Many of our prayers are sent heavenward for good health. John begins his third letter like this: “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” 3 John :2 Scripture often refers to the health our souls and not necessarily our bodies. Jesus spoke about this in His sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6:22 ““The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light.” Perhaps we have our focus wrong when praying for others. Not only should we pray for healing of the body but be concerned about the health of the soul. James tells us that we should pray for health by getting involved with the sick person. “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:14-16 Verse 16 encourages us to rid ourselves of sin through confession and pray for each other so that we may be healed. Healing here is both in body and soul. Proverbs 17:22 “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Points us to the state of one’s heart and soul as the source of good health.
My thoughts on praying for health and well being of others needs to be adjusted. When I pray for good health, or return to health for someone I should also be praying for the state of their relationship to God, their soul. If we want healthy souls, we have to have the light of Jesus in our hearts as that will bring permanent light and healing to our bodies. As James admonished we should pray for each other when sick but also check in with their spiritual health too. Having a healthy soul is more important than having a healthy body. As Proverbs says, a cheer heart attitude is good medicine and enlightens our soul, but a discouraged, depressed heart is crushing. Pray for one another that we may be heart healthy in both body and soul.
Give thanks for your good health today as you look at your heart. If you see the light of Jesus in your heart, you are well and blessed!