Monday, August 26

A prayer for prosperity

Scripture: Jeremiah 50-51, 3 John 

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

3 John 2 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. (NIV)

Observation

What a beautiful and simple prayer!  Evidently, Gaius (the letter’s recipient) was doing well spiritually—his soul was prospering.  John prays that he would prosper and be in good health in all ways, just as he was spiritually prospering.  

The word “prosper” translates a Greek word euodoo, which literally means “to go or be led along a good way” and then means “to have things turn out well, to prosper or succeed.”  

John prayed for Gaius to prosper, succeed, thrive, do well—he must have believed this was God’s will for Gaius…and for us.

Application

Laina and I were talking on our morning walk about a book I just finished on the Viet Nam war.  I told her that people everywhere want peace and prosperity.  Everyone wants to do well “in all respects”—physically, emotionally, spiritually, relationally.  Everyone wants to be healthy, and that “all may go well” with them.  Everyone wants success in the purest form—to succeed or prosper in life itself.  

This is not “prosperity theology” as it’s popularly known—the “health and wealth gospel.”  It’s more pure than that—more than accumulating ostentatious wealth.  It starts with spiritual well-being, with our soul doing well, and then everything else matches that.  It’s what everyone really wants, and what God wants for us as well.  He wants shalom—that we would thrive, succeed, prosper, flourish and do well in all respects.  It is a prayer that God welcomes and answers, because it is His desire for us.

John prays this for Gaius.  I’m praying it today for myself, for those I know and love. 

Prayer: Lord, I pray that in all respects we may prosper and be in good health, just as our souls prosper.