A Frightening Prayer – Dene Ward
In his third epistle, John prays what has to be the most frightening prayer in the Bible. Beloved I pray that in all things you may prosper and be in health,even as your soul prospers, v2.
Have you ever wondered what might happen if God suddenly answered that prayer—that your body and your economic life may be as healthy as your soul? Those of us who prosper financially, might suddenly be living a hand to mouth existence, while others who can barely make ends meet might find their bank accounts overflowing. Are we more concerned with our IRAs, annuities, and money market accounts than with the <em “mso-bidi-font-style:=”” normal”=””>unfathomable riches of Christ, Eph 3:8? What was it Jesus called the rich man who was more concerned with his physical wealth than his spiritual wealth? You fool! This<em “mso-bidi-font-style:=”” normal”=””> night is your soul required of you, and all the things you have prepared, whose will they be then? So is he who lays up treasure for himself but is not rich toward God. Luke 12:20,21
But what about the physical health angle of that prayer? Some of us who are fat and sassy might instantly become pale and emaciated. Some of us might even fall over dead! But there might be others, frail and chronically ill, who suddenly become as hale and hearty as the great athletes of the world.
If we want to be able to pray John’s prayer, we need to get our souls in shape. Do they get the proper nourishment or do they fast several days a week? Do our souls have to be force-fed? Do we “exercise our senses” every day, “discerning between good and evil,” or do we sit like couch potatoes, taking in with a glazed look everything the world has to offer? Are we willing to take our medicine when we need it, or do we deny our faults and blame everyone else as if that will make them go away?
If a righteous man stands up Sunday morning and prays this prayer fervently—that everyone there will suddenly be as prosperous in wealth and healthy in body as they are in soul–will we jump up and beg him to stop because we know the results of the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man, James 5:16?
Think about it; it might change your life.
For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father from whom every family in heaven and in earth is named, that he should grant you according to the riches of his glory that you may be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, to the end that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be strong to apprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God. Eph 3:14-19