As time goes by, you will believe more and more in the power of prayer. You will do good to keep an entirely separate set of notes just to record the miracles and answers to prayer that you receive.
I have a long list of miracles and things God has done for me and for those I love after praying for the needs. Sometimes, if I begin to feel like I'm wasting my time, it's priceless to re-read that list of miracles and answered prayers to force myself back to the reality of what God does when I pray.
Forgetfulness is usually the culprit. Most of us, if we took the time to really count our blessings, could sit for hours thinking of things God has done for us, or blessed us with. But we neglect to recall all those wonderful blessings.
Whenever I begin to write out a list of all God's blessings to me, I just have to abandon it after a while, because I could continue writing all night long.
Did you sleep in a comfortable bed last night? Thank God.
Did you eat a good meal today? Thank God.
Has anyone you love shown their love for you lately? Thank God.
Has anyone called to see how you were doing? Thank God.
Does your car run well? Thank God.
Can you see? Can you hear? Can you read and write? Thank God!
Remember, one of the Bible prophecies of the spiritual decline in the last days warned that men would be unthankful (2 Timothy 3:2). Unthankfulness is a precursor to apostasy. When we forget what God has done, we tend to discount Him, and gradually phase Him out of our lives.
I will guarantee you one thing. If you faithfully keep track of the good things God is doing in your life, of the prayers He has answered, and the miracles He is doing in your life -- you will never backslide. But more than that, you will learn to stay before the throne of God with your prayers and supplications.
If it ever really gets into your heart just how many wonderful things God has done in your life as you have prayed and sought for His blessing in your life, you will want to pray more and more and more as you get older.
I can't think of anything that motivates me to prayer better than the good results I have had through the years as I have prayed. If you ever pray for God to heal someone of shingles, and He does, you will be emboldened to pray for someone else who is suffering with shingles. It's almost a syndrome that we fall into. Successful prayers are the greatest motivators for future prayers. You probably already know what I'm talking about.
I heard N.A. Urshan tell of how he got a reputation for praying for couples who could not have children. He reported how that he prayed for a young couple many, many years ago, and miraculously, they had a new baby the next year. When he began to testify about that miracle, other young couples began to come to him for prayer. Miraculously, many more couples began to have children. As the years went by, he was able to report many, many children had been born after he prayed.
That is the kind of reputation I want. Not for the sake of reputation, but for the sake of those who have needs. I can honestly say that I have seen an above-average number of skin diseases healed through the years.
In 1979, I was pastoring a church in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. I was called to pray for a lady at her home. She had been bedfast with shingles for months. From her waist to her feet, she was covered in painful scabs. Her two sisters were taking care of her, and they were the ones who asked for me to come and pray. When I walked into the room, I felt the presence of God. I did not make any small talk. I went directly into prayer. These ladies were all Baptists, and didn't know much about the baptism of the Holy Ghost and speaking in other tongues. But wonder of wonders, I could not pray in English. As soon as I began to pray, the Spirit of God saturated me, and all I could do was pray in other tongues. For at least ten minutes, I stood by that lady's bed and prayed in tongues. I couldn't stop. I knew in my soul that a miracle was in the making. I just knew it. When I got through praying, I politely dismissed myself and left.
Early the next morning, the phone rang at the parsonage. It was one of the sisters, and she was beside herself with excitement. She said, "We have been up all night long watching the scabs fall off her legs! Her legs are completely healed!" I was delighted, but I wasn't surprised. I could tell, even as I was praying, that God was going to do that miracle.
Since that miracle in 1979, I have seen as many skin diseases healed as any other kind of miracle. Several chronic cases where the doctors were frustrated and puzzled about what to do next were healed overnight after we prayed. Don't ask me why certain trends like this occur. I can only speculate that when you have seen God do a certain kind of a miracle, it emboldens you to believe for it the next time you see a similar problem.
That is one of the reasons why you should track your results. Write them down. Keep a record. Review your list of miracles from time to time. It will encourage you and renew your faith. It is the best thing I can think of for treating a bout of discouragement.
God has been good, but we tend to forget it. Keep track of the miracles that God does as you pray. In years to come, your "Diary of Miracles" will be a great source of inspiration.