Todd Billings, a fine Christan and excellent scholar who was recently installed in a new academic chair at Western Theological Seminary (RCA), is battling Multiple Myeloma. He is in the midst of recovery from a month in the hospital with a stem cell transplant; experiencing a lot of fatigue–only alert enough to read/write or see people beyond family a few hours a day. The longer term prayer request is for a long remission from the cancer after this transplant. Multiple Myeloma has no cure, and so doctors expect it to come back, and it’s harder to treat when it does.

Below is the most recent prayer request. Please join me in praying for Todd…

After struggling with a compromised immune system for a number of months, my doctor gave me a number of tests to find the problem. Eventually, it showed irregularities in my blood which indicated either a pre-cancerous malady that would give me a propensity toward cancer, or an active blood cancer. After more tests, I was diagnosed with an active cancer, Multiple Myeloma, on September 27, 2012. It had already caused some bone erosion (in my skull, arm, hip) and an elevated plasma level in my blood.

I received five rounds of chemotherapy from October of 2012 to January of 2013. Then, in February and March, I received a stem cell transplant–spending about a month in the hospital and a cancer lodge. Even after the high-dose chemotherapy given in the transplant process, the Multiple Myeloma is expected to return (the cancer has no cure). However, remission can last for years (sometimes many years) and patients can go off of most of the chemo drugs at that time. In addition, there is ongoing, vigorous medical research on Multiple Myeloma which may bring more and more effective treatments in the future.

In all of this, I continue to return to biblical truth expressed by Heidelberg Catechism Q and A 32: I am a Christian, which means that “by faith I am a member of Christ and so I share in his anointing” by the Holy Spirit. Since Christ is the one true prophet, “I am anointed to confess his name, to present myself to him as a living sacrifice of thanks.” Since Christ is the true priest, I enjoy a “free conscience” because of his atoning work, and I “present myself to him as a living sacrifice of thanks.” Since Christ is the true and victorious King, I strive “against sin and the devil in this life, and afterward to reign with Christ over all creation for eternity.” In this journey of discipleship, our only comfort in life and in death is that we belong, in body and soul, in life and in death, to Jesus Christ, our faithful Savior, and the Triune God made known in and through him. (Heidelberg Catechism, Q and A 1) Prayers are encouraged for the cancer to be effectively combated by the chemo treatments; for a long remission after transplant; and for Christ’s strength and peace to be with my family, especially my wife Rachel and my two young children.

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9 thoughts on “Praying for Todd Billings”

  1. Dr. Raymond A. (Randy) Blacketer says:

    Amen!

    Videos of the inauguration, including a great address by Todd and insightful responses by Mathew Levering and Jamie (James K.A.) Smith, are posted on Smith’s site: http://forsclavigera.blogspot.com/2013/05/reformed-catholic-evangelical-on-j-todd.html

  2. Dr. Raymond A. (Randy) Blacketer says:

    …that’s *Matthew* Levering…can’t spell today

  3. Kim says:

    Will be praying for Todd Billings and his family!

  4. Jack Miller says:

    May our Lord hear the prayers of the saints for you and grant their request according to his mercy. His blessing is, indeed, upon you in Christ Jesus.

  5. Jane Harmon says:

    Why NOT pray the Creator Jesus for complete healing? He did nothing less than that when He walked among us. Why look to man for outcome? We all want Todd Billings to be healed; why actually ask for less?

    As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. I know You’ve told us through James that we have not because we ask not. But James also said that we do not have because we ask wrongly. Let me never ask wrongly, Lord. Let me never limit You because I did not ask, or believe, for Your best. Before I make petition, teach me to pray. The fervent, effectual prayer avails much; fervency demands time and total attention.

    Father, I ask You, in the name of Jesus, by Whose stripes we were healed, make all things new, on earth as it already is in Heaven. In You, all incurable diseases are curable. I ask now for nothing less than that You in Your mercy heal Todd Billings. I thank You and give You praise, my wonderful Lord!

  6. Simon says:

    I’d like to take this opportunity to link a blog of a Pastor and Cancer fighter;

    http://macarisms.wordpress.com/

    This guy has lots of useful stuff for anyone dealing with Cancer and he is still fighting the fight with it.

  7. David Palmer says:

    Very sorry to hear this news.

    I so appreciated and enjoyed reading Todd Billings’ Union with Christ and Calvin, Participation and the Gift this year. Wonderful reading.

    I have a very dear friend a fellow Pastor first diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma 10-12 yrs ago and whilst not in good health, wonderfully preserved. I have another friend who has serious health issues, a fine Christian man but not at peace with his situation. I am planning to take this second friend to meet the Pastor with Multiple Myeloma who I believe will help my second friend.

    Manetsch in his recent book, Calvin’s Company of Pastors has a moving section p290f on prayers for the suffering. I liked this summary: “Christians … pray, not for deliverance from all bodily afflictions on this earth, but that the Holy Spirit might strengthen the wavering faith of God’s people, produce a spiritual harvest of repentance and holiness in their lives, and empower them to persevere amidst the fierce spiritual battles of this life to achieve the victor’s crown with God in heaven.”

    May God richly bless Todd Billings – this is an appropriate prayer for a man who already has greatly blessed God’s people and helped us to see that all real treasure is to be found in the Lord Jesus alone.

  8. Scott Thompson says:

    It is always a great blessing given of our gracious God to point us to faithful, godly servants for our own encouragement and uplifting. No matter the sufferings and trials of these current times in our lives, Christ be our vision, our joy, our everything. Thank you Dr. Billings for being that servant (and I walk ever closer to my Lord from studying your work “Union with Christ”. Longing with great joy to hear of your recovery!

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Kevin DeYoung


Kevin DeYoung is senior pastor of University Reformed Church (RCA) in East Lansing, Michigan, near Michigan State University. He and his wife Trisha have six young children. You can follow him on Twitter.

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