Christian apologist and evangelist Ravi Zacharias had emergency spinal surgery on February 20 and so far is recovering well. He and his wife, Margie, have posted updates on the Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) website and on Zacharias’s social media channels. Thursday evening, Margie posted that his surgery had been successful.
“The surgery is complete and went smoothly, though it was long,” Margie wrote on Facebook. “I told the surgeon afterwards that he looked tired and he said, ‘Ravi gave us a lot of work to do!’ Ravi is well and he is resting. The doctor anticipates his pain now will be from the surgery itself, and we are praying for relief and comfort as Ravi begins the recovery process.”
Ravi Finds Out He Needs Emergency Surgery
On Wednesday, Zacharias posted on the RZIM website, explaining that he needed emergency back surgery and requesting prayer. He began, “Dear Friends, I seldom go to any lengths to talk about personal challenges but am making an exception because I know you will pray for me—and for my family and the team.” The apologist went on to say that he has had “serious back issues” for some time and has already had two back surgeries. God used the first surgery to bring him “comfort and strength” and “eighteen good years.” However, he said, “over the last year, I have battled several flare-ups, and after my last trip to the Philippines and Sri Lanka, it’s a miracle I got home on my own two feet.”
A subsequent CAT scan and MRI revealed that Zacharias, who is 73, needed surgery as soon as possible. The surgery involved removing two loose screws and anchoring Zacharias’s sacrum (which was fractured) to his pelvis in two places. His medical team cares about his ministry, said Zacharias, and they “want to see me positioned for the distance.”
Because of the surgery, Zacharias had to cancel a speaking engagement with Christian multimedia association National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) on February 25. His recovery will take about eight weeks, but Zacharias said he is confident that the team at RZIM is “more than capable of continuing their good work” during that time. The speaker also said he anticipated the healing process would be difficult: “It will be some days of pain and struggle. But by God’s grace and with my family, friends, and colleagues close at hand, I will make it.”
In her update on Facebook, Margie wrote, “Thank you again for your love and your prayers. It all means so much. I know the Lord has been present in the OR today, and I pray that He will give Ravi the ability to handle what is ahead for the next several weeks.”
A Lifetime Defending the Gospel
Ravi Zacharias grew up in India and trusted in Jesus after attempting suicide at age 17. He founded RZIM in 1984 and according to his website, “has spent the past 46 years commending the Christian faith and addressing life’s great existential questions of origin, meaning, morality, and destiny with eloquence and grace.” A gifted speaker, Zacharias has tackled many difficult topics, including whether God condemns people of other religions, if committing suicide sends people to hell, and why God does not stop evil from happening.
On his website, Zacharias said that while he is recovering, he plans to “pray, read, and write,” and he promised to keep people updated about how he is doing. As he anticipated “the pain and the discipline of healing,” he said he had total confidence in God’s faithfulness to him: “The Lord has never forsaken me and He is by my side. I am a blessed man.”