Select Page

Pastor Rick Warren, one of the leading advocates for removing the stigma inside the church community attached with mental illness, gave advice to Jordin Sparks in the early morning hours Tuesday after she sent out a plea for help over Twitter in experiencing anxiety.

Sparks, an evangelical Christian, tweeted, “I’m having such bad anxiety. I can’t sleep. If there’s any prayer warriors out there, can you please send up a prayer for me?” To which Warren responded publically through his Twitter account: “@JordinSparks Praying for u Jordin! False Evidence Appearing Real (Fear) is worse than the reality Don’t resist it REFOCUS elsewhere.”

Warren, who along with his wife, Kay, are hosting the three-day conference, The Gathering on Mental Health & The Church, at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, October 7-9.


Shortly after his first tweet to Sparks, he tweeted, “@JordinSparks Focus on how deeply God loves you: ‘Perfect love casts out all fear.’ Focus on God’s loves and move against fear in faith.”

Rick and Kay established an initiative regarding mental health after losing their son, who committed suicide after a lifelong struggle with mental illness. Matthew Warren died from a self-inflicted gun-shot wound at the age of 27 on April 5, 2013. Warren told those struggling with mental illness during his first sermon back after his son’s death, and has repeated over the years since then, “Your illness is not your identity, your chemistry is not your character.” To families going through similar trials, he said, “We are here for you, and we are in this together. God wants to take your greatest loss and turn it into your greatest life message.” At the time of reporting for this article, Sparks, who has 4.24 million followers on Twitter has not tweeted since or publically replied to Warren’s advice on the social media site. Warren, who journaled much of his grieving over the loss of his son on Twitter, has 1.7 million followers. Sparks, who is a singer, songwriter and actress rose to fame in 2007 after winning the sixth season of American Idol at the age of 17. In 2012, she portrayed a shy young singer coming into her own in the movie “Sparkle,” working with the late Whitney Houston in her last film. PHOTO: Jordin Sparks (left) and Whitney Houston. Sony Pictures, courtesy The Front Page Firm)