David Watson: A leader who finished well

David Watson

Anglican church leader and author, David Watson is one of my heroes of the faith. “Fear No Evil” is the personal account of his losing battle with cancer. In January 1984 he flew to California to his friend, John Wimber‘s Vineyard church for an intense time of prayer for healing. Experienced teams prayed with him for two to five hours a day over eight days. Yet everything got worse.

Watson recalls:

The asthma persisted, so that I slept badly each night; my legs, ankles and feet blew up like balloons; and my abdomen grew at an astonishing rate until I looked like a pregnant woman. . . My arms and shoulders withered into mere skin and bones. . . I looked more dead than alive.

However God has been far from inactive in my life. At about one a.m. . . . I had a bad asthma attack. In my helplessness I cried out to God to speak to me. I’m not very good at listening to God, but between one and three a.m. God spoke to me so powerfully and painfully that I have never felt so broken before him. . .

He showed me that all my preaching, writing and other ministry was absolutely nothing compared to my love relationship with him. . .

God also showed me that my ‘love’ for him meant nothing unless I was truly able to love from my heart my brother or sisiter in Christ. As the Lord put various names into my mind I began to write letters to about twelve people asking for forgiveness for hurting them. . . It was the most painful pruning and purging I can remember in my entire Christian life. . .

Whatever else is happening to me physically, God is working deeply in my life. His challenge to me can be summed up in three words: ‘Seek my face.’ I am not now clinging to physical life (although I still believe that God can heal and wants to heal); but I am clinging to the Lord. I am ready to go and be with Christ for ever. That would be literally heaven. But I am equally ready to stay, if that is what God wants.

‘Father, not my will but yours be done.’ In that position of security I have experienced once again his perfect love, a love that casts out all fear.

These were the last words he wrote.

“Fear No Evil: One Man Deals With Terminal Illness” (David C. K. Watson), 170-1.

Spiritual Formation


  1. chas
    Posted 4 November, 2010 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    I did not know david died 20 years ago.
    G-D rest him.
    Thanks david for the wonderful book (through the year) 1984.
    I found it in a second hand store when i was looking for messiah’s comfort and truth in my own life before i became christian.
    G-D truly works in mysterious ways.

  2. Huw
    Posted 23 January, 2011 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Do you know how to get hold of tapes of David Watson talks?

  3. Posted 23 January, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    Huw, if you visit his website there should be links.

  4. jennifer
    Posted 10 September, 2012 at 2:02 am | Permalink

    May we all live in the knowledge of an all powerful Lord and Savior who is the one who holds us in life and death.

    Thanks to the Lord for the men and women of faith who have taught us so much.

  5. Marion walker
    Posted 26 March, 2016 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    David was a dear friend to my husband and myself.and took us to the feet of Christ in the 1960’s. My husband died in 1970 of cancer age 26 leaving me with a small boy and a baby. David was so amazingly supportive and I will thank God for knowing him and being taught by him all the days of my life.He is indeed with Jesus now.

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