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Pray for Nabeel

I've been very burdened lately for Nabeel Qureshi, who is in the last stages of stomach cancer. Nabeel is (as readers may know) a missionary to Muslims. He and David Wood were arrested some years ago in Dearborn while peacefully and legally chatting with a Muslim group. I blogged a lot about that at the time. See a couple of the posts here and here. They subsequently won a lawsuit against the city, as the arrest was manifestly illegal. Nabeel, a former Muslim, has had a fruitful ministry bringing Muslims to know Jesus Christ as Savior.

A year ago he was unexpectedly diagnosed with (already) stage 4 stomach cancer. He has fought it with every weapon known to modern medicine, but it has steadily progressed. His videos chronicling the progression of the disease and his and his wife's faith in Christ through it can be found here. They have one child, a little girl named Ayah. Nabeel's stomach has recently had to be removed to prevent him from bleeding to death from the tumors. He has a J-tube in place for nutrition and hydration.

Because Nabeel's denominational background is particularly dedicated to seeking miraculous healing, he has repeatedly said throughout his fiery ordeal that he believes God is going to heal him physically. But if we can conjecture anything about what God is going to do from the on-going lack of healing and progress of a disease over time, this does not seem to be God's plan. In my admittedly fallible opinion, Nabeel is now dying, and God's will for him is a holy death. This last Vlog is painful to watch. It is my own opinion that his closest friends and his wife need to be by his bedside as he accepts death from the hand of God, supporting him through this most important time of a Christian man's life.

In any event, we Christians should pray for him.

P.S. I'm told that someone else's "share" of the slightly earlier crossposted version of this at my personal blog has been garnering a little controversy on Facebook. I'm blissfully out of the loop, since I'm not on Facebook right now...This almost amuses me since I view it as a rather dull little post chiefly put up to inform those who may not be in the (mostly evangelical Protestant) apologetics loop and hence may not know what's been going on with Nabeel. He could use high Anglican, Catholic, etc., prayers as well, so I figured I'd inform my slightly different, though small, readership. Also, in my experience conservative Catholics are good at death. The concept of a holy death, accepted from God, in sure and certain hope of the resurrection, as part of the Christian life is an integral part of their theology.

Comments (4)

Also, in my experience conservative Catholics are good at death.

A strange compliment, and jarring to read, but also true in my experience.

He will certainly have my prayers.

Theology of the cross, etc.

I have a novel based on the life of St. Thomas Aquinas. (Louis de Wohl) He puts into the mouth of Aquinas the answer to a question like, "What is the most important thing for a man to want in life?" Aquinas (in the novel) answers, "A good death."

There are several prayers of the Church, including ones from quite early, that include specifically a petition for a holy death / perseverance until death. Which merely emulates St. Paul:

Not only that, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

And St. James:

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. Blessed is the man who remains steadfast (or perseveres) under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

Prayers for a holy death and for perseverance at the end are no different (though infinitely more important) than a football team that practices 2-minute drills, and a basketball player who practices those super-long shots that ONLY will be used at the last moment of the game: This is the crux-point (no pun unintended). This is the moment of do-or-die, spiritually speaking. Of laying it all on the line. The last sprint ending of the marathon.

I will include Nabeel in my prayers.

This latest Vlog, from about minute 5 1/2 onward, is esp. encouraging. I admit to skepticism about the friend of a friend whose stomach regenerated miraculously (earlier part), but the section on the sovereignty of God shows Nabeel's concern that others not think that his faith is or will be shaken if he is _not_ healed. I suspect he put it in there so that others' faith will not be shaken if their prayers are not answered. In certain Pentecostal circles, the "but if not" emphasis is quite important because often overlooked or even (on extreme views) taken to be wrong. That is, some think one should not even entertain the possibility that God will not heal, taking this to show a "lack of faith." So a corrective is needed.


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