As Marriage Week 2016 draws to a close, here are some prayers you might like to say for couples you know at various stages of their relationships

A Prayer for Valentine’s Day

Lord, we remember with thanksgiving those who have entered or are entering the sacrament of marriage and for their vows of love and commitment to you and to each other in marriage. We pray for your continued blessing on them and their families.

For those who suffer the pain of a troubled marriage, separation or divorce, we pray that God guides them into a future fulfilled with hope. Lord bless those who go to Marriage Care for help with their relationships, bless those who volunteer and look with favour on the work of Marriage Care as an expression of our faith.

A Prayer for an engaged or newly married couple

PROMISE[1]

On the day when your promise of commitment weighs heavily on your shoulders and you stoop beneath its burden, may the promise dance within you to strengthen you.

And when your embraces lose their warmth and become like rituals of duty, and the ghost of romance disappears behind a long day’s toil, may the promise wrap around you and hold you close and surround you with love from its Source.

When the bitter winds of change transform your early loveliness into roughened hands and smile lines, may there come across your faces an easy knowing, a comfortable peace, a deep rootedness that connects you to the eternal promise of Love Beyond All Imagining.

May the new life of creation be yours. May the comfort of the sunshine be yours. May the soft earth nourish you and make you strong for one another and for your children and restore your resolve for promising.

And so may a soaking rain work these words of promise and peace into you, protecting you from harm and harbouring you in the presence of one another for eternity.

A wedding blessing[2]

Now you will feel no storms, for each of you will be shelter to the other. Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth to the other. Now there is no loneliness, for each of you is companion to the other, You are two persons, but there is one life before you, and one home. Turn together to look at the road you travelled, to reach this—the hour of your happiness. It stretches behind you into the past. Look to the future that lies ahead. A long and winding, adventure-filled road, whose every turn means discovery, new hopes, new joys, new laughter, and a few shared tears. May happiness be your companion, May beauty surround you both in the journey ahead; And through all the years to come. Go this day to your dwelling place and enter into your days together. May your days be good and long upon the earth. Your adventure has just begun!

A prayer for those struggling in their marriage [3]

Lord, we come to you about our marriage. Help us to begin to put things right. In the quietness, show us how to stop thinking of the other’s faults and failures and to recognise our own. Check our negative responses and give us a vision of the partnership that we can create anew with your help. Where we do not yet feel love, give us good intents and wishes for each other’s well-being that might bring us closer. Reawaken, in time, we pray, the love we once felt for each other and make us tender-hearted and forgiving because you, in Christ, feely forgive and receive us.

A prayer for those in later life[4]

Loving creator, it seems as though you’ve given us a second chance. After all these years of busy-ness, of deadlines, of demands, of other’s concerns; now, in our retirement, at last we have time with each other.

We can enjoy the privilege of planning each day – guide us as we plan.

We can relax and take outings – restore us in these times.

We can take up new hobbies and new interests – be near us as we choose.

May our retirement be a time of re-creation, and in all we do may we know your presence with us, your love surrounding us to eternity.

AMEN

[1] http://www.foryourmarriage.org/a-marriage-blessing/

[2] http://www.prayers-for-special-help.com/apache-wedding-blessing.html#sthash.6wZh4hIE.dpuf

[3] The Lion Prayer Collection compiled by Mary Batchelor Lion 1992

[4] From ‘Vows and Partings’ The Methodist Church (2001), as quoted in ‘Pocket Prayers for Marriage’ Andrew Body CH

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