Last week I had the privilege of praying for my sister-in-law and her fiancée as they got married. The below prayer for marriages is based heavily on the prayer I prayed for them:
Let us speak to God, let us pray.
Our great and glorious God, our loving Father in heaven, we only dare speak with you today because we know you to be full of grace, full of righteousness and full of mercy (Ps. 116:5). At this time of year we think of Jesus’ birth, and we are told in Scripture that His life on earth is the ultimate demonstration of your grace, righteousness and mercy (Col. 1:19). So we ask that above all else that we will truly adore Jesus Christ the Lord. For Scripture is also clear that marriage is the one human relationship which displays your love for your people – husbands reflecting the self-giving love of Jesus Christ and wives reflecting the devotion shown by one who is greatly loved, the church (Eph. 5:22-33). With this in mind, and as we celebrate marriage, we bring married couples before you now.
Father, we seek your blessing for husbands. By the power of your Spirit: aid us as providers for the needs of those we love, and sustain us in all our struggles in the contest of life. May our strength be our wives protection, our character their joy and our love their assurance. May husbands live in such a way that wives may find in them the shelter for which their hearts truly long.
Father, we seek your blessing for wives. By the power of your Spirit: give them a tenderness that makes them great; develop in them a deeper understanding of you in all your glory; strengthen their faith in you; and give them the inner beauty of soul that Proverbs 31 speaks of; a beauty that never fades, an eternal youth that is found in holding fast to the truths that never age. May wives live in such a way that husbands may be pleased to always cherish and admire them.
We also pray that married couples never make the mistake of merely living for each other. Teach us that marriage is not living for each other; rather it is two individuals uniting and joining hands to serve you, the living God. We desire that our spiritual purpose in life may be to seek first your kingdom, and its righteousness, so that all other things may be added unto us (Mt. 6:33). We ask this because, only in loving you best can we love each other all the more; and only in being faithful to you, will we remain faithful to one another.
Although marriage is often begun with high expectations, we pray that married couples may not expect perfection of each other, as that belongs to you alone. Help us minimize each other’s weaknesses, being swift to praise and highlight each other’s strengths and beauty, and to look on each other through a lover’s kind and patient eyes – never taking each other’s love for granted. Help us grow in the grace of long-suffering love, forgiving each other often, and developing our character as we walk life’s road together. Our kind God, give us enough tears to keep us tender, enough hurts to keep us humane, enough failure to keep our hands clenched tightly in yours, and enough success to make us sure we belong to you.
When life is done, and the sun is setting, our prayer today is that we may be found, then as now, still hand in hand, thanking you so very much for each other. And after having served you happily, faithfully, and together, may we at last find ourselves in your perfect presence.
We request all of these things through Jesus Christ, the greatest lover of souls. Amen.
Editor’s Note: This prayer is inspired, and borrows many phrases from this prayer.