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“Praise You in This Storm” Takes on a Heartbreaking New Meaning for Casting Crowns’ Mark Hall 10 Years After Its Release

Lead vocalist and long-time front man for the band Casting Crowns, Mark Hall has made a career out of inspiring others to draw near to God and praise him with every bone in your body.

We often cry out to God the most during times of hurt and suffering—Mark Hall is no stranger to that.

In early 2015 amidst the band’s Thrive tour, Mark went to the doctor for what he thought was acid reflux. The result was far worse. He learned that he had a mass on his right kidney that was quite possibly cancerous.

“He was just doing a scan to see if I had ulcers or anything else going on down there,” Mark told “The Church Boys” podcast, “and then, on accident, saw a tumor in my kidney.”

Mark says it was Divine intervention that the tumor was ever discovered. God anointed that doctor for the reality of what the worship pastor never saw coming.

“You don’t really hear the words, ‘You have cancer,’” Mark told Guideposts.org. “You hear the words, ‘You’re going to die.’”

Though he’s spent his whole life sharing the goodness of God, and helping to lift others up, Mark realized he was now being put to the ultimate test: Could he really live out the faith he’d been preaching all these years as a worship leader and youth pastor?

“For a day there it really rocked me,” he said. “I was going through feelings and doubts and fear and worry…my feelings were all over the map.”

Nothing hit closer to home than the band’s early 2005 hit, “Praise You in This Storm.”

The Christian Classic is an incredible testament to worshipping God even when we feel stuck, broken, hurt and lost. It’s long been a reminder that sometimes God feels far, and our situation seems unbearable, but no matter what, He is worthy of our praise.

“I was sure by now, God you would have reached down

And wiped our tears away,

Stepped in and saved the day.

But once again, I say amen.”

Being diagnosed with cancer really shook Mark to his core.

“When I heard ‘cancer,’ it’s like the whole world shrunk,” he shared. “All I could think was, ‘OK, how am I going to get my family through this? How am I going to make sure they know it’s going to be OK?’ Everything got simple and prioritized very quickly.”

With his busy life on tour, speaking, etc., he said he had “no room” for cancer. But once it actually hit him, he realized more than ever that he was not the one in control of his time on this earth.

“You never speak louder to the world about your faith than when you’re in a storm,” he said. “For me, I knew I’d taught a lot of lessons, I’ve written books, I’ve written songs, but I’m about to tell the world a whole lot through what happens [to me] in the next months.”

“I realized I need to talk about this, so I told my church, I told a few friends at Christian radio, and the next thing you know the whole world is praying for me,” he said.

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Mark says through his journey, one specific theme continued to present itself in both his heart and mind: “God is who he said he is.”

Bri Lamm
Bri Lamm
Bri is an outgoing introvert with a heart that beats for adventure. She lives to serve the Lord, experience the world, and eat macaroni and cheese in between capturing life’s greatest moments on one of her favorite cameras.

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