Is 'Prayer of Jabez' Formula Religion?

The Old Testament is hot again. Christians are appropriating verses from those texts and applying them to the church age and to themselves.

Take the suddenly popular Prayer of Jabez, which has sold more than one million copies in book form. The media tell of Christians saying this prayer by an obscure Jew who asked that his territory be enlarged and that God would keep him from harm and free of pain. God granted him his request.

Many Christians are using that verse as a mantra to get what they want from God. But it is a form of cheapened grace. It implies that god has a code, and if you can crack it, he will give you what you want. That just isnt true. Gods ways and mans ways are different. The Christian life is hard. Paul tells us we must work out our own salvation in fear and trembling.

Im grateful for anything that gets people studying the bible, but I fear The Prayer of Jabez isnt really bible study. It is more like formula religion.