Physical Wellbeing


We look forward to a time when there will be ‘a new Heaven and a new Earth’ and ‘there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away’.

It is an unfortunate reality that our bodies will let us down to varying degrees and at various times. Some physical health issues may be transient and we recover but others are sometimes more significant and we carry their chronic nature and this causes us suffering. Whatever happens, our bodies age and deteriorate gradually.
We believe in a God who can heal any disease or ailment but we also acknowledge this doesn’t always happen. I believe God gives us the responsibility to look after our bodies and how we live and what we do has a significant impact on our physical health and wellbeing.

God’s Plan for your Wellbeing looks at various aspects of physical wellbeing and in many ways this area of wellbeing seems an obvious and achievable place to start when we seek God’s intention for overall wellbeing. When we start to invest time and effort in improving our physical wellbeing, we will start to have more energy, improved mood and better sleep. In other words, we will start to see improvements flowing over into all other areas of wellbeing.

Know your Genetics

There is one aspect of physical health that is somewhat out of your control and that is your genetic make up. It is very important to know about certain health conditions that run in your biological family. If you have a family history of ischaemic heart disease (angina or heart attack)/strokes/high blood pressure/diabetes then it is even more important to have a healthy diet, watch your weight and take regular exercise. It’s even more crucial to address these lifestyle issues as you have unfortunately inherited a higher risk profile for these conditions.

It is similar for a family history for certain cancers, particularly breast and bowel cancers. If you are carrying a higher risk due to your family history then health screening at an earlier age may be indicated. Further information on screening can be found at: NHS Screening

Take Responsibility

Many of us have probably fallen into the trap of making bold and radical New Year resolutions about physical health only to soon give up when we feel demoralised or unmotivated. There is a great book called Atomic Habits by James Clear and I thoroughly recommend reading this. Essentially, if we want to bring about changes in our lifestyle then we need to start with small steps that have a chance of being established into our regular daily routines and these then become  ‘habits’ that we continue long term.

There is a wealth of information nowadays about healthier lifestyle and advice on exercise and diet. Consider what might work for you personally, try to avoid being too radical or extreme as you will risk changes being unsustainable, consider steady incremental steps that become imprinted into your daily routines and above all try to do activities that you enjoy rather than dread!


A well known saying is ‘you are what you eat’ and although I would actually suggest we are who God says we are and our identity is found in Him, when it comes to our physical bodies there is no doubt that their condition will be reflected by our diet.

Obesity is a massive issue in the developed countries of the world and has significant knock on effects to morbidity and mortality risk. Many who struggle with type 2 diabetes, for example, could potentially reverse the condition through weight loss and diet changes. However, we must also acknowledge that the battle to lose weight is not an easy one and some people might even end up on a path that leads to medications or even weight loss surgery.

There has been recent evidence suggesting many benefits of intermittent fasting and maybe we shouldn’t be surprised by this as there are many Bible passages suggesting we should fast & pray and it would seem that there is not only spiritual gains from doing this but it is actually good for our physical bodies also, although it often doesn’t feel good at the time! Combine it with prayer and petition and it would seem like a big win win!

Intermittent fasting can help weight loss and reduce fat in the body, reduce insulin resistance and improve type 2 diabetes, reduce levels of inflammation in the body and it has been suggested may even help brain function with reduced risk of Alzheimer’s. There are many ways to practice intermittent fasting and here is a link to some suggested methods: Intermittent Fasting

Please note, this might not be suitable for everyone such as people with type 1 diabetes or who take insulin, children and adolescents, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, people who have a history of an eating disorder or if you are taking certain medications, so it would always be advisable to seek medical advice if you have a health condition or take medication before embarking on this approach.

Physical Wellbeing Assessment Tool

I have attached a link to a physical wellbeing assessment questionnaire that will help you objectively assess your physical wellbeing which can then inform any actions you wish to take with respect to your lifestyle and habits:

Slide Physical Wellness Assessment Form

God made night and day with the full intention that we should sleep at night. He knows that our bodies require sleep and I think many of us would be aware of how we start to feel if we have periods of reduced sleep for whatever reason this might be.

Sleep deprivation affects our bodies and minds and is associated with reduced cognitive function and mood but also, more surprisingly, increased risks of stroke, high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and even obesity.

If you are interested in reading more about sleep and want to go into this topic in more detail, I would recommend the book Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker. You might also want to have a brief look at Why Do We Need Sleep which should only take you 5-10 minutes.

“God called the light ‘day’, and the darkness he called ‘night’. And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.”

Genesis 1:5
What can you do if you are struggling?

First of all don’t panic, we have a great God. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

There is much valid and good advice from a secular perspective with respect to improving our sleep. Establishing a good routine around bedtimes such as abstaining from caffeine, alcohol and large meals in the evening; not using phone/TV/computer screens for 1-2 hours before going to bed; exercising in the day but not late evenings; creating a comfortable sleep environment with choice of mattress, pillows and bedsheets; blocking out light such as using blackout curtains. These are all very sensible interventions and have great merit so if you are struggling with your sleep then please take some simple practical steps that might help you. In addition, our sleep might be an area open to spiritual attack. As a Christian, based on what is written in the Bible, I need to recognise and acknowledge that Satan exists and he (1 Peter 5:8) ‘prowls around like a roaming lion, seeking someone to devour.’

The great news is that we do not need to fear the schemes of the Devil and we have been given all authority in Christ over him.

“The one who was born of God keeps them safe and the evil one cannot harm them.” 1 John 5:18

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7

The Steps to Freedom in Christ booklet by Neil Anderson provides a Bedtime Prayer and, alongside taking the recommended practical steps to improve ‘sleep hygiene’, I would also recommend, if you are a Christian, you say this prayer out loud each night before going to sleep:


Slide Thank you, Lord, that You have brought me into your family and have blessed me with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Thank you for this time of renewal and refreshment through sleep. I accept it as one of your blessings for your children and I trust You to guard my mind and body during my sleep.

As I have thought about You and your truth during the day, I choose to let those good thoughts continue in my mind while I am asleep. I commit myself to You for your protection against every attempt of Satan and his demons to attack me during sleep. Guard my mind from nightmares. I renounce all fear and cast every anxiety upon You. I commit myself to You as my rock, my fortress, and my strong tower. May your peace be upon this place of rest. In the strong name of the Lord Jesus Christ I pray.
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Syndrome

As a retired GP, I felt I needed to mention this condition as it can often go unrecognised but when treated can have major impact on how someone feels and functions.

You may feel you sleep for an adequate amount of time each night but still struggle with daytime fatigue and poor concentration. If you snore loudly at night and have periods when you seem to stop breathing with snorting or gasping (this might be difficult to know if you sleep alone) then you may need to consider whether you have this condition.

Further information can be found at: Sleep Apnoea