Christianity,  Personal

Southern Seminary Prays for Dr. Mohler

After Southern Seminary’s chapel service yesterday, Dr. R. Albert Mohler informed the student body about the tumor in his colon and his upcoming surgery. After the announcement, Dr. Russell Moore called for a special time of prayer for Dr. Mohler, and the student body gathered around to lay hands on him.

Dr. Tom Schreiner voiced the prayer in behalf of the Seminary family. Listening to Dr. Moore’s remarks and Dr. Schreiner’s prayer reminds me of what a great, sovereign, gracious Christ we serve. Both of these clips were encouraging to me, and I hope they will be to you too.

Dr. Russell Moore’s Remarks


Dr. Tom Schreiner’s Intercessory Prayer


Here is a transcription of Dr. Moore’s remarks:

‘I’d like to ask for us to have a time of prayer right now: a time of prayer of thanksgiving, that the Lord enabled the doctors to find this when they did, so that it can be treated; a time of prayer for the healing of the president in a very quick and rapid way, knowing that our God is a Father who listens to the cries of his children; and also a prayer for all of us, that we would follow the president’s leadership in the way that he is responding to the crises and trials that he has had with his health this year.

‘You know, all of us in this room have come here different ways, but most of us are here because of his leadership. Some of us came here as students because we believe in his vision. Some of us came here as faculty members because he brought us here because of his vision.

‘He taught us as soon as he got here that we ought to take seriously what the Word of God says: God is sovereign, He speaks truthfully. “Don’t just do something; stand there.”

‘He’s taught us since then that we ought to be carrying out the mission of Christ all over the world. “Don’t just stand there; do something.”

‘Now let’s pray that we will all see the way in which a man of God responds to crises, that we might learn in his life, not just his words: “Don’t just do something; kneel there.”‘

Note: Dr. Moore makes an allusion to Dr. Mohler’s 1993 chapel sermon that launched the reformation of Southern Seminary. The title is “Don’t Just Do Something; Stand There!”, and you can read it here.

[Special thanks to Robbie Sagers who passed along this audio and transcription and who blogs over at the “Rapid Fire” section of The Henry Institute website.]


  • Quixote

    I am sorry to hear about Dr. Mohler’s illness. It’s times like these, Denny, that it would help to have practical illumination rather than doctrinal instruction when it comes to the sovereignty of God. Am I the only one that struggles with this in the day to day?

    You ask us to pray for Dr. Mohler, but I don’t understand how you would have us pray. Since God is sovereign, doesn’t that mean this colon tumor is His will for Dr. Mohler, presumably to bring Him glory in some way (in which case I don’t understand having it removed or prayed for)? And since God is sovereign, won’t His will be done in Dr. Mohler’s life regardless of whom among us prays?

    This is where practical help would be appreciated. How then shall we pray? And toward what good?

  • Lucas Knisely

    How then shall we pray?

    The disciples asked that very question. And I actually find that praying through the Lord’s prayer and applying it to situations like this does help.

    I also think of this: God’s sovereignty can be seen in the appeals that Moses made. God willed the means by which he would show mercy: through Moses’s appeals.

    I’ll let Denny answer in more depth. He is more qualified than I.

  • Ken

    From the third chapter of the Westminster Confession of Faith:

    “God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass: yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.”

    It is impossible to overemphasize that last clause. God’s sovereignty does NOT override means (second causes); in fact, they are established BECAUSE of God’s sovereignty.

    That God has evidently willed the appearance of a tumor (no word yet on its malignancy that I have heard) in Dr. Mohler does not mean that he intends for the rest of us, or Dr. Mohler for that matter, to stand idly by and let this process take its own course. Remember what Joseph said to his brothers, or what Peter said to the people of Jerusalem. This is an evil thing, but God intends that good may come of it, even good that we don’t understand and cannot yet comprehend.

    Just look at the good that has already come from this event. Men have lifted up prayers in praise of God. Men have demonstrated their love and concern for a Christian brother. The body of Christ is strengthened by such things. And the gospel is preached to a watching world.

  • Denny Burk

    Dear Quixote,

    Great question, and one that is worthy of discussion. I’m not going to shut down that discussion right now, but I am going to ask that we postpone it. I will write a new post on Monday that answers that question, and maybe it will be helpful to discuss it in full then.

    In the meantime, let’s leave this space for well-wishers.

    Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I look forward to taking it up next week.


  • Open 24 Hours


    It’s an open invitation to work together with God.

    From Paul: “For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us, you also joining in helping us through your prayers, so that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed on us through the prayers of many.” 2 Corinthians 1:8-11

    God bestows favors through prayer. Mohler’s circumstance is a “so that,” so that he will not trust in himself, but in God who raises the dead. And as Paul did, Mohler desires the prayer of the saints so that thanks to God will be offered by many persons who prayed for Mohler.

    That’s my practical explanation in a nutshell.

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