A prayer for marriage

I know that today at midday many Christians will be praying round the country for the state of marriage in our nation.  Right now I have an overwhelming urge to bring this before God and give it over to Him.  Undoubtedly, many Christians have seen the way the Government is dealing with its marriage proposals and have been left feeling powerless and disheartened. It’s at times like this that the need to pray becomes more apparent.  As Paul writes at the start of 2 Timothy:

‘I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.  This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.’

This is my prayer:

Dear Father God,

I know that in the beginning when you created mankind you gave us marriage to bond a man and woman together.  Marriage was created as a blessing that gives our lives stability and allows relationships and families to grow in safety and security.  Yet so often we have taken it for granted and failed to give it the respect and attention it deserves.  It has been diminished in our eyes through divorce and adultery and become an optional extra for many.

This is not how it should be.  Lord, forgive us as a nation for the contempt we have shown towards it.  Forgive the Church for not standing up for it enough.  We see all around us the consequences of relationships that broken down and the lives hurt as a result.  Give us a heart again for a better way of living where marriage is honoured and seen to be the ideal, where church and government do everything they can to support it and couples are given the help they need if their marriages are in difficulty.

Father, you know what is best for marriage and as the Government attempts to legislate for same-sex marriage, let the right decision be made that does not damage marriage further.  Let both sides be willing to listen to the concerns of others and not ignore them.  Give those MPs who believe in the sanctity of marriage confidence to speak the truth and not be ashamed of their convictions.  Do not let them be ostracised and belittled as a result.  Let those who follow You in positions of authority speak with wisdom and give them the right words to say on this issue that will sink into the hearts of others.  Protect Your church from attack at this time and unite it in its love of You and the people it seeks to serve.

Give me the right words to say that will bless rather than harm and use them to draw others to you.  I ask this especially for those who feel rejected by the church because of their sexuality.  Let them understand that Your love for us is not affected by our sexual orientation, for we all fall short through our sin and it is Your grace and not our actions that allow us to experience Your forgiveness.

Lord, please turn the tide in this land so that people will look for You rather than rejecting all the good things You long to give us.  Help us to see marriage through Your eyes and seek to heal the wounds caused by our ill-treatment of it.

Amen.



Categories: Homosexuality, Marriage, Prayer

15 replies

  1. I could say “Amen” to most of your prayer, and as a Christian I am utterly delighted at the proposals yesterday. I am disestablishmentarianist, and regret that the CofE should be treated differently, not to be allowed in Synod to agree to the proposals but to need a further act of Parliament to celebrate these weddings- but it is so much better than it has been. Thank God.

    And- you pray that both sides should be able to listen to each other. Absolutely, for what unites us is still so much stronger than what divides us.

  2. Amen to this. We need a miracle, not only in the result but also for healing on both sides of this messy discussion. Please too pray for David Cameron, that his eyes may be opened to the true implications of what he is attempting to foist upon us and, above all, that he might see a new light shining in the darkness.

  3. I cannot say amen because this prayer speaks so much of the problem we have in the CofE. How you can pray re both sides listening to the other side and then make it quite clear later that you consider homosexuality to be a sin where you say God’s love is not affected by sexual orientation as we all fall short through our sin. I do not agree with the governments plan to make it illegal for CofE to carry out same sex marriages but think they have been forced down that route by those with the loudest voices in the church. Many Christians ( I believe a significant minority if not a majority) do not have a problem with same sex marriage or in fact with homosexuality at all and I am fed up with people within the CofE talking as if we are at one on this I. E speaking for me when I do not agree. I agree with should all pray for guidance and tolerance and love. Let each Church, Parish, congregation do that and discern locally what God is leading them.

    • Going to have to disagree there, you can pray till your purple, but it won’t change what is written in the Bible or how God operates – marriage is clearly made for 1 man and 1 woman for the production of children and cohesion of the community, anything other than that is sin. It really is that simple. I don’t agree with much of what has gone on from both sides to be honest, and I don’t appreciate the the CoE voice is the only one heard or listened to, especially as I’m not CoE, but what we should be doing is praying for wisdom, clarity and grace, for all Christians and for our leaders, and to ultimately trust in the sovereignty of Jesus over all things. Besides, the law re same sex weddings in churches isn’t actually changing, and by making it opt-in by vote of the governing body of the faith group, they’re possibly doing the fairest thing they can. So there likely will be churches conducting ss marriages, but definately not RC of CoE.

      • I am not going to get into an argument with you re how we each interpret what the Bible says on this issue. We disagree and that is fine I don’t have a problem with that. What I do have a problem is that many Christians, particularly those who appear in the media speak as they are speaking for all Christians and they are not. Also under the proposed Government legislation the CofE and Church of Wales will be banned from carrying out same sex marriages and I think that is wrong.

    • I’m not sure it’s really true that those against changing marriage have been the loudest voices within the CofE. Giles Fraser has been a very loud voice and was awarded a prize for his support by Stonewall. I’ve been a bit surprised that the CofE official statements have been so against, but it seems to be the legal implications that are worrying them, rather than a statement against gay relationships in themselves, or a claim to speak on behalf of all Anglicans.

    • I tried hard to write something that most people would be able to agree with irrespective of their views, but it’s impossible to do so completely without watering it down to the point of being meaningless.

      At the end of the day this is my prayer to God. I’m not pretending to speak on behalf of the Church of England or any other Christian. I come at it through the lens of my own faith and beliefs. I know that some will not hold the same beliefs, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t make the effort to express my desires and hopes for what’s going on at the moment and in the same way, I’m quite happy to have others present their prayers and thoughts. It’s important that we make the effort to listen to each other and learn even if we’re not able to agree. I don’t claim to have the right answers, but I know God does and I desperately want to hear and learn from Him.

    • I disagree. Same sex relationships are not blessed in the bible so for me it is inconceivable that the church should ‘bless’ what God clearly thinks abhorrent. I would not wish to be seen as intolerant because God requires that we love unconditionally but Christians who believe the inspired Word of God need now to stand up for the truth. Gay marriage should be withstood.

  4. I tend to think these things are happening for a reason and i think that this will bring change in the Church. I Trust God in this. We all have our viewpoint and i think people are honestly trying to interpret scripture or ask ”What would Jesus say” We bring to this though our own human perspective and maybe sometimes our own vested interest. I can see no positive template for same sex marriage in the bible but i am also aware that we need to love our neighbour. Its important to remain sensitive as well as truthful. A lovely prayer Gillan – Full of grace.

  5. Hmmmm…
    “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix” – inter-racial marriages
    “We are, in my opinion, running counter to the intentions and to the design of the Great Creator, and we are reversing those conditions of life to which woman was ordained.” – Women’s suffrage
    Sounds familiar doesn’t it?

    Gay marriage is just another one of those things which of course the church opposes but eventually they suck it up. The real threat to marriage is lack of love, lack of commitment. And when gays are saying,’ We want to make a stronger commitment’, aren’t they holding a mirror up to the hetrosexuals?

    • I don’t really see this argument at all. Racial segregation never had it’s origins in scripture – the Apostle Paul understood that in Christ there is no segregation on those grounds. However the Apostle Paul also had a clear understanding that homosexual acts are not God’s design. I still believe God does not want us to be judgemental because not one of us is without sin but we should not try to rewrite the scriptures to fit in with current societal trends (after all the Corinthians knew a thing or two about these matters).

  6. All I know is that the C of E’s stance — reinforced by highhanded government legislation — is alienating people to whom God is reaching out. I see Jesus sitting on the wall outside, weeping, as he seeks to embrace those whom his church turns away: those who seek only to embrace one another in love, in faithfulness and honest commitment, who long for their relationships to be recognised on an equal footing with others.

    I weep with him, and my prayer is much simpler: Lord, have mercy.

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