Have you ever felt like giving up praying for someone? Let this story encourage you to keep praying!

By Steve Prokopchak

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised (Hebrews 10:36).

Dave, Greg, Snowy, and Mike were my closest friends throughout high school. We were inseparable. We knew the intimate details of one another’s lives. Then I had to go and ruin it all by “getting religious.” In December of 1971 I bowed my knee to Jesus, and the sin-filled partying was over. New friends, those who would disciple me as a baby Christian, began to emerge.

While I never condemned my close high school friends, I no longer participated in or condoned their behavior. It was a radical change for me, but I didn’t really consider how radical of a change it was for them. The first half of my senior year of high school I was living a very ungodly lifestyle; the second half was filled with “Jesus freak” meetings. My friends were confused by the change in my life. They didn’t look down upon me; however, they simply could not comprehend why I would no longer participate in the things we once enjoyed together. I asked God for the opportunity to share my personal testimony with each one of them—individually. Jesus honored this prayer, and before we went our separate ways following graduation, I shared about an encounter with my new Lord.

That same year, I left my home area to serve in the military. I methodically placed Dave, Greg, Snowy, and Mike on my weekly prayer list. I just knew it would be a very short time until they each bowed their knees to Jesus.

Twenty-five years passed, and I was still waiting, still praying. The only problem now was I began to entertain thoughts like, “Just take them off your prayer list,” and “Why transfer their names to new prayer cards? Move on to more important matters.” I asked Mary, my wife, about removing them. Her immediate, faith-filled response was, “Don’t you dare remove them; let’s keep praying.” Okay, so maybe we could persevere a few more years.

Within months of that very conversation, Dave called me. He asked if it was okay for him to be water baptized. I needed to find the nearest seat. “But Dave,” I questioned, “Have you accepted Jesus as your personal Savior?” He assured me he had through the ongoing witness of a Baptist co-worker at IBM where he worked. I then revealed I had been praying for him for over 25 years. His reply? “I know.”

Snowy’s mother called me several months later. Snowy was depressed and without a friend, suffering from a broken marriage relationship and addictions. Snowy’s mom said to me, “Steve, I believe he’ll take your call if you will call him within the next ten minutes.” I called; we met; he prayed. I then had the honor to baptize him in water and have an ongoing discipleship relationship with him. A few years later, Snowy went home to be with Jesus and I was given the honor of conducting his military funeral service.

A few months after the encounter with Snowy, Dave called to ask if I had heard from Greg. He went on to tell me that Greg had recently started participating in the worship band of his United Methodist church and that he was signed up for a summer mission team.

Have you ever felt like giving up in prayer? I have, but let me encourage your faith to continue to persevere. “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised [because] we are not of those who shrink back, . . . but of those who believe” (Hebrews 10:36, 39). Keep praying!