Ouch! CT’s Two Cents on Jabez and Africa

This is an interesting critique of Bruce Wilkinson’s failed missions attempt in Africa.  It seems that the author of the amazingly successful book “The Prayer of Jabez” learned that God actually isn’t bound to say “How high?” when we say “Jump.”

What a lesson from a man who once wrote these words and others like them:

God really does have unclaimed blessings waiting for you, my friend.  I know it sounds impossible–even embarrassing suspicious in our self-serving day.  Yet that very exchange–your want for God’s plenty–has been His loving will for your life from eternity past.  And with a handful of core commitments on your part [a.k.a. this book], you can proceed from this day forward with the confidence and expectation that your heavenly Father will bring it to pass for you.  (The Prayer of Jabez, p. 17)

This is sad, but it is a stronger refutation of a man-centered and God-manipulating philosophy and book than any article or rebuttal we could write.

I’m thinking of writing a book entitled The Prayer of Nebuchadnezzar, based on Daniel 2:34, 35 and 37:

And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever: For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom is from generation to generation. 35 All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven And among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand Or say to Him, “What have You done?”…37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.

On second thought, I’m not sure it would sell.

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6 Responses

  1. I like the new book title. Maybe I’ll preach that in chapel next time.

  2. Oh no you won’t. I’ve copyrighted it. No one can preach or write on Daniel 2 until I make my fortune. Wait & see…soon there will be a Prayer of Neb desk calendar, t-shirt, study Bible, etc. This is gonna be big!

  3. I sense a rejoicing in a negative circumstance in a brother’s life. Are we glad that his hope of starting an orphanage with his profits from the Prayer of Jabez fell through? I think there should be mourning for the loss of opportunity and humble prayer that the Lord will use these circumstances to correct wrong thinking on the part of Wilkinson. What I’m reading up to this point seems sarcastic humor at the expense of a brother in Christ. Am I misreading your rhetoric?

  4. Actually, Wendy, you are misreading me, but that’s probably partly my fault, especially with the knocked-over book, etc. I honestly don’t rejoice over a brother’s failure, and I did say that it is sad. Genuinely.

    However, I think that his misrepresentation of the Lord, of prayer, etc. is much sadder than his personal struggle. How many believers (and unbelievers) did he set up for a similar disappointment with his errant “just turn the crank of your God-in-the-Box” teaching? Worse than disappointment, how many people have a view of God that is sub-scriptural as a result of the little book? Mercy. I’m grieved by it…all of it: the book, its astounding influence, its obvious and ironic failure in real life, the fact that this misrepresentation of prayer and God gives fuel to those who deny the veracity of the Scriptures anyway.

    Assuming a teaching responsibility brings with it a deep accountability for what one teaches. That’s true of Mr. Wilkinson. And yes, that’s true for me, as well. Whether or not sarcasm is appropriate, it is certainly true that the lessons & prayer of Nebuchadnezzar (for example) which demonstrate God’s absolute sovereignty and man’s finiteness are too often ignored in favor of a name-it-claim-it teaching. The teaching, IMO, has earned some ridicule.

  5. Well, I don’t know… I am glad Wilkinson is being shown up a bit for the fraud he is. I first heard him speak at my former church in Greenville and have been underwhelmed by him ever since.

    Regards,
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  6. Greetings Siblings in Him!

    I have long considered myself “an apostle of balance” and was initially disturbed with the original JABEZ. However, now I’m listening (on CD) to BEYOND JABEZ, and find that it’s much more balanced than its predecessor(s). I see him saying to use the prayer of Jabez to forward the Kingdom, not one’s own agenda.

    Let us remember that in the 8th Chapter of Deuteronomy, the Lord says, “I the Lord God give you power to get wealth to advance my covenant.”

    Blessings to all,

    Rev. Les Linz

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