Living the Life

A prayer for marriage

By on March 30, 2018

Recently, at our friend’s wedding, I was touched by the prayer their pastor prayed over them during the ceremony.

The prayer was originally given by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German Lutheran pastor who lived during World War II. Although once a pacifist, he participated in a plot to assassinate Hitler. He wrote this prayer for the last wedding he performed before he was arrested and placed in a Nazi concentration camp. He was executed two weeks before U.S. soldiers liberated the camp.

It’s amazing to me how even though times change, the trials and joys of marriage are largely the same. If we trust God to guide us through each day together, our marriages will no doubt be blessed.

O God of love, you have established marriage for our welfare and happiness. You had the design and the plan, and only with you can we work it out in joy.

Bless this husband, may his strength be her protection, his character be her boast and her pride, and may he so live that she will find in him the haven for which her heart longs.

Bless this wife; give her a tenderness that will make her great, a deep sense of understanding, and a great faith in you.  Continue to develop in her that inner beauty of soul that never fades.

Teach them that marriage is not living merely for each other; it is two uniting and joining hands to serve you.  Give them a spiritual purpose in life.  Help them to seek first your kingdom and your righteousness.

May they not expect that perfection of each other that belongs alone to you.  May they minimize each other’s weaknesses, and see each other through a lover’s kind and patient eyes.

Give them such assignments in your plan for them that will bless them and develop their character as they walk together.  Give them enough tears to keep them tender, enough hurt to keep them humane, enough of failure to keep their hands clenched tightly in yours, and enough success to make them sure they are walking in your footsteps.

May they never take each other’s love for granted but always experience that breathless wonder that exclaims, “Out of all this world God has given you to me.”

And when they come to the end of their days, may they be found then as now, hand in hand and still thanking that for each other.  May they serve you happily, faithfully and together until at last one shall lay the other into your arms. This is our prayer in the name of him who loved us and gave himself for us, Jesus Christ our Lord.  AMEN. ✨

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