Updated: Jan 8
Welcome to day one of our week of prayer.
There’s been a lot of talk recently in the media and in the government about this word well-being, and some of you might be thinking what does this word mean? According to the Oxford Dictionary it is ‘The state of being or doing well in life; happy, healthy, or prosperous condition; moral or physical welfare (of a person or community)’.
The biblical equivalent would be the word shalom that comes up 250 times in the Old Testament and means wholeness and health and harmony. It's what we experience when we're at peace with God, at peace with each other, at peace with ourselves, and at peace with creation.
The message describes Jesus in Isaiah 9:6 as the Prince of Wholeness instead of just the Prince of Peace, and in John 14:27 Jesus says, ‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.’ There are many aspects of God's shalom or well-being, and over the next six days we're going to touch on some of them.
In February we're going to do a whole series on well-being, but today's focus is physical well-being. We want to be praying for God's blessing on ourselves and each other in that area. Particularly those people that are battling covid and cancers, and for the medics who are caring for them. John writes in 3 John 1:2, ‘I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, just as you are progressing spiritually.’ When the burnt out prophet Elijah was struggling as recorded in 1 Kings 19, God gave him sleep and food to help him get back on track. Sleep and food, as well as water, exercise, sunshine, and fresh air can have a big impact on our physical well-being.
So, on day one let's be asking ourselves a few questions.
Am I getting the right amount of sleep? Psalm 4:8 says this, ‘In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.’
Am I getting enough healthy food? What is more prominent in my house… the fruit bowl, or the snack tin?
Am I drinking enough water?
Am I doing sufficient exercise and stretching?
Am I getting enough fresh air and sunshine? Pip and I have recently been enjoying going out for walks, and that's had a big impact on us. It’s really blessed us in our well-being, and our marriage.
Do I need to ask someone for prayer? As well as trusting in the medical experts that God has blessed us with.
Am I taking appropriate care of my body? Someone said it's the only place I got to live, and as we read in in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, ‘Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your bodies.’
So, do join us on zoom tonight from 8pm to 8.45pm, or whenever you're able to. Join us as we pray into some of these areas, as well as praying for God’s shalom on our world, our nation, our community, and ourselves. Psalm 91 starts, ‘Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”’