Our Heavenly Father,
We want to express our thanks to you on this special occasion. We thank you for the gift of love, the gift of marriage—that _____ and _____ get to experience that starting today, and the rest of us here have the privilege of celebrating your gift with them.
You tell us in your scriptures that you yourself are love: “God is love” (1 John 4:8, 16). Before anything else existed for you to love, you already possessed the perfect, quintessential form of love within yourself, between Father, Son, and Spirit.
But your love is so overflowing that it poured forth. You did not keep it to yourself, but you created a world on which to pour out your love, to experience and share in that love. You have made us creatures capable of loving, and capable of experiencing love—first and foremost with you, but also with others.
All love ultimately derives from you as its source, the fountainhead and origin of all true love. “Love is from God,” 1 John says (4:7). And as believers, “We love because you first loved us” (1 Jn 4:19). We have come to know your love in this, that you laid down your life for us (1 Jn 3:16). You manifested your love for us by sending your Son to become the payment for our sin and reconcile us to yourself (1 Jn 4:9-10). Our love is the overflow of yours (1 Jn 4:7, 19).
Marriage isn’t the only place where we experience this love. But it is a special relationship you’ve given us where we experience it. What a gift marriage is! Marriage wasn’t our idea, something we invented. You created marriage. And when you created it, your Word describes it as your blessing to us. Genesis 1, “And God blessed them” (Gen 1:28).
We pray then that _____ and _____ would experience the rich blessing of all that you desire marriage to be. Guard them from their own sin that would make their marriage anything less than you intend it to be. Give them unity. Protect them from unfaithfulness. Provide them forgiving hearts, forgiving one another as Christ has forgiven them (Eph 4:23). Help them to put the interests of the other first (1 Cor 13:4-7; Phil 2:4-11). Empower them to bear with one another, viewing the other as your blood-bought children (cf. Rom 14:15; 1 Cor 8:11). Let them not merely love in word or talk, but in deed (1 Jn 3:18).
God, you made marriage to serve as a pointer for us, to show us a picture of Christ’s love for the church (Eph 5:22-33). You are the origin of love (1 Jn 4:7); and all love points back to you. Make _____ and _____’s marriage a beautiful mirror of that love, so that you might be preeminent in all things, including their marriage (Col 1:15-20).
You created all things; you hold all things together; and everything that you create and hold together exist for you (Col 1:15-20). So too, you create this marriage; you hold it together; and it ultimately exists for your glory. Use _____ and _____’s marriage as one more piece of your grand plan of directing all things to your own glory. Because we know that their marriage will be most healthy and satisfying when it exists not for its own sake, but for yours.
We pray these things on account of our savior, Jesus Christ,