3 John

Soul Strength

“Dear friend, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, just as it is well with your soul. – Vs 2 NET

I love this prayer. John writes to his dear friend and fellow elder, Gaius, and tells him that he loves him and that he is praying that he would be in as good health physically as he is spiritually. He prays that all areas of life would prosper like his spiritual walk is prospering. Could you pray that for your friends? Or better yet, would you WANT your friends to pray that for YOU? Think about it. What is John really praying? He is telling Gaius that he is asking God to prosper his life to the same degree that his spiritual life is doing. How could John pray this kind of prayer? Because he knew that Gaius was doing well spiritually. He even mentions it in his letter. “Some of the brothers recently returned and made me very happy by telling me about your faithfulness and that you are living in the truth” (Vs 3 NLT). Gaius was living in the truth. He was acting faithfully and showing love for the rest of the church. John knew this to be true of Gaius and had had it confirmed by others. So when he prayed that Gaius physical well-being prosper like his soul, he was praying a true blessing on this dear friend.

But it makes me think. Would I really want anyone to pray that prayer for me? I mean, how well is my soul really doing? Would I want my physical, emotional, and general well-being to prosper on the same level? That’s kind of a scary thought. But the real issue is that John had his focus on the right thing. He was more concerned about Gaius’ spiritual health than his physical health. Sure, he wanted him to be well in body, but he was more concerned that he be well in soul. His greatest joy was to hear that Gaius was “walking in the truth.” We all know that we can be doing well physically and tanking it spiritually. We can prosper on a physical level and be an absolute pauper in the spiritual realm. John knew this would never satisfy. And so should we. Think about how you pray for others. Do you concentrate on their physical well-being? Do you pray mainly for their physical health, their circumstances, situations, and emotional well-being? Nothing wrong with that, but how much do we pray for the spiritual health of one another? I would encourage you to go and read through the letters of Paul and see how he prayed for the people under his care. It is amazing how little he prayed for anything having to do with their physical state or needs. His prayers were almost always on their spiritual growth and walk with the Lord. He knew that was the key to true prosperity and health. To be strong in spirit and soul is to have what we need to make it in this world, whether we are healthy or not, prosperous or not, successful or not. May we learn more and more to concentrate our attention on the souls of one another, encouraging spiritual health over anything else.

Father, I pray that in all respects my brother and sisters in Christ may prosper and be in god health, just as their souls prosper. Amen

Ken Miller
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men

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