A Wedding Prayer by Ric Cannada

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I was recently at a wedding in which Dr. Ric Cannada, Chancellor of Reformed Theological Seminary presided. His prayer was particularly meaningful, and I inquired about it after the service.

He said that he had compiled the outline of the prayer from others beginning in the 1970’s from various sources, including the pastor he had learned under at the beginning of his ministry, Jack Oates.

I particularly love the section when he prays to God that the couple (and all of us who are married Christians) would remember that they are not "merely living for each other." One reason that part is moving to me is that I know Ric, and he has lived out that truth in a striking way. Another reason that it is moving is that that one point understood and embraced would revolutionize many marriages.

O God of love, you have established marriage for the welfare and happiness of mankind. Yours was the plan, and only with you can we work it out with joy. You have said, “it is not good for a man to live alone . . . I will make a helper suitable for him.” Now our joys are doubled, since the happiness of one is the happiness of the other; our burdens are halved, since, when we share them, we divide the load. Bless this husband. Bless him as provider for the needs of those he loves. Sustain him in all his struggles in the contest of life. May his strength be her protection, his character be her joy and assurance. May he so live that she may find in him the haven for which the heart of a woman truly longs. Bless this loving wife. Give her a tenderness that makes her great . . . a deep sense of understanding and a great faith in You. Give her that inner beauty of soul that never fades, eternal youth that is found in holding fast to the things that never age. May she so live that he may be pleased always to reverence and adore her.

May they never make the mistake of merely living for each other. Teach them that marriage is not living for each other. It is two uniting and joining hands to serve You, the living God. Give them a great spiritual purpose in life. may the seek first the kingdom that is yours, and its righteousness, so that all other things may be added unto them. Loving you best, they shall love each other all the more. And faithful unto You, faithful unto each other they will remain.

May they not expect that perfection of each other that belongs alone to You. May they minimize each other’s weaknesses, be swift to praise and magnify each other’s strengths and beauty, and see each other through a lover’s kind and patient eyes. Give them a little something to forgive each day, that they may grow in the grace of long-suffering and love. And may they be forbearing with each other’s omissions and commissions as You are with theirs. Make such assignments to them according to Your will as will bless them and develop their character as they walk together. Give them enough tears to keep them tender, enough hurts to keep them humane, enough of failure to keep their hands clenched tightly in Yours, and enough success to make them sure they belong to You. May they never take each other’s love for granted, but always experience that breathless wonder that exclaims: “Out of all this world, you have chosen me!” Then when life is done, and the sun is setting, may they be found, then as now, still hand in hand, still so proud, thanking you so very much for each other. May they serve You happily, faithfully, together, until at least one shall lay the other in Your arms. This we ask through Jesus Christ, great lover of souls. Amen.

Posted August 9, 2006 @ 5:33 PM by Ligon Duncan
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