7 Words of Encouragement to Keep Praying for Non-believing Loved Ones

Today would have been my dad’s 81st birthday were he still with us. I think about him today especially because of what the Lord did in his life when He saved him at age 71. Here’s what my dad’s experience reminded me—and I pray his story will give you hope if you’re praying for a loved one.

  1. God answers prayers, even if He takes some time in doing so. We prayed for my dad for 36 years, and I suspect other prayed for him even longer. Many were the times when I was ready to give up on God, but God never gave up on my dad.
  2. There’s power in having others pray with us. Every place I traveled for years, I asked believers to join me in praying for my parents. I’m convinced that God heard the prayers of Christ-followers in many states, countries, and people groups when He saved my dad.
  3. The gospel is truly life-transforming. I watched my dad change from apathetic to loving, angry to sweet, bitter to forgiving. He wasn’t perfect the final years of his life, but he was a trophy of God’s grace.
  4. Baptism truly is a marker. Baptism doesn’t save us, but it’s nonetheless a significant moment in the life of a believer. I fear I’d forgotten the joy of baptism until I saw my dad’s childlike glee in getting baptized as a 71-year-old (and in my younger brother, who baptized our dad).
  5. The Bible is an unbelievable book. My dad struggled with diabetes-stricken eyesight in his latter years, but he tackled the Bible for the first time when he became a believer. His enthusiasm to learn about God was a witness to the rest of us.
  6. Death really is sweet for the believer. I often grieved the possibility of my dad dying without knowing Christ. Because Christ saved him, though, he had hope—and we had peace—when he died. I sat in awe as we celebrated his few years as a believer during his memorial service.
  7. Yesterday’s miracle should be an encouragement for today’s faith. To be honest, I’m still praying for other family members and friends to know Christ—and I sometimes despair their lack of response. Then, however, I remember my dad . . . and I press on with praying and trusting.

Let us know how we can pray for you and your loved ones today. We’re privileged to join you.


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