Praying For Health & Prosperity?

“Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.” (III John 2)

From John’s prayer here which opens his third letter, it is evidently not WRONG to pray for one’s prosperity and good health. For sure, some have taken this verse too far, claiming that it is a guarantee of health and prosperity. We know from elsewhere in scripture that it is NOT:

— Paul himself had a thorn in the flesh which God did not remove (II Cor. 12:7-10).

— Paul also left Trophimus sick at Miletus (II Timothy 4:20).

There simply is NO scriptural warrant that every single one of of the physical ills of God’s people will be healed on this earth, or that every Christian will be rich and prosperous in this lifetime.

Yet we should also not allow the “pendulum” to swing too far in the other direction. John obviously DOES pray for the health and prosperity of Gaius. Because Gaius is a Christian, the truth is that his soul DOES prosper — as Ephesians says, he has “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 1:3). And John says here that he PRAYS that Gaius would be as healthy and prosperous physically, as he is spiritually. Is that a guarantee of such blessings? Absolutely not. But it also means that it is not wrong to ask for it, both for ourselves and for those we love. What is actually given will be determined by Our Heavenly Father who knows what we need before we ask, and who works all things after the counsel of His will (Eph. 1:11)

About Shawn Thomas

My blog,, features the text of my sermons, book reviews, family life experiences -- as well as a brief overview of the Lifeway "Explore the Bible" lesson for Southern Baptist Sunday School teachers.
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