WilBeyo 05-12-185


Expanding Your Borders


Bruce Wilkinson

Multnomah, 2005, 196 pp., ISBN 1-59052-367-9


Wilkinson is the author of The Prayer of Jabez, which sold 9 million copies, and the founder of Dream for Africa, a movement to mobilize volunteers to address the critical problems of hunger, orphans, poverty and AIDS. www.dreamforafrica.com

This follow-up book reads a lot like its forerunner.  Wilkinson attempts to deflect criticism that Prayer of Jabez promotes a “prosperity gospel,” and includes a number of testimonies, some of them financial blessings and others blessings of ministry.


“The phrase, ‘You should hear what God did’ may be the key to the unprecedented success of The Prayer of Jabez.” (10)


“Jesus commanded His followers to disciple all ‘nations,’ or people groups.  Not just individuals or families or cities, but nations.  For the first time in my ministry, I asked a totally different question: ‘How can I obey the Great Commission by discipling a whole nation for God?’” (11)


“One leader said to me recently, ‘The Prayer of Jabez is your John the Baptist for your work in Africa!’”  [The book opened up doors to the presidents of nations.] (12)


Beyond Jabez was written to further develop the concepts in the prayer, to clear up misconceptions and false teaching surrounding the book, and to encourage the habit of praying the prayer of Jabez.  (12-13)


“My hope is that after reading Beyond Jabez, you will make it your habit to ask God to bless you.  ...I hope you will ask God daily for more territory in which to serve Him.” (13)


“Whether you have six days or sixty years remaining, God still has you here on earth for a purpose.” (21)


Imagine that you long for God’s blessing, spiritual or material, or both.  Imagine aspiring to take new territory, not for yourself but for Him and His purposes.  Picture yourself crying out for His hand of power to enable you.  And sensitive to sin’s destructive effect you beg God to keep you from evil. (23)


The four parts of Jabez’ prayer were the opposites of what I had prayed all my life. (30) 


“God isn’t in the habit of answering selfish prayers.” (James 4:3)  (31)


“Each of the four parts of the prayer correspond with the teachings of the Bible, including those of Jesus Himself.  In other words, the prayer of Jabez works because you are asking God to help you do the very things that Christ commanded you to do.” (38)


“But by no means is this the only prayer you should pray.  In fact, it’s the last thing I pray during my time with God.  I urge you to follow the example of Jabez, but never apart from a life-encompassing conversation with God.” (39)


“Blessing Misconception #3:  If you want to get rich, pray the prayer of Jabez.”  “Scripture clearly teaches that many of God’s faithful will endure hardship and poverty while receiving abundant spiritual blessing and the promise of great reward in eternity (see Matthew 10:21-40; John 16:33)” (41)


“Every blessing, large or small, is from God.” (James 1:16-17) “God loves to give.” (47)  “Some of God’s greatest blessings are reserved for those who ask.” (Matthew 7:9-11) (49-50)


Five kinds of blessing: (52-54)

1.     Common blessings are given to everyone freely without any requirement

2.     Conduct blessing is given to those who meet a standard of behavior. (Deut 7:12-13; Matt 5:6)

3.     Conversion blessing is given to those who believe (John 3:16)

4.     Compensation blessing is given, primarily after death, to everyone on the basis of their life conduct (Luke 14:12-14)

5.     “Compassion blessing is given solely on the basis of God’s character to those who ask.” (Jabez’ prayer in I Chronicles. 4)


“None of us can predict what form God’s gifts will take.  They may come in material form, or they may be spiritual or relational.  Or something else entirely.  But they will be good because they come from the King of givers.” (63)


“And what will God do with your surplus blessing?  He will use you as a source of blessing for others.  We are to imitate His generosity all the time, even when we don’t have much (see 2 Corinthians 8:1-4).” (64)


“‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’ (Acts 20:34).  Is it wrong to receive?  No, it’s fine, and some of us need to receive more willingly.  But even more blessed is the act of giving.” (65)


“He wants to use you and the talents and skills He has entrusted to you to touch more and more of the people of the world.” (76)


“The choice of new territory is usually not self-initiated, but God-directed.” (78)


“The prayer for territory is not focused on your comfort, but on change.  Whenever you ask for ‘more,’ you really are asking God to take you beyond where you have ever been before—into the unknown and unpredictable.” (79)


“In my experience, God rarely makes our fear disappear.  Instead, He asks us to be strong and take courage.” (84)


“Taking new territory involves all of God and all of you.  And if you leave out either part of this equation, you r efforts will be ineffectual.”  “He will enlarge your territory, but you must struggle to occupy it.” (95-6)


“Keep your antenna constantly alert for divine appointments, through which you can touch a life or do something for God’s purposes.  Keep asking God, ‘What’s next?’” (104)


“God is eager to show Himself strong toward Dreamers who take risks to do what He wants done.” (113, quoting The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson)


“Anytime you face a big task—especially one that seems impossible—you come face-to-face with the reality that you are a limited being.  But be careful not to project your inadequacies onto God.  Just because you can’t, that doesn’t mean He can’t.”  “‘For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him’ (2 Chronicles 16:9)” (136-37)


God works through a lifestyle of proactive dependency on God, not running ahead of God, but prayerfully dependent the whole way. (140)


Watch carefully for temptation just before a significant effort in God’s service and just after an effort when you’re physically and spiritually exhausted.  Implement practical safeguards against the sins you have the hardest time resisting. (161)


Dangers to Pray Against: (170-74)

·   The temptation of pride. (James 4:6)

·   The temptation of power. (Mark 9:33-34; 10:35-37; Luke 22:24)

·   The temptation of possessions – desire to be rich, lusts, greed. (I Tim 6:9-10)

·   The temptation of sinful pleasure.  “In our day, sexual sin may well cause the greatest number of failures among believers and Christian leaders” (174)

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