Pastor Rick Warren, founder and lead pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA with campuses around the world asked for prayer this weekend as he battles an auto-immune health-related issue that is causing him a lot of pain.
“Today, I need you to pray for me. As you know I have been facing a health problem that’s been causing a lot of pain in my body and actually even some paralysis,” Warren told his congregation via video this past Sunday.
“At one point I had to be hospitalized because I couldn’t move at all. Now I’ve always had a very high pain tolerance so I’d often teach in pain without anybody noticing.”
Warren explained that he missed all Christmas day in pain and in bed.
“I missed the presents opening and Christmas dinner. Since then I have been having a lot of medical tests. My doctors want me to go to a research institute like the Mayo Clinic or Cleveland Clinic to find out the underlying cause of all this pain. So I am going to do this and you can pray for me.”
Warren explained that the elders of the church have asked him to make his health his top priority and therefore to preach virtually right now until his health problems subside. “I really don’t want to do this,” but he explained that he would do it temporarily. Due to the nature of the health issue being auto-immune, Warren is especially susceptible to viruses and other diseases and needs to temporarily refrain from large crowds.
Warren appeared saddened in sharing the news as he expressed deep love and affection for his congregation prior to sharing the difficult news with the church he has pastored for over 40 years. He went on to share a powerful message on habits to help congregants hold on in hard times, a timely word for a difficult season for the church.
The congregation was encouraged to keep Pastor Rick in their prayers for a quick recovery. Warren is the author of The Purpose Driven Life, one of the top-selling books of all time with 35 million copies sold worldwide.