Jabez cried out to the God of Israel,
Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain. And God granted his request. (1 Chronicles 4:10)
At first glance that looks like a self-centered prayer. It sounds like the man who prayed,
Bless me and my wife, my son John and his wife, us four and no more. But Jabez is really not being selfish. He is praying for something God wanted him to have. That is the difference between being personal and being selfish. Selfish prayers are prayers which ask God for something he does not want us to have, at least not then, demanding prayers that are interested only in our own immediate welfare, for our own satisfaction. But God promises great and mighty things to us personally that we may lay hold of, so to pray in this way is not selfish, but personal.