Prayer always plays an important role in God’s economy. In 1 Chronicles 4:9-10, Jabez was declared more honorable than his brothers. Why? Because he prayed for God’s blessing. He prayed for prosperity, God’s presence and protection. And it says, “God granted his request.”
It seems that what he wanted was inextricably tied to a relationship with God. Psalms 37:4, says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
In another example, 1st Chronicles 5:18-22 describes the Reubenites, Gadites and ½ tribe of Manasseh who had almost 45,000 well-trained, able-bodied men, ready for battle. But when they waged war with the Hagenites “They were helped in fighting them…because they cried out to God during the battle. He answered their prayers because they trusted in Him…the battle was the Lord’s.” Despite being well-trained and prepared for battle, they didn’t depend on themselves. They trusted in God. They weren’t concerned about God getting the credit rather than themselves. They went forth, confident that the battle was the Lord’s.
Prayer that expresses this mindset works. Effective prayer is linked to delighting yourself in God and depending upon Him. Planning and preparing for your future are things you can do. But your plans and preparation will be more effective if you delight yourself in the Lord and depend upon Him. He will honor you by answering your prayers.