Since God is outside of time, could He hear a prayer in the present and apply it to the past? My mom died before I was born again. I’d like to believe she accepted the Lord before she died but I don’t know for sure. If I pray for her salvation could God look back to the time when she was still alive and honor my prayer?
God is outside of time, but man is not. Making the choice to accept His pardon for our sins and receive eternal life with Him is the most important thing we can ever do, but we have to do it during our life time.
I think this is what Paul meant when he said, “I tell you now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2) After we die it’s too late to change our destiny.
Hebrews 9:27 explains it this way. “For man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.”
Also, no one can secure another person’s salvation without their cooperation. We can pray that they will come to a saving faith, and we can share the gospel with them, but ultimately everyone has to make their own decision and they have to make it during their lifetime.
As you say she could have made her decision for the Lord without you knowing about it. If she did, you’ll see her in Heaven.