Tag Archives: Naghmeh Abedini

Day Eleven: A Burden to Pray

This post mistakenly went out last night as Day Twelve.  My apologies! Here it is again:  Day Eleven!

One reason we fast is to help carry the burden of another.  Fasting and prayer help us join in the fight of those we love.  It’s one way we can enter into their suffering and stand with them as they endure.  Many around the country, and even across the globe, have joined in with Naghmeh to help carry her burden through the 21 Day Fast for the release of Saeed Abedini.

This kind of prayer, or intercession, comes with a price.  When we agonize in prayer for someone we love, we may experience pain.  We hurt when they hurt.  My friend Stacey shares her story of carrying such a prayer burden recently for her friend.  Though it wasn’t in the way she had hoped, Stacey grew to understand that God had truly answered her prayers.

GUEST BLOG:  Stacey Martin

It’s been a rough couple of weeks. I hate even claiming that for myself, because what has made this time so rough is a bout of second-hand grief – grief for a tragedy that didn’t even happen to me. It’s grief I’m experiencing for a friend who lost her two-year-old son, suddenly, tragically – as if there is any other way.

Recently, my friend lost her son to what seemed to be inexplicable complications from a form of infantile Leukemia. He didn’t die from Leukemia, because as all of his prior tests had shown, those Cancer cells were long gone. He had beat Cancer.

So why did this child, who we thought through God’s healing power and great goodness had beat Cancer, leave his mom and dad mourning in a room at the local children’s hospital?

Why did Drew who we had coined as “a little boy with a big story” leave us with the question, “God, how will You ever be glorified in this? How can this be part of Your plan?”

The grief and doubt that followed were weighty, rusty chains around my heart. The fear, that maybe God isn’t who is says He is, took me captive. Fear and doubt sucked the oxygen right out of the room. Hope was gone.

I cried out to God from the deepest, darkest places of my heart. Gutteral, wordless prayers out of a place of desperation for my friend. Soul cries from a mommy who is now rocking her own son a little longer, grieving the possibility that this too could happen to me.

But today I sit here knowing that God not only heard those wordless prayers of my soul, but knew what they meant and what I needed. I sit confidently knowing that He heard each prayer from each grieving person in the Drew’s Crew family and from Wes and Mandy’s own hearts.

Last Monday,  his parents received the autopsy report and learned that Drew had a serious infection of his heart. Only 10% of his little heart was functioning. That’s what caused his sudden and seemingly inexplicable death. Had the medical team known that Drew was suffering from this infection, his last months would have been spent in the ICU – connected to machines, medicated heavily, with parents knowing that there were no other options out there for their precious son. Just a ticking clock.

But what Drew’s last months looked like were long, naps in the loving arms of his mommy and daddy. Afternoon playtime with his best canine buddy. Santa coming to his house on Christmas morning. A mountain trip where daddy taught him to fish. And so many more precious, unadulterated moments.

That’s the goodness of my God. That’s how God will be glorified in all of this. This is how my prayer was answered. The God who lovingly created the universe and calls each of us His sons and daughters, didn’t mean for any of this to happen. It was never His intent that the world would have sorrow and fear and Cancer. But He showed up and protected this family from a truly horrific outcome – one worse than what they’re already experiencing. He gave them the gift of time. Drew is indeed a little boy with a big story. A story that only God could redeem and claim as His own.

Thank you Lord for hearing my heart. Thank you for answering in such a profound and tangible way. Whenever I doubt, whenever I fear, I will remember that You are indeed who You say You are.


A Minute a Day for Saeed

Be alert and self-controlled so that you can pray. 1 Peter 4:7

My son and his friend were recently having dinner in a local restaurant.  Suddenly, everyone’s cell phone alarm went off at exactly the same time. The National Weather Service had just issued a flash flood warning for our area.  So a chorus of loud buzzers echoed throughout the small eatery reminding everyone to be alert to potential hazards.  I wonder what would happen if we as believers had our own early warning system calling us to pray?  The Bible reminds us that we wrestle continually against the forces of darkness  so we’re to always be  ALERT for prayer.

I recently met a young woman who’s story burdened me so much that I have committed to pray for her every day.  So I created my own little “early warning” system to remind me to pray.  I set my iPhone alarm for noon each day reminding me to pray for one minute for Naghmeh Abedini and her husband Pastor Saeed Abedini.  After you hear their story, I hope you’ll consider doing the same.

I happened to be seated next to Naghmeh at a recent gathering where she had been invited to share the plight of her husband, Saeed, an American citizen imprisoned in Iran for his Christian faith. I got to hear firsthand about the living nightmare she and her family have endured for nearly two years.

Like many, I have been troubled by Pastor Saeed’s imprisonment and went to the event eager to learn more about his condition and what world leaders are trying to do to secure his release. I came away with a new hero. His wife.

The attractive, articulate young Naghmeh spoke to a group of men and women gathered at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. “We as Americans don’t like to suffer,” she said quietly as one who knows this full well.  Suffering has been her daily companion as she wrestles with the agony of knowing of Saeed’s prison hardships and even torture.  As daily, she watches her children, Jacob and Rebecca, missing their dad. “But it’s when we reach the end of our human strength that we discover the supernatural peace that only Jesus can give.”

Naghmeh is Iranian born but raised as a US citizen in Boise Idaho, accepting Jesus as her savior when she was just nine. She prefers a quiet life to the grinding schedule of worldwide travel speaking on Saeed’s behalf. Her itinerary has included appearances before the United Nations and European Parliament. “I wasn’t an upfront person,” she smiled. “Saeed would be very surprised to see me speaking all over the world on his behalf.”

When asked about her surprising sense of calm, Naghmeh says that she depends on Jesus each day to even get up in the morning.   A self-described anxious person by nature, she says the Lord has enveloped her in a supernatural peace throughout this harrowing ordeal. After speaking to the United Nations, she even had Muslims and atheists come up to her to ask the reason for her unexplainable calm in the face of such a fierce ordeal. And she tells them. It’s only Jesus.

More than anything, Naghmeh wants to glorify Jesus as she works for Saeed’s release.  And she asks for believers everywhere to join her in continued, fervent  prayer for his release. Click here  to join the worldwide Prayer Vigil for Saeed,  September 26, 2014. 

And every day, will you join me in setting your cell phone alarm to pray a minute a day for Saeed?   Together, let’s  pray each petition in the Lord’s Prayer for Saeed and his family.  It only takes one minute.

Hope I will hear other cell phones going off at noon as many of you agree to Pray a Minute a Day for Saeed.  








Week Six: Answer God’s Call

We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which He prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10 NIV).

Do you hunger to make a difference in this world?  Even children yearn to discover their purpose.   My husband’s father, the late Dr. Howard Chadwick, served God faithfully as a minister for over seventy years.  He used to encourage our three children to search wholeheartedly for their life’s calling.  “Look around you at the needs you see in the world,”  he would tell them.  “Then take an honest look at your own gifts and talents.  Your calling may be found where those two intersect.”  Or put another way,  Where is your holy discontent?

This week is the final stretch of our 40-Day Challenge.  Let’s wrap up with Step Six:  ANSWER God’s Call. We’ve devoted 40 days to training our hearts to hear God’s voice I hope you’ve learned how to become more ALERT and I’m guessing you’ve noticed signs of God at work.  I especially pray that you’ve become more sensitive to His voice.

But friends, here is where I must pause.  If the wonderful blessings of learning to hear God’s voice, draw near to Him in prayer and claim the promises of His Word extend no further than our own little world, then so what?  I am convinced God’s amazing blessings during this prayer journey are so that I will be His hands and feet in this hurting and broken world.

Therefore, I constantly ask myself Is my life a so what? or a so that?   Continue reading