I love Jesus. And I love coffee. In fact, as I am writing, I am drinking coffee from a cup that says “Jesus and Coffee.” This is my regular routine. It reminds me of how our body and our soul are deeply connected. This understanding should have an impact on our walk with Christ and especially how we pray.
I don’t know how it is everywhere else, but have you noticed that whenever groups ask for prayer requests, most people ask for physical prayer or spiritual and emotional prayer. It is almost as if we separate the two. But the Apostle Paul prayed for the people in Thessalonica to be sanctified “through and through” (1 Thessalonians 5:23). And this brings us to our Verse of the Day:
3 John 1:2
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.
Do we recognize just how connected our body is to our spirit and soul?
The body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). This is a direct reference to the Old Testament temple. God is comparing our bodies to that. The temple was made of the finest material and God appointed the entire tribe of the Levites to care for the temple to make sure it was always taken care of. And there was a correlation in the Old Testament between sin and the temple. When the people were in rebellion, the temple was not cared for.
We can’t get into a religious spirit about this thinking that the Holy Spirit can only commune with people when their church building is immaculate. That is legalistic. In the same way, we cannot assume God can only commune with those who take really good care of their bodies. This is also a falsehood. It was not the precious materials and the immaculate artwork that made the temple what it was. The entire temple was dedicated and served the purpose of communion with God. Our physical bodies should be dedicated to the purpose of communion with God. This is what Paul meant in Thessalonians.
Often, our physical bodies can get in the way of our communion with the Lord. The Proverbs teach us that the love of sleep will lead to poverty (Proverbs 20:13, Proverbs 6:10-11). The love of sleep is just one way that our bodies can impede our spirit.
God created our bodies for us to enjoy life.
This is why there are so many different kinds of food and spices. He created us with taste buds to be able to enjoy the flavor. Our bodies have been made sensitive to touch. In fact, when babies are born and receive no human contact, it can be devastating to their health. We need to touch and be touched. Touch allows us to connect with people through love in a hug, respect in a handshake, and comfort in holding hands. Our skin sensitivity was designed by God to enhance our life in good ways. We could say this about sex, about hearing, speaking, and singing. Our bodies were designed to make our life more blessed by God.
Now, sin has entered into mankind. Sin is the tool of the devil and the devil is not the Creator. He can’t create anything new. Rather, he works incessantly to pervert the things God has given us to be a blessing. The beauty of our physical design has been hijacked in a way that our bodies become satiated by the things of the flesh. One of the devil’s greatest strategies is to get us to overindulge in those things God has given as a blessing. He loves for us to overeat, to sleep too much, to work too hard, to pursue sex outside of marriage, to indulge. The reason this is such a good tactic is that our bodies and our spirit are not separate. They work together. When our bodies are fully satisfied, it reduces the hunger and thirst of our soul for God. This is why we are called to fast. Fasting is a way of disciplining my body so that it does not rule over my spirit.
In the same way, the spirit is connected to the body.
James connects the body and the spirit, going so far as to connect bodily sickness to spiritual lack (James 5:13-16). We have to be careful of this because we also know that sickness is a natural result of the earth being cursed after Eden and because we are made from the dust of the earth (Genesis 3:19) so we know that all sickness is not caused by spiritual failure. We have only to look at Job to see that his sickness had nothing to do with his faith. God used it to increase his faith, but he did not get sick because he was spiritually unfaithful. But we do know that there is still some connection. Jesus told the man He had healed to stop sinning or something worse would happen (John 5:14). And the Apostle Paul connects a wrong attitude toward the Lord’s Supper and sickness (1 Corinthians 11:27-30).
The point is that to some degree, our bodies have an influence on our spirit and vice versa. I don’t think from Scripture that we know that exact measurement, but if someone is struggling emotionally, it affects their body. Stress causes high blood pressure. And when the body suffers, it affects the spirit. Amputees struggle with depression.
So when we pray for one another, let’s always pray for health through and through. If someone is struggling spiritually, mentally, or emotionally, let us also pray that God would protect their bodies and keep brain chemicals where they should be and to balance everything according to His plan of creation. And if someone is sick, let’s also pray for their spirit binding the spirits of fear, depression, and bitterness and loosing the Holy Spirit with anointing to sustain them and give them joy in the sorrow.
May the Lord bless you body, soul, and spirit!
Leave me a comment about what you think and how this might affect your prayer life.
Share and like so we can get the Word into more hearts that need it.