1 The Elder, To the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth: 2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3 John 1–2, NKJV)
Recently I was asked for some Scriptures that talk about offering prayers for the physical health of others. Today’s passage is one such passage. We should absolutely be praying for one another’s spiritual health: “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (Jas. 5:16). It is also right and good to pray for others as they face the trials, uncertainties, pain and discomforts of illness and disease. James instructed calling for the elders to pray over the sick in James 4:14. A general statement to offer supplications (requests) for all people is given in 1 Timothy 2:1, no doubt including prayers for the flesh as well as the spirit. The church’s prayers for Peter’s life necessarily included his physical well-being (Acts 12:5). Paul told of praying about his physical ailment in 2 Corinthians 12:7-8. God answered Paul’s prayer, confirming He hears and answers prayers about our physical health, just as surely as He does those offered for our spiritual health. When we pray for someone’s health or our own, we do so fully assured God hears and answers us according to His will (1 Jno. 5:14-15). Whatever the outcome, we rejoice in God’s grace and the strength we have in Christ (2 Cor. 12:9-10).