Friday, December 3, 2010

Prayers for Marriages

News of the pending divorce of a prominent couple in a neighborhood church has reminded me that every Christian marriage has an enemy (and I do not mean one's spouse). The accuser of the brethren opposes healthy faith and healthy marriages, seeking to desecrate and vandalize the icon of Christ's love which God intends marriage to be.  This sad news reminded me that no marriage becomes so secure that the husband and wife can coast on the momentum of the past; therefore, we are to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God.  The Scriptures remind me that God cares for us and is able to lift up the downcast and stumbling; therefore, we can cast our anxieties on Him in confidence that where He is, is hope.  The prowling of our hungry enemy reminds me to be sober, watchful, prayerful for the marriages around me and my own.

To this end, I have been praying specifically, though still not as consistently as needed, for God's will and glory in the marriages around me and in my own.  The wise, thoughtful words below, from the Episcopal wedding liturgy, have proven most helpful in guiding my requests and desires.

If you, dear reader, are married, I pray these things for you.  If you are not, perhaps you can lift up the rest of us, and may the Lord bring you a Christ-following mate in His good time if that is good for you.

For all of us, "May the Lord direct [our] hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ" (2 Thess. 3:5, NASB).

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Eternal God, creator and preserver of all life, author of
salvation, and giver of all grace: Look with favor upon the
world you have made, and for which your Son gave his life,
and especially upon this man and this woman whom you
[have made] one flesh in Holy Matrimony. Amen.

Give them wisdom and devotion in the ordering of their
common life, that each may be to the other a strength in need, a counselor in perplexity, a comfort in sorrow, and a companion in joy.  Amen.

Grant that their wills may be so knit together in your will,
and their spirits in your Spirit, that they may grow in love
and peace with you and one another all the days of their life.
Amen.

Give them grace, when they hurt each other, to recognize and
acknowledge their fault, and to seek each other’s forgiveness
and yours.  Amen.

Make their life together a sign of Christ’s love to this sinful
and broken world, that unity may overcome estrangement, forgiveness heal guilt, and joy conquer despair.  Amen.

Give them such fulfillment of their mutual affection that they
may reach out in love and concern for others.  Amen.


This post linked up to Ann's Wednesday community on 26 January 2011.

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