Thousands of Christians start their day by reading the devotional book “Jesus Calling.” The author, Sarah Young has died at the age of 77.
Thomas Nelson, her publisher, had just announced days ago she was is in “rapidly failing health.”
She passed on Thursday.
In December 2022, Young shared her social media followers of her cancer diagnosis.
“As you probably know, I really believe in the power of prayer. I pray for you readers every morning, and I consider this a precious privilege. Now I need your prayers,” Young wrote. “I have a type of blood cancer that makes me very anemic, and I’m starting on a chemo drug treatment today. This powerful drug can cause many side effects, but it can also be very effective in treating my condition.”
Young continued, “I’m asking you to pray that I’ll have no side effects from the drug and that it will be fully effective. Thank you!”
Young and Thomas Nelson recently celebrated a major milestone, revealing the sale of 45 million copies of “Jesus Calling,” the 365-day devotional book first published in October 2004. The 77-year-old author described publishing her devotional book as “a long, prayer-filled journey.”
“Ever since its publication,” she said, “I’ve prayed daily for people who are reading ‘Jesus Calling’ or any of my subsequent books. I consider it an amazing privilege and a God-given responsibility to pray for readers.”
Thomas Nelson is slated to publish “Jesus Listens for Advent & Christmas” this fall. The holiday-themed book is a follow-up to Young’s prayer journal, “Jesus Listens,” published in October 2021. In a “New York Times” profile from 2013, it was revealed Young has made few public appearances despite her commercial success as an author because of her struggle with Lyme disease and other health complications. “
In an interview with Gloria Gaither and Phil Newman, Young said she prayed before writing, asking God “for protection of my mind from distractions, distortions and deception.” Nevertheless, she has faced some staunch critiques for her writing. Tim Challies, a pastor and popular Christian blogger, has called her work “troubling,” while author Randy Alcorn has gone so far as to describe “Jesus Calling” as “an entire book built on falsehood.”
“The biggest problem with ‘Jesus Calling’ is very simple,” he said “Jesus did not speak these words. If these were his words, then ‘Jesus Calling’ would be scripture, which is by definition the words of God.”
A memorial for Young will be held at Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee, on Sept. 9.
–Dwight Widamann | Metro Voice