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Meridian residents among practitioners of the Prayer of Jabez phenomenon

By By Ida Brown/The Meridian Star
Aug. 18, 2001
When local Christian radio personality Jeannie Hover receives a prayer request from a listener, she often uses one made some 2,400 years ago by a little-known Bible hero.
In less than a year, the 48-word passage from 1 Chronicles has brought people together at home, work even in doctor offices.
In his prayer, Jabez asks for the wealth of God's spirit. However, modern-day testimonials of unexpected monetary gains and other good fortunes are often cited by those who claim to recite the prayer daily. Such testimonies have misled some to believe that by simply reciting the prayer, one's personal requests for favors and riches will be answered instantaneously. This has evoked criticism from skeptics and caused concern among religious leaders.
Taken out of context
The Rev. Jerry Daniels, associate pastor of St. Patrick Catholic Church, said if taken out of context, the Prayer of Jabez can "get you into trouble."
The Prayer of Jabez is found in the middle of verse 9 (and continues) to 10.
In short, the Prayer of Jabez is not a miracle prayer or magic.
Passing fad?
So is the phenomenon of the Prayer of Jabez a passing fad? A practice like wearing a cross with the belief that no harm will come about? Or, is it a sign of the times?
Ashley Hill, owner of Fishes and Loves Christian Bookstore, believes the prayer is a response to a spiritual hunger and a new prayer concept.
Non-believers, beware
Even Jesus prayed part of the prayer when he went to the cross … Deliver (keep) us (me) from evil … Before somebody criticized it, I would have to ask them if they had tried it with a sincere heart, and not a critical mind."