Updated: Dec 12, 2018
The # 1 book in America on The New York Times bestseller list for a number of weeks this year, has been a small book on prayer by a Christian publisher, The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking Through to the Blessed Life. It has now sold over 7.4 million copies and won the Nonfiction Book of the Year, Retailers Choice Awards. It has been a huge marketing success and a number of spinoff products are hitting the market just in time for Christmas, indicating that the phenomenon isn’t likely to subside quite yet. Bruce Wilkinson, the author, is the founder of Walk Thru the Bible Ministries and has been praying this prayer daily since 1972. Wilkinson has also recently written The Secrets of The Vine: Breaking Through to Abundance. Galli describes this more recent book as “his effort to teach readers how to cooperate with God in his bringing about the results promised in the prayer of Jabez.”
Many Christians are embracing The Prayer of Jabez enthusiastically. Pete Briscoe, pastor of Bent Tree Bible Fellowship in Carrolton, TX gave out 4,000 copies for the church's 25th anniversary. Its popularity in evangelical circles is witnessed to by noting that James Dobson devoted two segments of his radio program to it. Its popular anecdotal style, with examples of "success" undoubtedly account for some of its mass appeal. Books that offer "the key to success" written by someone, whom the world or the church, believes shows evidence of success, are always very popular. Zaleski claims it is “testimony to our intense hunger for a fruitful relationship with God.” The book has received some criticisms from the liberal media which despises all things “evangelical” and from some liberal theologians who object to the idea of petitionary prayer. Many evangelicals have commended the book with a few minor criticisms here and there.
The May 8th New York Times reported on the book with the headline, "A book spreads the Word: Prayer for Prosperity." Did the article understand the book right? Wilkinson says that it contains the "key to a life of extraordinary favor" (p. 7 my emphasis). This book argues that success is available through praying this "revolutionary" prayer. He seeks to inspire Christians, who are leading mediocre Christian lives into recognizing the incredible spiritual blessings that God wants to bestow upon us, certainly an admirable goal (p. 77).
Wilkinson claims he is not promoting the "health and wealth" gospel. He says, "This kind of radical trust in God's good intentions toward us has nothing in common with the popular gospel that you should ask God for a Cadillac, a six-figure income, or some other material sign that you have found a way to cash in on your connection with Him (p. 24). Later, he asks, "Do we really understand how far the American dream is from God's dream for us?" (p. 70). In an interview though, he said, "The primary interpretation of the verse is to enlarge your business." Wilkinson says, “If Jabez had worked on Wall Street, he might have prayed, ‘Lord, increase the value of my investment portfolios.’ When I talk to presidents of companies, I often talk to them about this particular mind-set. When Christian executives ask me, ‘Is it right for me to ask God for more business?’ my response is, ‘Absolutely!’” (p. 31). Is it surprising that multi-level marketing companies are using this book as a motivational tool, encouraging people to believe God wants their business to succeed?
This type of comment sends "mixed signals" as far as I am concerned! Zaleski, who seeks to defend the book, makes this interesting and telling comment, “The abiding assumption seems to be that ‘blessings’ means worldly wealth and happiness, albeit in the service of God.” I don't think it is coincidental that this book is extremely popular in a society that constantly spends billions of dollars each year on lottery tickets or at casinos! Internet gambling is a 1.6 billion dollar industy projected to rise to 6.3 billion by 2003. Americans gamble away some $500 billion each year. Is some of its popularity attributable to a me-centered society which is looking to strike it rich and would be more than happy to pray to a God who would give them such wealth? Hopefully this is not the case and the real reason for the book’s popularity is as Zaleski argues “testimony to our intense hunger for a fruitful relationship with God.” Time will tell. If Zaleski is right, then with over 7 million readers (based on sales) one might expect that this would lead to a real transformation of society as millions start praying this prayer and God’s blessings flow in answer to those prayers.
The very first statement in the book is, "I want to teach you how to pray a daring prayer that God always answers” (preface). The second statement proclaims, "…it contains the key to a life of extraordinary favor with God" (preface). I believe each of these statements is theologically problematic and these form the thesis of his book!
Statement # 1:
Does God always answer this prayer? Is "No" an acceptable answer? It is assumed this prayer will always be answered affirmatively with blessing. Wilkinson confidently makes this assertion based upon three things; experience (his and other people’s), that this is God’s will for you, and the Father longs to give such to you (pp. 11-12). It would have been helpful if he had clarified that to speak of God as “Father/Abba” is terminology that is limited to Christians (Mt 6:8-9). That being the case, he should also have carefully showed that the answer is always YES for God's people only! The biblical promise that God will always bless is limited to “those who love him, to those who are called according to his purpose” (Rm 8:28).
Wilkinson has a subheading, "God's nature is to bless" (p. 27). He is guilty of selectively editing texts at times. He quotes Exodus 34:6 where we read, God is a "compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness..." but the sentence continues in verse 7! Note what Wilkinson didn't include. Exodus 34:7 reads, "maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation." Not leaving the guilty unpunished is very much a part of God's nature that Evangelicalism should not forget! The need to confess and repent of one's sins is given scant notice in the book (and he refrains from using such “biblical” terminology, p. 85). There is no mention of asking Jesus to forgive and save one from God's well-deserved wrath before one could expect to receive God's blessings!
Wilkinson also makes the startling comment that “seeking God’s blessings is our ultimate act of worship” (p. 49). This wouldn’t be the typical understanding of a text like Romans 12:1! Wilkinson’s appeal to see God do great things in and through us is commendable but one senses this book has lost the biblical balance. Talbot rightly points out that in Scripture the apostles didn’t set the parameters for the “enlarging” of their ministry (e.g. praying for 30 decisions by the end of the day cf. p. 58), and at times were hindered and frustrated in ministry (Ac 16:6-7, 17:32-34, 18:5-6; Rm 1:11-13, 15:22; 1 Th 2:18). He also notes that Scripture requires us to be faithful without promising us success (Ja 4:15, Heb 11:35-39). One would never draw such conclusions from Wilkinson’s presentation!
Statement # 2:
Is praying this prayer "the key" to a blessed life? What about all the other prayers in the Bible? Why didn't Jesus teach his disciples to pray Jabez's prayer? Is it not somewhat interesting that there is no mention of this prayer in the writings of the Church Fathers and most other Christians throughout the ages never realized this was “the key to a life of extraordinary favor with God” until Wilkinson started to promote it?
How is blessing understood? Here is a fundamental weakness of the book. Wilkinson gives a definition but doesn’t explore the fullness of the word/concept in Scripture (pp. 23-25). In fact in this section he only quotes one verse, Proverbs 10:22 (from a paraphrase!), a verse which speaks of God’s blessing making one rich. One would have expected that he would have given a greater biblical overview of the concept of blessing. We will address this point of the biblical meaning of blessing further (below) in a discussion of what wasn’t mentioned in the book.
Like much of the "church growth movement" there is an assumption that blessings are discernible by numbers. He said of a backyard bible club outreach, "I quietly said, 'If we don't have 100 kids in each club by the end of the week, we should consider it a failure'" (p. 57). Interestingly, he seems to have considered it a success since four of the six clubs reached that goal. "Blessing" defined by this standard is always arbitrary, established by human goals not by any biblical directives. He also indicates a typical evangelical approach to evangelism and decisions for Christ (p. 59). As Moore wisely notes, “Since there are far too many people who have a false assurance of a right standing with God simply because they prayed a prayer, it would have been preferable for the author to say that 1,200 indicated a descion for Christ, not that they had definitely become Christians.”
What causes one to fail to receive God's blessings? Simply a failure to ask (p. 27)! He quotes Matthew 7:7 and James 4:2 "You do not have because you do not ask," but he didn't quote James 4:3 which shows that the failure to receive is due to sinful motives! His illustration of Mr. Jones finding in heaven a room full of blessings not received (pp. 25-27), while illustrating the point that we need to ask for God’s blessings, actually seems to stand in contrast to the next section where he talks about God’s nature is to bless (pp. 27-29). He speaks of “all the blessings God wanted to give…but Mr. Jones never asked” (p. 27). God doesn’t bestow generously and graciously his gifts unless we specifically ask for them? Yet, Psalm 84:11 says, “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.”
Thankfully, at the end of the book he also briefly mentioned sin. "The only thing that can break this cycle of abundant living is sin, because sin breaks the flow of God's power" (p. 85). In light of what had previously been presented that brief mention was “too little too late” and fails as much of Evangelicalism does to take seriously the holiness of God. Talbot notes that the presentation fails to deal with the reality of indwelling sin in our spiritual life and makes it seem as if “Our fates are in our hands, then.” Indeed, Wilkinson writes, “Your loyal heart is the only part of His expansion plan that he will not provide” (p. 60). How then will we attain unto a “loyal heart”? What happened to our need for God’s Spirit “ to work in you to will and to act according to his good purpose” (Phil 2:13, Zech 12:10)? One desires to think the best, but one must arch an eyebrow when one reads statements like, “Through a simple, believing prayer, you can change your future.You can change what happens one minute from now” (p. 29). “And he [God] becomes great through you” (p. 49). As Pollock states, “Man stands too tall in the author’s esteem, as a result, and God assumes a frighteningly reduced dimension.”
What was not mentioned? That the blessings of God attend the righteous (Ps 5:12), those who fear God (Ps 115:13,128:1, 4). That blessing is tied to obedience to God's commands (Dt 11:26-27), to those who are blameless and seek God with all their heart (Ps 119:1-2), to those who avoid the lifestyle of the wicked (Ps 1:1). Those who are blessed are only those who take refuge in God (Ps 2:12) who have faith in God (Ps 84:12, Gal 3:9). There was no mention that blessed is the man whose sins are forgiven (Ps 32:1-2), whom God disciplines and teaches from his law (Ps 94:12), who perseveres under trial (James 1:12, 5:11) and who suffers for Christ's sake (1 Pet 3:14, 4:14. Mt 5:10). There was no mention of the beatitudes at all, where Jesus defines who is truly blessed (Mt 5:1-12)! Shouldn’t we have heard something about blessed are the poor and those who are persecuted? Of utmost importance there was no mention that God's blessings are found in Christ alone, through his life, death and resurrection. Ephesians 1:3 "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ." In a book written primarily for Christians (I assume) this should still have been made clear. How much more when one would hope and expect that some non-Christians would buy and read the book!
A few years ago a simple farmer from Oregon was buried on a hillside in Korea. On a trip to Korea this man had seen many destitute orphans begging on the streets. Many of these had American fathers, living in the USA, who had left them when the war in Korea was over. This man decided he would find homes in America for these "Korean orphans." When he died, the story of Harry Holt was reported in virtually every English newspaper in the world. He sought to glorify God by helping others and in the process found great joy and blessing in life. How many who will pray Jabez’s prayer for blessing will know that, "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Ac 20:35). Wilkinson never mentions it but Jesus taught it and exemplified it!
One of my greatest concern with Wilkinson's book is his failure to address fully the subject of blessing from the perspective of the Chronicler or from the rest of the Bible. A fundamental hermeneutical principle is to interpret the obscure passage by the clearer passage(s). What Wilkinson asked, but should have explored in more depth, is why the Chronicler included this narrative/prayer in his two-volume work (p. 10)? One should ask, how does this prayer relate to the themes the Chronicler is developing? If Wilkinson had addressed these issues more carefully, he could have maintained a more biblical balance, that I believe is missing in his presentation and not spiritualized Jabez’s requests. We will briefly examine some of the themes the Chronicler presents. We will examine the text in an outline related to the title, “Praying for God’s Blessings.”
Jabez receives the commendation that, "he was more honorable than his brothers" (v. 9). Wilkinson argues that it was his prayer that made him "more honorable" (p. 76). Some believe that the city in 1 Chronicles 2:55 was named after him, a reflection of the honor that he attained. Jewish commentators, said Jabez was a famous "doctor of the law" and left many disciples after him. Note the verse says, "a clan of scribes lived at Jabez." He was a man of prayer and a pious man, who recognized his dependence upon God. There is a word-play on the name Jabez, which sounds like the word for "pain." Wilkinson makes much of this (pp 20-21) but in a way Pollock charges that imbibes a contemporary “self-esteem” theology rather than tracing it back to the curse of the fall (Gen 3:16).
1) Involves Praying For God's Will (v. 10a)
"Cried out" ("called" or "named" v. 9) speaks of prayer, a favorite theme of the Chronicler. While others may have failed to pray or prayed to pagan gods, Jabez prays to the God of Israel, the God of his fathers, a covenant God and a faithful God. "Oh that you would bless me." Others also prayed that God would bless them, like Jacob wrestling with the Lord, "I will not let you go unless you bless me" (Gn 32:26). Blind Bartimaeus would not be silent but cried out, "Jesus, Son of David have mercy on me" (Lk 18:38). If God doesn't bless us, we will never be blessed, for "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father..." (Ja 1:17).
To pray for God's blessings implies a submission to his omnipotent power to give blessing and his sovereign right to give us what he deems is best for us, which Wilkinson does affirm (pp. 24, 84). Jesus shows that all prayer must come from a heart which says, "Not my will but thine be done" (Mt 26:39). Jesus recognized that God's perfect will/his blessing was to include suffering, which Wilkinson doesn’t really address. Yet, this is the universal testimony of the NT writers. 2 Timothy 3:12 "In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted..." Acts 14:22 "We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God."
2) Involves Praying For God's Kingdom (v. 10b)
God's promise to the Israelites was "I will drive out nations before you and enlarge your territory..." (Ex 34:24). God would give them the Promised Land. Many, including Wilkinson, think that Jabez lived during the time of the Judges (pp. 20, 31). This was a time when "every man did what was right in his own eyes" (Jdg 21:25) and the people were constantly battling to possess the land God had promised/given them. In this context the comment that "Jabez was more honorable" would speak of his great faith in God during a time when the nation was often unfaithful to God. Thus he prayed to God not pagan idols as many Israelites did (cf. Jdg 6:25-27, 10:16).
The tribe of Judah was allotted by God a certain portion of land, which was then divided up within the tribe (Jos 15). The people were to drive out the inhabitants, trusting God to be with them and give them victory. Wilkinson seems to recognize this aspect but feels Jabez wanted more than this. He says, “From both the context and the results of Jabez’s prayer, we can see that there was more to his request than a simple desire for more real estate. He wanted more influence, more responsibility, and more opportunity to make a mark for the God of Israel” (p. 30 emphasis his). I believe the petition reflects the likelihood that Jabez had not yet driven out all the inhabitants of his allotted land, so he prays "enlarge my territory" (cf. Jud 6:1-6 the Midianites and Gideon)! Wilkinson’s approach though fails to recognize that there was a specific allocation of land for each tribe and each family within the tribe, so one could NOT enlarge one’s “borders” without doing injustice to a fellow Israelite by encroaching on his allotted land or by taking land God had not promised to Israel!
Wilkinson applies this petition to a greater witness for God (pp. 32-36). We should all be encouraged by the way his appeal led others to step out in faith to share the gospel. I wonder though if a more biblical foundation for such an appeal might not be the Great Commission (Mt 28:18-20) than this petition of Jabez? Thankfully, a sovereign God can use even an “improper” application of a text to fulfill his sovereign purposes to take the gospel into the world!
The theme of praying for God’s aid in defeating one’s enemies is found throughout Chronicles! When God's people pray for him to help them fight their enemies, God hears and answers their prayers! Jabez is a good example! 1 Chronicles 5:20 "They were helped in fighting them and God handed the Hagrites and all their allies over to them, because they cried out to him during battle. He answered their prayers, because they trusted in him." There are many other examples where God's people cry out for help against their enemies in war and God answers (2 Chr 13:14, 18:31, 32:20). In 2 Chronicles 20:6-12, King Jehoshaphat prays that God will defeat the enemies of Judah and not allow them to take the land God gave to Judah. The people don't even fight! God defeats the Ammonites and Moabites while the people sing (2 Chr 20:21-22)! God also gave great material blessings so that it took three days to carry off all the plunder of the war (2 Chr 20:25)! Wilkinson draws from this petition that we should ask God to enlarge our ministry opportunities. This seems like a faulty application considering the historical context. I believe this petition fits better with Jesus' instruction that we pray "your kingdom come." In that petition we pray for the extension of God's rule and the subduing of his enemies, whether that means our own personal ministry opportunities are “enlarged” or not.
3) Involves Praying For God's Power (v. 10c)
The hand of the Lord is a reference to God's power/presence. Joshua 4:24 "He did this [drying up the Red Sea] so that all peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord" The Chronicler teaches that when the people/kings trust God and obey him they experience God’s blessing. When they rebel, they experience sickness/war etc. (retribution). 2 Chronicles 15:2 "The Lord is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you." (1 Chr 28:8-9, 2 Chr 7:14, 12:5). The exiles want to know: Is God still with us? The Chronicler encourages the exiles to realize God has not forgotten his promises (David/the temple). Will the exiles trust God? Jabez is a prime example of one who trusted God to provide the victory and defeat God’s enemies and was blessed.
4) Involves Praying For God's Protection (v. 10d)
Jabez prays to be delivered from the pain the evil/harm will cause him (NIV). Some versions translate keep me from the evil, that I may not cause pain (NKJV). Chronicles shows God protecting his faithful people from enemies and providing healing from pain/sickness. 2 Chronicles 32:24 "In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. He prayed to the Lord, who answered him and gave him a miraculous sign." Jabez wanted God's protection as he faced his enemies. Jesus taught us to pray, "Deliver us from evil." We need to understand Jabez's prayer from the Chronicler's perspective! This too is part of the “retribution theology” that is central to the book(s).
This is an inspriatonal type book. It encourages reaching out in faith to serve God and see him work through “unknowns” such as ourselves (pp. 40-41). It proclaims and teaches people to believe that God answers prayer. It encourages people to look for opportunities to share the gospel with needy people and to recognize that the victories come from God’s powerful hand (p. 53). Bruce Wilkinson doesn’t just “talk a good game” he speaks passionately from expereince and he is to be commended for his commitment of faith. Despite what one may gather from the above interaction, I am glad I read the book. I was inspired by the testimonies of the way God has been at work in the lives of many people because of their commitment to pray and step out in faith.
Yet, we must always strive to be faithful to the Scriptures and their intended meaning. We should all be concerned that people not twist the Scriptures out of their context to make them say something that doesn’t seem apparent from the context. We should all also be committed to knowing the “key to an extraordinary spiritual life.” I believe that God's blessings upon Bruce Wilkinson are not simply because he prays this prayer, but because he is a man of faith, who shares the faith, and is concerned about holiness. Many reading the book might not clearly see the relationship between these aspects and God's blessings. There are many aspects of God’s blessing that simply were not addressed and in that sense the picture presented was incomplete. This prayer is NOT the key to a blessed life, Christ is the key. We need to pray for God's blessings and understand it involves more than praying the prayer of Jabez but it does involve praying for God's will, kingdom, power and protection.
 A review of Bruce Wilkinson, The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking Through to the Blessed Life. Sisters, OR:
Multnomah Publishers, 2000. 93 pp. This article was published in The Sovereign Grace Journal 5:1 (Feb
2002): 11-22. It is also forthcoming in U-Turn (www.u-turn.net).
 One could note the role of “market forces” such as publicity in national newspapers and magazines or the impact of the revolution in the publishing industry in the distribution of books. On this point and its impact for the book, see, Gene Veith, “Going Mainstream,” World 16:26 (July 7/14 2001): 46-49
 Mark Talbot, “God, Prayer And American Evangelicalism,” (http://aliancenet.org/month/0106wilkinson Jabez.html June 2001). Philip Zaleski, “In Defense of Jabez” First Things 116 (Oct 2001): 10. Mark Galli, “Significance in a Small Package,” Christianity Today 45:8 (June 11, 2001): 97.
 Mulnomah, 2001, 128 pp. It hit #10 on the NY Times best seller list in its early weeks, see: David Moore, “What Should We Make of The Prayer of Jabez? Viewpoint 5:4 (July/August 2001): 12.
 Galli, Significance, 98.
 Galli, Significance, 97.
 How does one measure success? It would appear in this book the primary criterion is experiential. Let me also note that there is a diluting of the biblical concept of “miracles” when one speaks of seeing miracles happen on a regular basis (p. 16). When he defines miracles later (pp. 43-44) there is a confusion or blurring of God’s providence, empowerment etc. with miracles. A miracle is “an event which runs counter to the observed processes of nature.” J. D. Spiceland, “Miracles,” Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, ed. Walter Elwell (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1984), 723.
 Zaleski, Defense, 10-12. Note, I used an internet version (http://firstthings.com/ftissues/ft0110/ opinion/zaleski.html) and so the precise page of the print article is undeterminable at times.
 Zaleski, Defense, 10-12.
 See Andree Seu, “Nugget of gold,” World 16:24 (June 23, 2001): 37. James Beverly, “Judging Jabez,” Faith Today (July/August 2001): 13.
 The “Religion” section of The Ottawa Citizen (August 18, 2001) in asking three local pastors and a rabbi to comment on the book, described the book as “A self-help book based on the Bible’s Prayer of Jabez has become a best seller by mixing religious advice with money-making tips.” (Section L, p. 8).
 Galli, Package, 97
 Zaleski, Defense, 10-12.
 Gene Veith, “The computer as casino,” World 16:24 (June 23, 2001): 16.
 Such a thought is not foreign to those elements who promote the “health and wealth gospel.” See, The Agony of Deceit, ed. Michael Horton (Chicago: Moody Press, 1990).
 James Beverly says, “Wilkinson knows the Bible too well to argue that the prayer of Jabez is always answered.” Judging, p. 13. Probably true, but why didn’t he say so?
 All my quotes are taken from the NIV, copyright 1984 by the International Bible Society.
 Talbot, Prayer, 5.
 So claims Zaleski, Defense, 10-12.
 Moore, Jabez, 12.
 Talbot, Prayer, 6-7.
 Bryan Pollock, “Review of The Prayer of Jabez” the WRS Journal 8:2 (August 2001): 28.
 Ray C. Stedman, Talking with My Father Jesus Teaches on Prayer (Grand Rapids: Discovery House
Publishers, 1997), 149.
 We don’t know who wrote Chronicles so I’ll refer to the author as the Chronicler.
 What we consider as two books, 1 & 2 Chronicles, was only one in the Hebrew text and the translation into Greek for the LXX seems to have precipitated the division into two “volumes.” J. A. Thompson, 1, 2 Chronicles, NAC vol 9 (Broadman & Holman, 1994), 22.
 Implied and understood in this statement is the inspiration of the author by God’s Spirit, who used holy men to record God’s holy revelation (2 Pt 1:21). Zaleski makes the comment that “Wilkinson has no interest in scholarly analysis; he uses each of the prayer’s four petitions as a springboard for an affable, upbeat sermon…” Defense, 10-12.
 A charge that Talbot makes. Prayer, 5.
 Matthew Henry's Commentary On The Whole Bible, (McLean,VA: MacDonald Publishing, nd.), 845.
 Pollock, Jabez, 29.
 Martin Selman, 1 Chronicles, TOTC (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1994), 33-34.
 The theme is not tied to “enlarging one’s borders” but rather maintaining or recapturing the “promised land.” Thus the primary application should be the defeat of one’s (God’s) enemies.
 Craig Dumont chides fellow Reconstructionists for being overly negative toward the book and calls them to realize that Wilkinson is actually promoting a “dominion-taking message.” Another Look at the Prayer of Jabez, (http://chalcedon.edu/articles/dumont011018.html Oct 18, 2001).
 This is a major theme in Chronicles that Wilkinson never mentions or alludes to. See, Raymond Dillard, “The Reign of Asa (2 Chronicles 14-16): An Example of the Chronicler’s Theological Method,” JETS 23:3 (September 1980): 207-218. Idem. “Reward and Punishment in Chronicles: The Theology of Immediate Retribution,” WTJ 46:1 (Spring 1984): 164-172.
 All the prayers in Scripture provide guidance for our prayer life. The Lord's Prayer (Mt 6:9-13, Lu 11:2-
4) is a "model" prayer and praying for God's blessings include the blessings of daily bread and forgiveness.