As problematic as weddings and receptions can be at the moment, there is one constant.
Posted in , Oct 8, 2020
How to get married during a pandemic? Not only do couples face tough logistical decisions about the ceremony during this time of social distancing but so do the families and friends who want to celebrate with them. Many couples have changed their plans to outdoor venues or walked down the aisle in masks. Often families have had to forgo travel and watch their loved ones’ wedding on video.
As problematic as weddings and receptions can be at the moment, one thing can and should be constant: prayer. Wherever and however a couple is joined together, prayer can be offered for them—and can provide an occasion to pray for our own marriages. My wife and I have done this for years now, using every wedding as an opportunity to renew our own wedding vows and refresh the prayers for our marriage.
Here are seven prayers I repeat often for my marriage and can be offered for any newly married couple, from any distance:
1) The One Flesh Prayer
Lord God, Your Word says, “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24, NIV). Thank You for joining us together in the profound and mysterious union that is a reflection of Your relationship with the church. Bless and increase our oneness of mind, heart, body and soul, and let our one life together be a testimony of love and commitment to all around us. Amen.
2) The Song of Songs Prayer
May God grant us, today and every day that is to come, a love that burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame; the love which many waters cannot quench and mighty rivers cannot wash away; the love which lasts longer than life is stronger than death and is worth more than all the wealth in the world, amen (based on Song of Songs 8:6-7).
3) The Wedding at Cana Prayer
Jesus, You chose a wedding in Cana of Galilee as the setting for Your first miracle. You blessed that couple with Your presence and wonder-working power. You saved them and their family from shame and scandal. You played a key role in launching their married life in joy and honor. So, Lord, I ask, do that for us as well, letting Your presence and power in our lives save us from shame and scandal and result in joy and honor. Amen.
4) The Cord of Three Strands Prayer
Father, let us never forget that a Christian marriage is not a duet but a trio. Help us to strengthen and preserve our marriage by always keeping You at the center of our marriage, remembering, as the Bible says, that “A cord of three strands is not easily broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12, CSB). Amen.
5) The Promise Prayer
Father God, please help us to keep every promise we’ve made to each other: to have and to hold from this day forward; for better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; to love and to cherish, forsaking all others, ‘til death do us part. Amen.
6) The Colossians Prayer
Help us, God, as Your chosen people, holy and dearly loved, to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience toward each other, and bear with each other and forgive one another any and every grievance. Help us to forgive as You forgave us. And over all these other virtues help us to put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts, and make us always thankful, letting the message of Christ dwell in us richly as we teach and admonish each other with all wisdom through psalms, hymns and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in our hearts. And in all that we do, whether in word or deed, help us to do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him (based on Colossians 3:12-17, NIV).
7) The Hebrews 13:4 Prayer
Father, Your Word says that “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure” (Hebrews 13:4, NIV). Grant that we may always honor this holy, sacramental relationship and keep it free from all impurity of heart, mind and life, in Jesus’ name, amen.
These are good wedding prayers for any couple, but they’re especially meaningful for one’s own marriage, reminding us of the love and promises we share.