Friday, May 13, 2011

DEVOTION: Enlarge my Territory - Shirley Corder

"You have to be joking!" That was my response to the challenge issued by my on-line Writers' Group to apply for a scholarship for a Christian Writers' Conference in the United States of America. I couldn't afford to fly from my home in Cape Town, South Africa to Johannesburg, two hours away, to visit my sons. Fly to America? No way!

We were currently studying 'The Prayer of Jabez' as found in Jeremiah 32:17-20. That week, the key verse was  verse 10: Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory! (Jeremiah 4:10 NKJV) Each day that week, I prayed the prayer suggested in the workbook we were following: "Lord, bless me, and enlarge my territory". 

Each day I deleted all emails mentioning conferences.

One day I sensed the Lord say to me, "Make up your mind! Do you want me to enlarge your territory or not?"

Nine months later, I set out on the adventure of my lifetime. My circumstances had not changed. I still couldn't  afford to fly to Johannesburg, but I had a ticket to America, half way across the world, safely tucked into my purse. God heard my prayer, and expanded my territory in a way I would never have believed possible.

I wonder how often I talk myself out of a blessing, because I decide what God is able, or not able, to do? How about you? Have you talked yourself out of a blessing? Is there something you long to write about, or a goal you would love to achieve, but you can't see how it's possible? It may not be . . . on your own. Try asking the Lord to bless you, and enlarge your territory. Then don't be surprised when He does!

Have you had an answer to a Jabez prayer? Share it with us below.

SHIRLEY M. CORDER lives in South Africa and never expected to be a published authoruntil she decided to pray about her writing. Her book, Rise and Soar above the Cancer Valley is due for release in the USA in 2012, and she is contributing author to seven other books. Hundreds of her inspirational and life-enrichment articles have been published internationally. You can contact Shirley through her writing website, her Rise and Soar cancer site, or follow her on Twitter.


  1. I, too, prayed for God to "enlarge my territory" after reading the prayer of Jabez. I did NOT plan to start Bible study in my mobile home park or my home town in Illinois. Not only did this happen, but they continue to grow and I am sometimes amazed at our God. He does use people in His way and in His time. Shirl - May you continue to enlarge your territory with His help. Clella

  2. Shirley, I'm so thrilled for you. I won a scholarship to the 2009 ACFW conference. And it truly opened up my writing life in so many ways. I'm praying the Lord will provide the money for me to go again this year. What a joy it would be to see you and talk with you in person. Praising God for opening up this huge door for you.

  3. Thank you Clella and Christine. Yes, He does often take us at our word. I wonder why we're surprised?

    BTW, this devotion refers to the first miracle trip to the USA. Last year I met Clella at the Florida Christian Writers Conference. Miracle conference number two! Our God is an Awesome God . . . !

  4. I have visited your blog and enjoyed it very much. It has a great inspiration.

    Would you like to visit my weblog which I created about 7 months ago?

    My wife and I are Iranian and live in the UK. We love Jesus and our weblog is mostly about our Lord. Since we are Iranian we have added some Persian topics to the weblog, but you can read and watch English ones.

    Our weblog is

    God Bless,


  5. Thanks Shapour. I visited your blog. Fun to see all the Persian writing.