The fifth and final line in Jabez’s prayer is
“that I may not cause pain.”
At first glance this is an unclear and somewhat wordy request. However, it can be reworded for clarity. To not cause pain, is simply to do good.
Here Jabez is reminding himself — as much as he is telling God — that the purpose of his prayer is not self-serving or self-centered, but to do good for others. Indeed, his first two requests address this desire directly, while the next two are to provide for help and protection in doing so.
His motives are pure and his intentions are good. His prayer’s conclusion confirms that.
A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website ABibleADay.com to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.