The highlight of my day was fulfilling the request of Rick and Caitlin to offer up the Prayer of Blessing. I prayed long and hard about what to pray. I thought about what God would want for Rick and Caitlin. . . and every other couple in that sanctuary. . . including the couple I'm half of. I decided to write out my prayer, eliminating the need to think on the fly and also to help me get through the emotions that I knew would come with being charged with praying for these two on behalf of everyone there.
Since some of you have asked me about the prayer, I decided to pass it on here. This is the longer, original form of the prayer. I made a few edits just prior to the service and a couple of changes on the fly. However, this is what we brought to the Lord as we interceded for this new family. . . .
Our gracious and merciful heavenly father,
We are grateful that we are able to be here today in your presence, family and friends, all gathered to witness Rick and Caitlin enter into the amazing mystery of marriage. We thank you that in your love you created marriage as the answer to the aloneness that you yourself said was not good. We thank you that you are today eliminating that aloneness, blessing them with each other.
Father, as we come together with Rick and Caitlin 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. The prevailing attitude in our culture is to scoff at the institution of marriage, to not take vows and promises seriously, and to so easily walk away if it just doesn’t feel right anymore. Defend Rick and Caitlin from these and every other enemy of marriage. In your word we learn that Satan hates you, he hates the Gospel, he hates your bride the church, and he hates marriage. Make them aware of the enemy’s assaults on your good gift of marriage. We pray that you would protect these two and all of us here today from ever believing the enemy’s lies. Marriage is your good gift to us. May Rick and Caitlin – and all of us who are married – keep the vows made publicly before you and these witnesses gathered here. . . in the midst of great pressure to do otherwise.
Lord, lead these two into your peace. We ask that Rick and Caitlin 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. Lord, Caitlin and Rick are broken people, just like all the rest of us. When their brokenness rears its ugly head – and it will - may they show the same depth of amazing grace to each other that you have shown to them.
We pray that Rick and Caitlin would burn with a passion to know you more. Bless them with the desire to read and study your Word together, to pray together, and to enter into regular fellowship together with others who love, follow and serve you. Fill their lives with good and supportive friends wherever you may lead them to live over the course of their marriage.
We ask that you would help Rick and Caitlin to cherish and embrace your priorities for their life. Instill in them a desire to seek first your kingdom and your righteousness so that they become rich toward you. Teach them to value material things in relation to eternity. Don’t allow them to have so much in terms of material things that they no longer desire you. Still, we ask that you sustain them and provide for their material needs.
We ask that you would teach them to suffer well. When you invite them into the sufferings of Christ through disappointments, poverty, affliction, sickness, or brokenness, may they see that you are at work, growing them in their dependence on you. Help them to see the world’s dreams, lies, and vanities for what they are, and give them the ability to walk away from those empty things and run towards you. May they glean from their years with us, their parents, those good, true, right and honorable things that we have modeled and taught. And where we have failed as parents – and we have- may they walk away from our faulty words and example to pursue a better way. 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 Rick and Caitlin. They have been a great blessing to Dick and Kathy, 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