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Praying Prayers

Praying Prayers

I had the privilege of officiating a wedding this weekend. This one was a celebration beginning to end. It was also about the most informal thing I’ve ever been a part of – all the way down to the shorts and the flip flops.

But in one way it was not. The bride and groom wanted the good old Book of Common Prayer ceremony start to finish.

It was my first time going by the book start to finish. I’ve used parts of it before but there is this prayer near the end I’ve never prayed before.

When I did, it gave me chills.

I thought I’d share it with you, and may it be a blessing to you as it was to me this weekend.

“Most gracious God, we give you thanks for your tender love in sending Jesus Christ to come among us, to be born of a human mother, and to make the way of the cross to be the way of life. We thank you, also, for consecrating the union of man and woman in his Name. By the power of the Holy Spirit, pour out the abundance of your blessing upon this man and this woman. Defend them from every enemy. Lead them into all peace. Let their love for each other be a seal upon their hearts, a mantle about their shoulders, and a crown upon their foreheads. Bless them in their work and in their joys and in their sorrows; in their life and in their death. Finally, in your mercy, bring them to that table where your saints feast for ever in your heavenly home; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

So good. So beautiful.

It starts with love and leads us to the cross and gives us hope for the here-and-now blessing of a relationship with Jesus and the here-to-come life that we have in him.

It’s a prayer and promise to all people, married or single, old or young, rich or poor, male or female.

Amen.

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Ned Erickson

Ned is the Founder and Executive Director of the Winston-Salem Fellows, a non-profit dedicated to equipping people to live seamless lives as they grow into the men and women they were created to be. He is the author of four books, including the critically acclaimed novel Clay. He, his wife, two children, dogs, rabbit, guinea pig, turtle, and chickens live in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

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