Jabez and Walmart


Back in 2000, Bruce Wilkinson wrote a little book called the Prayer of Jabez. Many of you are familiar with it, some are not. It was a runaway bestseller and took the Christian world by storm . . . and controversy. Seems Wilkinson’s theology came under fire. Regardless, many people started praying Jabez’s prayer (found  in 1 Chronicles 4:10) asking for God to bless them and expecting great things to happen. Sometimes they did, sometimes they didn’t. I’m not going to debate the theological aspects of this here, but the whole prayer did get me thinking.

Here’s the prayer:

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.

You see, Wilkinson brought attention to this all-but-unknown prayer right as I began getting serious about my writing. I felt God calling me to write. At the time I wasn’t sure what that would look like but I knew His hand was one me . . . so I followed Jabez’s example and prayed for a blessing, I prayed for God to expand my circle of influence (my “territory”), and prayed for Him to keep me from harm and evil. I didn’t copy Jabez’s prayer word for word but the spirit of it was there. And, honestly, I didn’t pray it every day. It was no ritual for me. Sometimes, weeks would go by before I prayed for God’s blessing.

Now, I know some of you may think this is all humbug and that’s fine. I’m not going to argue with you. To each his own. But for me personally, the attention brought to that tiny prayer in the Bible shined light on an area of my own prayer life and faith that was lacking.

I’ve been praying for God’s blessing on my writing for 10 years now. Let me quickly run down how things have played out. This is time to bear witness to the faithfulness of God.

I started out unpublished and unknown, of course. My first writing was for my church newsletter, a very limited audience. From there I moved to a column and feature writing for my local newspaper. Then I began doing some writing for websites–devotionals, inspirational articles, news articles, anything. My circle of influence was growing and my readership with it. Soon after all that I wrote inspirational articles for a candle company that made scented candles that came with devotional booklets.

In 2007 things really took off with the signing of my first contract for a novel with Realms/Strang Book Group. In 2008 by first novel was published. It was in some of the major stores but since I was unknown in the fiction world it was difficult to find. The next year I signed another contract, then a two-book contract, then a four-book contract. With each new book more and more stores stocked them. I started doing more radio and blog interviews, more speaking and teaching, more signings.

My circle was ever-expanding, growing wider and wider and with it, my audience. I was being blessed and I knew it.

And now the next step. This week I found out Walmart ordered a special 2-in-1 edition of my books The Hunted and Scream. It will be both books in one binding sold exclusively at Walmarts across the country. And things are happening fast. The book will ship on December 29 and be in stores in January. To get in with the largest retailer in the world is kind of  a big deal, a major widening of that circle. Again, God has blessed my writing as He has continued to do these past ten years.

I realize all this comes at the hand of God. I’ve done none of it. He deserves all the credit.

Look for the book in Walmart in January. I don’t know which stores will be carrying it but it may be your local one. It will be at a discounted price, of course, and is a special edition.  And hey, if you’re in the book section and someone else is perusing the titles, why not point it out and say, “You know, these books are quite the read. You may enjoy them. And I hear the author is a real whiz-bang guy.” Okay, you can leave that last part off.

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About mikedellosso

Mike Dellosso is an author of wide-eyed suspense. He writes stories that not only entertain but enlighten.

Posted on December 9, 2010, in Christian Fiction, Christian Living, Scripture, Writing Life and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. You know, these books are quite the read. You will enjoy them. And I hear the author is a real whiz-bang guy, who’s got another book out called Darlington Woods and yet another coming out soon. You should buy this set and see what all the excitement’s about!

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  2. Mike, I’m very excited about this. I’m finalizing the file to go to the printer for the combo book. This is great! And I can’t think of a more deserving author. God’s best to you!

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  3. Congratulations, Mike. May your territory be ever expanding. Glory to God!!!!

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  4. That is excellent news! Congrats to you!

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  5. Terrific, Mike, and I’m with Deb: couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy.

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  6. Congratulations! I am so happy for you ! I will spread the word as always!! What we focus on expands. God Bless!!

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  7. Mike – What wonderful news!! God is preparing you for something that will glorify Him, Mike! How exciting! Wishing you continued success and blessings!

    And as to the prayer, since you mentioned it, I think you have the right idea, asking God to bless what He has called you to do. It’s not a verbatim, magic wand, but an example we all can follow. In the New Testament we are told “Ye have not because you ask not.” Who else should we go to with our needs and talents? The Father and designer of it all, of course! God wants us to bring everything to Him, and we are right to do so!

    Thank you for this wonderful reminder and testimony of God’s goodness!

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    • Thanks, Kim. Your words always mean so much and encourage me more than you know. I was going back over some posts I did during the cancer battle (I do that from time to time to remind me) and found your comments still encouraging. Thanks for sticking with me these past few years!

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  8. Reggie Greenleaf

    I will gladly buy it! I have been wanting to read your books but finances up until Christmas will be tight and I didn’t want to buy something for myself. So I will make a point to look for it in my local Walmart and if not there maybe (I’ve hinted enough) someone will give me an amazon.com gift card so I can buy it off there. Have and great Christmas and thanks for sharing with all of us!

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  9. Congratulations, Mike. I am very happy for you. I, too, have been praying the prayer of Jabez since 1990, although very sporadically. About a month ago, I began praying it again. I believe God wants to use Christian in every walk of life to share the Good News with all the world. I will definitely look for your book in Walmart.

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