The wife of Casting Crowns frontman Mark Hall, who will soon undergo surgery to remove a cancerous lump found in his kidney, has updated fans on her husband's condition and asked for continued prayers during this time.
In a recent post shared on the Casting Crowns Facebook page, Melanie Hall expressed her gratitude at the number of people that have expressed their love for her family, from fans and radio DJs to missionaries in Brazil and South Africa.
"Many of you have prayed that we would have peace in the midst of this storm. Let me tell you that God has honored that prayer. Mark and I have peace that we are where we are supposed to be and that God has allowed this in our lives for a reason. And He has assured us that He is using this to bring people to Him," she writes.
"Mark is working hard at the church today to prepare for his recovery absence. I don't think he is as anxious about the surgery as he is about being away from the students of our church for a month of recovery. Meanwhile he is working on an empty stomach (only clear liquids) today."
Melanie then shares four specific ways prayer warriors can continue to intercede for Mark as he undergoes surgery.
1. Please pray that God will watch over everything related to the surgery and that it goes well. Pray that we have favor with the hospital staff and doctors.
2. Please pray for complete healing and a quick recovery for Mark.
3. Please pray that God will give us opportunities and discernment to share Christ's Love. And pray that we will have strength and courage to represent Him well on this journey.
4. Please also pray that God will give YOU an opportunity to share His love through this. Many of you have said that friends, family members and co-workers are asking you questions about God because of what is happening to Mark. Please please use these opportunities to point people to Jesus. It may even be one of the reasons God has allowed this.
Melanie quotes 1rst Peter 3:14-15, which reads, "Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened." But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the Hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. . ."
"We are trusting in our Father God who Loves ALL immeasurably, Forgives graciously, Redeems fully, and HEALS Completely," she writes. "Once again, we cherish your prayers and have been encouraged by your outpouring of love and support. Thank you for joining us in prayer for tomorrow and the coming days."
As of Wednesday morning, nearly 10,000 people had shared Melanie's post, and another 68,000 "liked" it.
"As I face March 20th doctors appt for the "solid mass" just confirmed on my throid, your songs comfort me yet again; how much more your sweet example of Great Faith...thanks for leading the way....yet again in my life," wrote one commenter named Rose Williams.
"Mark has touched and continues to touch so many with his wonderful music! Thoughts and prayers go out to you at this difficult time," wrote another woman named Stephanie Jarrett.
Last week, Hall posted a sobering message on Facebook announcing that doctors will perform surgery on him after discovering a malignant mass on his kidney. The "Who Am I" singer asked his fans to pray for healing and for peace for his family, and signed the note with the words "Praising Him in This Storm," a reference to one of Casting Crowns' songs, "Praise You in This Storm," which includes the lyrics, "Every tear I've cried/ You hold in your hands/ You never left my side/ And though my heart is torn/ I will praise you in this storm."
Using the hashtag #PrayingforMark, thousands of fans and Christian artists have since voiced their support for Hall and his family, including Bread of Stone, Kutless, Michael W. Smith, and Chris Tomlin.
On Tuesday, Bread of Stone brothers Ben and Bill Kristijanto shared a YouTube video in which they shared the story of their mother's cancer, and how important prayer and support was to their family during that time.
"And so, we wanted to let Mark and his family know that we are praying for them, and we are asking those watching this video to keep them in your prayers as they go through this part of their life and their journey and walk with the Lord," the brothers said.
The end of the video reads, "Mark Hall and family-you are not alone," along with a reference to the Biblical passage Matthew 18:20, which reads, "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them."