I am a firm believer in prayer; not because I receive exactly what I ask for or because I get it right when I ask, but because He hears and answers every single one. Sometimes it takes me a while to see where the prayers were answered; however, those are usually the greatest treasures of all. He has so much more in store for us than our little brains can ever imagine.
The first few years of youth group we had a girl's retreat each spring. It was your typical girly getaway complete with nail painting, mud masks, chick flicks, and chocolate. The topic was always something to do with purity and boys which was always somewhat awkward and way too giddy. I remember one of my friends telling me they weren't going to attend because girls of our age don't need to be focusing on such things so much. I tried to agree with her back then. Now I will freely say that I encourage each and every parent of teenagers to teach them to pray for their future spouses and focus on Christ's love. It's not encouraging them to only focus on getting married and forgetting their own passions and gifts. It's investing in their future.
At these retreats we were asked to make lists of the characteristics we wanted in a husband. We wrote down prayers and prayed them aloud. I never stopped after my teenage years. At Oklahoma Christian I had a paper stuck to my apartment mirror with a list of things I wanted in a partner. I prayed it every time I saw the paper. I use to just sit and wonder where this man was and if I had already met him or seen him across the room.
I keep saying I am in awe of how God has worked in my life in the last year especially, but I really should have just expected it because I've been praying for it the majority of my life. I have, by no means, been perfect, but I have stayed faithful and followed where God has lead me. This man I am going to marry is my encourager. He is a man of God. I knew God had plans for us before we were officially dating. I knew it because I was constantly in prayer.
He talks to us. It may not be verbally, but listen and you will hear. As in 1 Kings, sometimes His voice is in the unexpected.
"And he said, "Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord." And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him..." (1 Kings 19:11-13 ESV)
So go pray! Talk to our King! He will answer! Stay faithful and see the vast replies you receive. Remember the Words of Matthew:
"Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you. For everyone who keeps on asking receives; and he who keeps on seeking finds; and to him who keeps on knocking, [the door] will be opened." (Matthew 7:7-8)