Last Sunday I experienced for the second and last time the joy of walking a daughter down the aisle. I did it eight years ago for my daughter Caitlin, and then this time for my daughter Bethany. Until you’ve done it, you can’t describe the mix of emotions which flood your being. On both occasions, my joy has been great as my girls have married men who are pursuing a relationship with Jesus Christ. . . and nothing could make me happier than that.
On both occasions I was privileged to be invited to pray for the couple during the ceremony. And so, I prayed last Sunday. Lisa and I know that a marriage not centered on Christ cannot and will not flourish fully. That was the focus of my prayer. We know that a marriage will survive and thrive when centered on Jesus.
Several people have asked me to share my prayer which I did, in fact, write out. Yes. . . I had to read it! Flying without notes would have been a disaster for me in that moment! So, perhaps you will find this prayer helpful as you pray for your own marriage, the marriages (present and future) of your children, and for the marriages of the kids you know and love. . .
We are grateful that we are able to be here today in your presence with family and friends to witness Brandon and Bethany as they enter into the amazing mystery of your good gift of marriage.
Father, as we come together with Brandon and Bethany to witness and celebrate their union as husband and wife, we realize that more and more, what we are witnessing and celebrating in this room today is seen by many in today’s world as old-fashioned, out-dated, confining, and even irrelevant. May Brandon and Bethany – and all of us who are married – joyfully keep the vows made publicly before you and these witnesses gathered here. . . in the midst of great pressure to do otherwise.
We ask that Brandon and Bethany would so deeply crave a deep and growing knowledge of you, your Word, your will and your way, that your plan for marriage and their lives would always prevail, even in the times of difficulty that we know are sure to come. Fill them with a deep love and unwavering commitment to you and a deep love and unwavering commitment to each other. When their brokenness rears its ugly head – and it will – may they show the same depth of amazing grace to each other that you show to all of us.
We ask that you would help Brandon and Bethany to cherish and embrace your priorities for their life together. Instill in them a desire to seek first your kingdom and your righteousness so that they become rich toward you.
And father, if you choose to bless them with the amazing and wonderful gift of children, may they steward those children well, raising them in a Christ-centered home where the Gospel is both preached and lived.
Thank you Lord for Brandon and Bethany. They have been a great blessing to Mike and Deb, to Lisa and me, and to all their friends and family gathered here. Today as they start a new family, and cleave to one another and you, guide them into a life of greater love and sacrifice. May they always care for each other, knowing that you will always care for them and keep them in your love.
In the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ we pray, Amen