Yesterday I was privileged to lead prayers at a friend’s wedding. Both had been divorced and both have children from their previous marriages. One of the things I needed to reflect on was how honest the prayers would be. I obviously wanted the prayers to be appropriate, affirming and a blessing but I also wanted them to be real, acknowledging that into any new relationship we bring baggage from previous ones. That is true of all of us not just not just people being married again!
Marriage can be hard work, pretending otherwise is foolish and if we are praying for people on their wedding day then I think we need to pray for the hard days as well as the joy filled ones. Thus I prayed for such things as
• healing from the past,
• redemption of memories,
• a sustaining love in the joys and the sorrows,
• the building of a new family,
• the capacity to identify the barriers and stumbling blocks that might trip them up
• honesty and courage to face up to issues that arise.
I also prayed for God’s blessing, for the fruit of the Spirit, for them to grow closer to God as well as closer to each other and that their love would be a testimony of God’s faithfulness, a theme of the wedding.
I am very blessed to often get to pray with people at significant times in their lives but I try to ensure that my prayers are honest and name some of the issues as well as the nature and character of God and all God has for the people of God.