"Pray without ceasing." (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

My husband Bill and I believe in keeping track of prayer requests. Sometimes we might wonder if God is listening, and writing down our prayers helps remind us that God does listen. Let me share one, simple prayer request I made for one of my sons, Brock, when he was a baby. The prayer went like this: 

God, give Brock the courage to stand alone for You. Give him the integrity and wisdom to choose well in his relationships; lead him to the godly woman he will marry someday.

Does God answer when we partner with Him in prayer? Let me share with you some highlights of the years following that prayer:

We sat in the bleachers at the first football game that Brock was to be the starting varsity quarterback. He was only a junior in high school but God had already used him to bring many of his friends to faith in Christ. As a freshman, Brock had thrown three pizza parties where he shared his personal testimony along with the Gospel. By the end of his freshman year, thirty-four of his friends made decisions for Christ. Realizing the need for long term follow-up so these new Christians could grow with God, Brock contacted Fellowship of Christian Athletes and launched a club on the campus by his sophomore year.

Now, Brock wanted to make a public statement for the faith again, so he called up his buddies on the football team and said, “This week, after we beat Fallbrook, I’m going to the fifty yard line to pray. Will you join me?”

They all said, “ We’re there for ya, man!”

The praying over Brock’s life had not ended with our first prayer. Bill and I prayed for and with Brock that very morning, followed by prayers from my Moms In Touch prayer group.

That night, Brock’s team lost 38-0. 

Deflated, the guys wandered off the field — all except Brock who walked straight to the fifty yard line where he knelt down, alone. Standing near Bill, I asked, “Should I run down and pray with him?”

My wise husband replied, “Oh yeah, Pam, that’s what the varsity quarterback wants — his mommy to come rescue him!” Just then I remembered the prayer we prayed years ago. Help him stand alone for you, God. And now he was.

God answers prayer. Sometimes in ways we don’t expect. Soon, three players from the opposing team joined Brock at the fifty and they prayed. After the game some of Brock’s youth leaders from Student Venture and Fellowship of Christian Athletes went down to encourage Brock.

When Bill and I finally made our way to the field, I threw my arms around Brock. Reaching up, I took his face in my hands and said, “I have never been more proud of you than I am at this moment. I know tonight was one of the hardest nights of your life -- but you kept your word to God. Remember what we always tell you, ‘Those who honor God, God honors.’ Brock, I don’t know how and I don’t know when, but God will honor you for this.”

After that defining moment, God continued to be true to His promise in Psalms Psalms 84:11, “no good thing does God withhold from those who walk uprightly .” By the end of Brock’s senior year, he was:

  • Named Athlete of the Year
  • Added to the National Hall of Fame for Football for a Scholar Leader
  • Named San Diego Citizen of the Year (and that came with a commendation from the governor and a scholarship from the NFL Retired Player’s Association).
  • Given our high school’s highest award for servant leadership, Knight of the Year. When the faculty presented the award, they gave him a standing ovation.

God answers prayer!

Brock went on to attend a junior college he selected because the coach was a committed believer, active in FCA, and mentored his players. Brock helped teach a Bible study for eighteen months while attending a class that helped him learn how to defend his faith. His heart grew for helping people find answers to their spiritual questions.