Book Notes   --   


 WilPray 00-12-124


Breaking Through to the Blessed Life     


Bruce Wilkinson


Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers, 2000, 92 pp.



This little devotional book has really caught on with mission organization leaders who are asking their staffs to read it.  Wilkinson finds the secret of a fruitful life in the prayer of Jabez (I Chron 4:9).  Its value hinges on a proper understanding of, and desire for, God’s blessing, the desire that God would accomplish more for Himself through you.



And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying,

“Oh, that You would bless me indeed,

and enlarge my territory,

that Your hand would be with me,

and that You would keep me from evil,

that I may not cause pain.”

So God granted him what he requested.


There is really very little difference between people – but that little difference makes a great deal of difference.  (12)


Jabez prayed the biggest, most improbably request imaginable, that God would bless him INDEED!  (22)


“To bless in the biblical sense means to ask for or to impart supernatural favor.  When we ask for God’s blessing, we’re not asking for more of what we get for ourselves.  We’re crying out for the wonderful, unlimited goodness that only God has the power to know about or give to us.”  (23)


“He left it up to God to decide what the blessings would be and where, when, and how Jabez would receive them.”  The Jabez blessing focuses on wanting for ourselves just what God wants for us, His will and power and purposes for us.  (24)


“The very nature of God is to have goodness in so much abundance that it overflows into our unworthy lives.”  “God’s bounty is limited only by us, not by His resources, power, or willingness to give.”  (29)


Jabez’ plea for more territory is “where you ask God to enlarge your life so you can make a greater impact for Him.” (30)  It is a prayer to “expand my opportunities and my impact in such a way that I touch more lives for Your glory.  Let me do more for You!”  (32)


“Most of us think our lives are too full already.  But when, in faith, you start to pray for more ministry, amazing things occur.  As your opportunities expand, your ability and resources supernaturally increase, too.”  (36)


“Whatever our gifts, education, or vocation might be, our calling is to do God’s work on earth.”  (39)


We tend to add up the numbers like this:  My abilities + experience + training + personality and appearance + my past + the expectations of others = my assigned territory.  But God’s math adds up lie this:  My willingness and weakness + God’s will and supernatural power = my expanding territory.  (40-1)


To pray for larger borders is to ask for a miracle, an intervention by God to make something happen that wouldn’t normally happen.  (43)


“As God’s chosen, blessed sons and daughters, we are expected to attempt something large enough that failure is guaranteed…unless God steps in.”  (47)


“Dependence upon God makes heroes of ordinary people….”  (48)


“…asking for God’s hand upon us is our strategic choice to sustain and continue the great things that God has begun in our lives.”  (49)


“You could call God’s hand on you ‘the touch of greatness.’  You do not become great; He becomes great through you.”  (49)


“Because for the Christian, dependence is just another word for power.”  (61)


Jabez’ prayer ended with a request to keep him from evil.  (62)  “By far our most important strategy for defeating the roaring lion is to stay out of the arena.”  “His last request is a brilliant strategy for sustaining a blessed life.”  (63)


“Blessedness is the greatest of perils because ‘it tends to dull our keen sense of dependence on God and make us prone to presumption.’”  (64)


“The most effective war against sin is to pray that we will not have to fight.”  (67)


“Simply put, God favors those who ask.  He holds back nothing from those who want and earnestly long for what he wants.”  (76)


“How would your day unfold if you believed that God wants your borders expanded at all times with every person?”  (78)


“The only thing that can break the cycle of abundant living is sin.  Sin breaks the flow of God’s power.”  (84)