In real time, it can seem as if God isn’t answering our prayers. Perhaps the answers are slow in coming, or maybe our perspective gets distorted by looking at circumstances that contradict our hopes and requests. Whatever the reason, prayer under a magnifying glass looks depressing. God seems awfully silent.
But when we look back over our lives with a broader perspective, we notice a different story. In retrospect, we can see answers to prayers we offered years ago. We may not have noticed how or when they were fulfilled, but they were. God was faithful. He answered even things we had long forgotten.
That’s why it’s so encouraging to keep a record of petitions to God and check them off when they are fulfilled. Otherwise, we tend to miss the pattern of his faithfulness. We are forgetful creatures. When we remember what we’ve asked, we see the answers more clearly, and our faith is stirred to ask again. We realize God wasn’t silent after all. He remembered, he watched over his word to perform it, and he answered the things we asked. When we see that, we have confidence he will do so again and again.