(Transcript of wedding service) - for audio click here
Our loving heavenly Father, God of grace, mercy and peace, our mighty and wonder working God, our loving and living God, our never-failing and never-changing God, God of eternity, God of perfection, God of holiness, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ who loved us and gave Himself for us, we come at Thy feet. We thank Thee for the happy day when our night was turned into day. We thank Thee for Thy mighty hand by which we have been pulled out of the miry clay. And we thank Thee for Thy unchanging love shed abroad by the Holy Spirit in our hearts. And we thank Thee for making us partakers of the Holy Spirit, partakers of the divine nature, partakers of the heavenly calling and heavenly glory, by giving us the gift of everlasting life. And we thank Thee for Thy grand and lofty purpose in saving us to show forth Thy manifold wisdom through us, unworthy vessels, to the powers and authorities in the heavenly places. We thank Thee for the honour given to us to hear Thee speak from Thy throne, day by day, according to our need. And we thank Thee for the glimpses of the glory and the beauty of the Lord Jesus Christ that Thou dost give us on earth, as we hear Thy word.
We thank Thee for the work of grace and salvation wrought by Thee in the hearts of Thy servant, Brother Zachariah Poonen and Sister Annie, who are to be joined together as life partners, in Thy presence, before Thy people and for Thy glory. We magnify Thee for all the favours they both have enjoyed so far from Thee. We thank Thee for Thy mighty hand which has led them so far. We magnify Thee for using them both as Thy purified vessels in so many ways. We thank Thee for making Thy will perfectly clear to them both, and to all concerned, about their union. We thank Thee for the desire given to both of them to glorify Thy name and to bring Thee satisfaction through their union. And we thank Thee for all who are here now Ė their loved ones, friends, relatives, strangers and fellow believers Ė to rejoice with them. And we humbly pray that they will all get their portion before they leave.
We pray that the Kingship and Lordship of the Lord Jesus Christ will be fully acknowledged by all this evening. May Thy order be revealed and maintained, Thy love be fully tasted, Thy grace be abundantly present here and Thy name be highly honoured. We claim victory over the enemiesí schemes Ė seen or unseen. And all who have worked so hard to get this compound ready be fully rewarded for their labour of love.
We pray in the Name of the Lord Jesus our Saviour.
Isaiah 30:21: ďAnd thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, ĎThis is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the leftíĒ.
We find in this verse a great secret Ė not only for those who are being joined together in marriage today, but also for all who are here Ė and for everyone. Godís Word can help us on every occasion. God wants to speak to us through His word wherever we go. Whoever you may be, you will find much help from this one verse alone for your entire life.
Do you know how to hear, discern and understand the voice of God? Your joy, your happiness, your success and your fruitfulness, all, depend on this Ė the ability to hear the voice of God, and the strength to obey that voice. What a joy and privilege and honour we have as believers to hear the voice of God.
But the sad thing is that very few believers know how to discern this voice. That is why many of them make so many mistakes. With their good intentions and many advantages, they still make many mistakes. But a mistake made in the matter of marriage is a very serious mistake Ė for it will bring life-long loss to you. We find so many professors, doctors, teachers and nurses having unhappy homes throughout the world. With many high hopes they began their married life. But after a few months they were disappointed. But by then it was too late. That is why hearing the voice of God is very important. God does speak Ė because He is a living God.
We thank God, that these two who are going to be joined together today have a testimony that their sins have been forgiven. They will tell you that themselves, later on. They are not being joined by uncles or aunts, or by neighbours or friends, or by money, or even by their looks! They are being joined by God. I can say truthfully that they are being joined by God. They have heard the voice of God, and that is why they are being joined by Him Ė not by anyone or anything else.
God does speak to us. Read His Word. Godís power is found in His voice. Psalm 49:4 says, ďThe voice of the Lord is powerful.Ē By the voice of God burdens disappear. By the voice of God questions are answered. By the voice of God fears go away. By the voice of God, we receive new love, new faith, new energy and new power. By the voice of God, we understand the ways of God. And thatís why we never get discouraged. We can handle any difficulty !
We donít become super-human by being born again. We still remain ordinary human beings. And thatís why people get married. At one time, you may have thought, ďI donít think Zachariah will ever get married.Ē But one day you heard the newsÖ..and then you asked, ďIs it the same Zachariah?Ē Yes, the same man, the very same man. He has not changed. He is as human as you are. He is not super-human.
We remain ordinary human beings even when we are born again. We all have common problems, common difficulties, common burdens, common trials and common temptations. But the difference is this: The voice of God. Some know how to hear Godís voice and obey. Others do not know - and thatís why they go under, in times of trial. But those who hear the voice of God overcome in times of trial Ė they go on conquering and triumphing all the time. Let there be any difficulty in their path. The will be more than conquerors by hearing Godís voice.
You can solve every problem if you go down on your knees and hear Godís voice. In every matter, for every question, for every problem and any difficulty Ė hear the voice of God.
Both of you can pray together and find Godís favour throughout every day. Read Godís Word together and hear Godís voice everyday. Thus you will hear Godís message for your friends, your enemies and your relatives. Hear His voice and find Godís will before going anywhere.
Thatís why I am giving you this verse Ė Isaiah 30:21 ďThine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, ĎThis is the way, walk ye in itíĒ. That is the only advice I am going to give you this evening. Both of you, wait patiently upon your knees every day Ė and if necessary, three or four times a day. Then obey Godís voice. It is very simple. The God of love will speak with you. He is a loving God. He has to speak with you. You can go to Him any number of times. You can ask Him any question Ė even out of the ordinary. Ask Him for His message for your friends, your neighbours, your enemies and also for your future plans.
Now, suppose God speaks to Zachariah one day saying, ďGo to ManipurĒ, or to any Ďpurí. He can tell his partner, ďGod spoke to me to go so far awayĒ. And she may say, ďSo far? So soon after our marriage? That cannot be!Ē The answer is here : Get on your knees. Donít argue. And then there will be no argument. When God says, ďGo to any placeĒ, go joyfully and happily. When God has spoken, we must obey Him. The voice of God will bring oneness, unity, fellowship and cooperation. Then there will be no jealousy, or contention, or strife, or partiality.
Zachariah and Annie are being joined together by God. They are being joined for Godís glory. And Zachariah is still Godís servant. That has not changed. He will continue to be Godís servant. He must obey God. Our prayer is that Zachariah will remain Godís servant. Obey God. And both of you, hear the voice of God.
I am sure both of them are going to be very much blessed by Him.(A prophecy) :
THROUGH THEIR UNION, MANY ARE GOING TO BE BLESSED BY HIM.
THEY ARE BEING JOINED FOR THE BLESSING OF MANY PEOPLE OF MANY COUNTRIES.
AND THE LIGHT OF GOD WILL SHINE BRIGHTLY BY THEIR UNION IN MANY PARTS OF THE WORLD Ė
PROVIDED THEY OBEY THE VOICE OF GOD.
We see in the Bible that when God spoke, His servants went. What God said they obeyed. So keep your ears sensitive to his voice.
The Bible says, ďHe who has ears, let him hearĒ (Rev.2:7). So, keep your ears very, very sensitive Ė everyday. Whatever you do, hear Godís voice Ė and may God bless you both.
Loving heavenly Father, I thank Thee for having saved me when I was in sin. Even though I called myself a Christian, I did not know Thee. But I thank Thee for Thy love which came seeking for me, and which sought me and found me, washed me and cleansed me in the blood, and made me a new creature and brought me into fellowship with Thyself. Loving Father, I thank Thee for that day when I could really look up to Thee and call Thee my own Father. Thank You Lord for that day. And I thank Thee that ever since that day, all these years, in spite of many failures, in spite of many ups and downs, how Thou hast kept me and held my hand by Thy mighty hand. Lord, I just praise Thee and worship Thee. O Lord, many pitfalls Thou hast saved me from. Many a snare of the devil Thou hast delivered me from. And I just praise Thee for every bondage from which Thou hast set me free. And I thank Thee, dear Lord Jesus, that Thou art a living Saviour to me in my experience Ė not just someone in history, but One living and resurrected Ė King of kings and Lord of lords. And I thank Thee Lord for that day when Thou didst ordain to call me to Thy service, O Lord, to preach Thy word. Lord, I thank Thee, even after that, in spite of many times in which I have not been what I should have been, and I have not been as faithful in my service as I should have been, yet Thou hast not left me Lord. I know from experience that Thy promise is true ďI will never leave you nor forsake youĒ. I thank Thee Lord for that unconditional promise Thou hast made to me in Thy word.
And I thank Thee dear Lord, for bringing me even to this day in my life, when Thou hast provided for me one whom Thou hast ordained from eternity to be my partner in the coming years of life. I thank Thee Lord. We pray as we offer ourselves together up to Thee this day, as one living sacrifice, that Thou wouldst consume it upon Thine altar. Lord, set Thy seal upon this day by sending Thy heavenly fire into our midst. Consume us, Lord, for Thy service. This is our only desire. We pray that our lives might bring glory to Thy Name Ė even if we donít have much of the things of this world, even if we donít have honour, reputation or fame, and Lord, even if it means reproach and sorrow and trials, and blood and sweat and tears. We pray, Thou wilt keep our hands on the plough until the very end; that we might not look back; that our lives might bring satisfaction to Thy heart daily, Lord. We beseech Thee that our lives might bring such satisfaction to Thy heart that Thou wouldst forget the thorns that pierced Thy brow and the nails that pierced Thy hand. Thou wilt see in our lives the travail of Thy soul and be satisfied. Lord, this is our desire; this is our only desire. We are not able, Lord, to live up to this, but we thank Thee for the power available to us by Thy Holy Spirit. And so Lord, we rest on Thee and in Thy name we go forth to face life together as those whom Thou hast ordained to be one, to glorify Thee.
So Lord, I ask, that Thou wouldst prepare me to be the husband that Thou dost expect me to be. And I pray dear Lord that Thou wouldst prepare me in every way for service in a greater measure than in the past days. And I thank Thee for Thy promise to me, that the glory of this latter house shall be greater than the glory of the former. I believe that this is true, Lord, for this is Thy word. Heaven and earth may pass away, but Thy word will not pass away. And so, Lord, trusting in the promises of Thy word, trusting in the strength that is available to me in Thy Spirit, Lord, I face this new responsibility. I ask Thee to cleanse me afresh at this time from every defilement in my unknown part. In every part of me, make me pure and holy fresh in Thy sight. Lord, I ask that Thou wouldst fill me with Thy Holy Spirit. We pray that through our lives, united together, rivers of living waters may flow. Dear Lord, whatever our past failures may have been, they may be cleansed away, blotted out of Thy sight according to Thy promise Ė ďTheir sins and iniquities I will remember no moreĒ.
And I pray dear Lord, in the coming years, Thou wouldst make us a blessing to everyone we meet, whether rich or poor. Take us anywhere Lord. Make us stand before the rich or the poor. That choice is not ours; it is Thine; and we will not try to influence it. Send us anywhere. We are Thy servants. We long to bring satisfaction to Thy heart. Our meat is to do Thy will. Our meat is this that when we come to the end of our life, we might be able to say that we have satisfied Thy heart, finished Thy work and done Thy will. Lord, this is our only desire that when we get up into glory, that day when we see Thee face to face, we might hear those joyful words from Thy lips saying, ďWell done, thou good and faithful servant.Ē to each of us. This is our desire, Lord. Help us. And if it be Thy will, Lord, even if it means that we shed our blood for Thee, prepare us for that. And Lord, weíre ready even for that. Just take us and fill us completely Lord, at this time Ė every bit of us, every single pie of money that we have, every bit of energy that there is in these bodies, and every bit of time that is ours, Lord, it is Thine. It is Thine Lord. To the best of our knowledge, we give ourselves to Thee. Accept us Lord.
We believe that Thou hast accepted us Ė and we praise Thee Lord. We worship Thee and adore Thee from our heart for this assurance Thou hast given us that Thou hast accepted us. Lord, we praise Thee. We crown Thee afresh, King of kings, Lord of lords, King of our lives. We confess again that Thou alone art worthy to receive all the glory and honour. And we offer this prayer in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Loving heavenly Father, Lord God, my King and my Redeemer, I also worship Thee for bringing me to this day. I thank Thee for saving me and for making me Thy possession. Lord, I thank Thee for all the joy Thou hast given me each day in my life. I thank Thee for the joy of having my sins fully cleansed and forgiven. I thank Thee that Thou hast made me Thine. I also surrender my body and my whole being to Thee, unconditionally. We surrender ourselves to Thee. We thank Thee that Thou hast accepted this sacrifice, and we pray that we might mean it every day of our lives, as long as Thou dost give us breath, and that our lives might be used for Thee to bring glory to Thee. We surrender all to Thee. We want our lives to bring satisfaction to Thee, Lord. We thank Thee for all the promises Thou hast given us. Thank Thee Lord that Thou art going before us. Thou art with us. Thou hast promised that Thou wouldst never leave us nor forsake us. Lord, we just praise Thee and bless Thee, and magnify Thee and adore Thee. In Jesusí precious Name. Amen.
Our Almighty God, and our loving heavenly Father, we again come today with our hearts full of joy and full of praise to Thee for what Thou hast wrought in the path of these two lives. We thank Thee, dear Lord, for their testimony. We thank Thee, Lord, for what the Lord has done in their lives, and we thank Thee, O Lord, for the seal that is within all our hearts that they are joined together in the will of God. We believe much prayer has gone up from many people, and we do praise Thee. And now, O Lord, we do look to Thee that the purpose for which thou hast joined them together may be fully fulfilled in the days to come. They do not know fully, nor do we, O Lord, just what lies ahead of them. But, we do thank Thee that together in the Lord, they can face every problem, and every trial, and every difficulty in the Lord. And we pray, O Lord, to keep them close to Thyself. We know, Lord, that the devil will seek in many ways to try and separate them from Thyself in many little subtle ways, in home-life, to somehow lure them. But we do pray in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that our brother and sister may be kept very, very close to the Lord, and the very vows and promises they have made may be truly fulfilled in their lives. We do ask Thee, dear Lord, to bless them both and to use them abundantly for Thy glory in these days to come. O Lord, we thank Thee for their yieldedness for the Lordís service. And Lord, Thou art needing men and women devoted entirely to Thee. And we do pray, Lord, to take our brother and sister and to use them for Thy glory and praise. We do ask Thee, Lord, that wherever their home is, it may be a fragrant home. It may be a home full of triumph; that all who enter into it and come into it may be aware of the presence of the Lord. And we do pray, dear Lord, to use their home for Thy glory and grant it may be that many may find the Lord Jesus Christ through coming into contact with them and in their home. And Lord, if Thou dost give them a family, we pray Thee to give them wisdom and understanding how to bring up children in the knowledge and the fear of the Lord. And we ask Thee, Lord, that the whole family may be for the glory of the Lord. So, our loving Father, we give Thee our praise for answering prayer for today. Thank you for many prayers that are going up today. We enter into all that prayer, and ask Thee, Lord, to fully fulfill it and abundantly glorify Thy name through both their lives in togetherness as heirs together of the grace of life. We ask this in the dear name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
There is so much that I have to be grateful to God for bringing me to this day. The Bible teaches that when Jesus puts forth His sheep, He goes ahead of them. And I want to share with you just a few things of what the Lord Jesus Christ has been in my life.
I was born in a Christian family; and so I thought I was a Christian automatically. I used to go to church, Sunday School, read the Bible, say my prayers, but I never knew Jesus Christ as a personal friend or Saviour. I knew about Him; I did not know Him as a personal friend. When I was 15, I joined the military academy, and I was there for 3 years; and then another year-and-a-half before I was commissioned in the Indian Navy.
And it was only then, when I was 19Ĺ, that I came to know the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour. Then I knew the Lord Jesus Christ not only as a Person in history but as a living Person who was with me wherever I went. Then I knew what real Christianity was. Then the words in the Bible became living to me, and my whole life was changed. Jesus Christ turned my life upside down from that time. Up till that time, my ambition in life was to become the Admiral of the Indian Navy. But when Jesus Christ took possession of my life, He showed me the valuelessness of earthly things. He opened my eyes to see the value of things which were eternal. And He showed me that there were things far more important than the things I was striving for. From then on, I longed to please Him. My earthly ambitions went away. They were replaced by something higher and purer. Jesus set me free from the bondage of Satan.
And in 1964, on the 6th of May, the Lord Jesus called me for His service. I remember it so clearly that I cannot forget it Ė for He called me so clearly from His word. It wasnít a manís call; it wasnít my own feeling. And the Lord proved to me that that was His call by releasing me from the Navy in an impossible situation. That was a confirmation to me that the Lord had called me. That was a confirmation to me that Jesus Christ, still had (and even today has) all authority in heaven and in earth.
And then, as Brother Bakht Singh just said, I thought I would never get married. I sincerely thought that at that time; and I was willing to be single if the Lord called me for it. But there comes a time in life when the burdens of the Lordís work need to be shared. We read that when the children of Israel sent spies into the land of Canaan, they brought back the grapes of Eshcol. And one man could not carry the bough himself; he needed somebody else to carry the other end of the bough with him. So, I came to that realization too, that I needed somebody else at the other end of the bough to carry the fruit of Christ to this world. And itís very wonderful how the Lord led me to find the one whom He had chosen for me. I can honestly say before the Lord, I never sought or hunted for a wife. Even as Adam did not go to God saying, ďLord, give me a wifeĒ, I did not go to God. It was the Lord who saw Adamís need and provided the one whom He knew would fit Adamís need. And in just the same way, the Lord showed me too. This may seem very strange to you, but I know in experience that the same God who led Adam, led me. It was not a different God who provided Adam his wife Ė it is the same God. He is as living today as in Adamís time. And He is as interested in you and me as He was in Adam.
And the Lord showed me His will so clearly Ė through circumstances, through the inner witness of the Holy Spirit as I prayed for many weeks and through the witness of fellow-believers mature in the Lord with whom I prayed. And one day, in my quiet time, the Lord gave me such a clear word. I wasnít looking for it, but I found it. When I was reading my quiet-time portion one night Ė it was the day I decided Ė that night my quiet-time portion was Ezekiel 44. As I read verse 15 and 16, I thought of those who were to serve the Lord full-time Ė who were to stand before the Lord all the time. Then I came to verse 22, and it said there about these full-time workers taking wives. I was amazed as I saw that verse. I never realized that God could speak so clearly. I wasnít looking for this verse. In fact, if I had hunted for that verse, I probably wouldnít have found it. But the Lord speaks. If we have a regular quiet time, He speaks. He has spoken to me many times as clearly as this, and thatís how the Lord led me to this day.
Our desire together is to bring glory to the Lord Jesus. The Lord knows our hearts that we no longer seek the riches and honour of this world anymore Ė for they are rubbish in the sight of God. There are so many desires the Lord has given us in our hearts to bring satisfaction to Him. And this hymn which we just sung is something which the Lord helped us to compose to express the desire of our hearts to serve Him. And these words express that which we long to do, although, as we have said here, we find in our strength unable to do, but able in His strength.
So, we would ask you to pray for us. Many of you have been praying for us regularly. And we are really grateful to each one of you who have prayed so much for this day. I know that this day would never have come if it were not for many, especially servants of the Lord, who have been praying for me. I am so grateful to so many of you who have come from such distances to express your love and affection for us.
Above all, let me say this: There is something which will bring far greater joy to our hearts Ė and that is if you too experience the Lord Jesus as living in your life. Let me invite you to open your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ. There is as much difference between Christianity by name and Christianity in experience as there is between heaven and earth. May the Lord lead you into that which He has led us into. Thank you each one for coming.
I also want to share with you a few things for the glory of God. Very early in my childhood, my father had taught me that it was not enough to be a Christian just in name. I praise God for giving me a day, 11 years ago, when He helped me to turn to Him. Then He opened my eyes to see what a wretched sinner I was. And even now, thatís what I am. And He showed me what a lot the Lord suffered for me. I praise Him for that because that made a lot of difference in my life. Many of my decisions thereafter, the Lord helped me to base on that. So I praise God and give glory to the Lord for that. A few months after that, the Lord helped me to obey Him in the waters of baptism. And thereafter the Lord has been leading me and teaching me so many things. When I came to medical college Ė it was the Lord Who selected me Ė He showed me that He wanted me to work in a certain leprosy hospital. And the Lord taught me much by preparing me for that hospital. And He kept my consecration to Him because of that decision. For that also, I give all the glory to God. Often, I would have left that consecration, but the Lord kept on reminding me of that consecration.
And when I was praying regarding my marriage, the Lord spoke to me very definitely and He gave me much peace in my heart that this was His will. I was reading that day from Luke chapter 12 Ė and the Lord spoke to me in a new way through verses 29 to 31. ďThink not what you shall eat or what you shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.Ē
The Lord gave me much peace, because marriage can often mean what verse 29 implies - earthly things can easily come in between. So I am grateful to the Lord for giving me this verse Ė as to what to seek first. A few weeks ago, the Lord gave me a definite experience to show me that I was in His will. And He gave me the assurance that He had anointed me with His Holy Spirit. At that time, He gave me a verse which again, is very precious to me Ė 2 Corinthians 4:18, ďWe look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.Ē The Lord showed me, how in my past life, many of the things I was looking for, were temporal things. And He had to open my eyes to show me that I should look for eternal things, and work for Him from the point of view of eternity.
The Lord spoke to me also through Psalm 45:10, 11 and 16: ďHearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear: Forget also thine own people, and thy father's house. So shall the king greatly desire thy beautyÖ..Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earthĒ. (This sentence was accidentally not recorded in the audio recording).
I praise God for bringing each of you here to share with us in our joy. God bless you.
It was in the Christmas week of 1939, when my son, Zachariah, was a little babe, two months old, that Brother Bakht Singh came to our house in Coimbatore, took up this little boy and dedicated him to God, and prayed that God might use him as His servant. We thank God that his prayer has been answered. I thought when he was a Naval Officer, that Brother Bakht Singhís prayer has not been fully answered. But Godís ways are mysterious, and He turned it around so that Br. Bakht Singhís prayer was fully answered.
Lord Jesus Christ, we bow in full surrender,
For Thou hast purchased us on Calvary;
Now we are Thine, and Thine alone forever,
And Thou our portion for eternity.
Far more than all our asking and our thinking,
Have been Thy blessings on our lives, dear Lord;
With praise and song our grateful hearts are ringing
For binding us with Love's eternal cord.
We seek to serve Thee, conscious of our weakness,
Knowing full well that we are poor and frail;
Yet knowing too that Thy almighty fullness
Will be our strength and we shall never fail.
We want the fellowship of Thy affliction;
We want to glory only in Thy Cross;
Our one desire - to give Thee satisfaction;
And we shall count all earthly gain as loss.
Reproach and scorn, this world may heap upon us;
Sorrows and trials may lie in our way;
Still we would walk with Thee alone, Lord Jesus,
Still we would love Thee more and more each day.
Give us the joy of helping others daily -
Sharing their griefs, their burdens and their tears;
O help us, Lord, to turn their eyes to Calv'ry
To find deliv'rance from their sins and fears.
Lord, fill us with Thy Spirit's mighty power;
Make us a blessing to each one we meet;
O let Thy life flow through us like a river,
And help us spread abroad Thy savour sweet.
We only long to do Thy will forever,
Only and ever, Lord, to live for Thee;
Then one glad day we'll reign with Thee in splendour,
And share Thy glory through eternity.
O GOD OF LOVE, Thou hast established marriage for the welfare and happiness of mankind. Thine was the plan and only with Thee can we work it out with joy. Thou hast said, ďIt is not good for man to be alone. I will make a help-meet for him.Ē
Now our joys are doubled since the happiness of one is the happiness of the other. Our burdens are halved now, for when we share them, we divide the load.
Bless this husband. Bless him as provider of nourishment and raiment, and sustain him in all the exactions and pressures of his battle for bread. May his strength be her protection, may his character be her boast and her pride; and may she always find in him the haven for which the heart of woman truly longs.
Bless this loving wife. Give her tenderness that will make her great, a deep sense of understanding and a great faith in Thee. Give her that inner beauty of soul that never fades Ė that eternal youth that is found in holding fast the things that never age.
Teach them that marriage is not living merely for each other; but two uniting and joining hands to serve Thee.
Give them a great spiritual purpose in life. May they always seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness Ė and find that all the other things they need on earth are added to them.
May they not expect that perfection of each other that belongs only to Thee. May they minimize each other's weaknesses, be swift to praise and magnify each other's points of beauty and strength, and see each other through a lover's kind and patient eyes.
Make such assignments to them on the scroll of Thy will, as will bless them and develop their character as they walk together. Give them enough tears to keep them tender, enough hurts to keep them humane, enough weakness to keep their hands clenched tightly in Thine, and enough success to make them sure that they walk with Thee.
May they never take each other's love for granted, but always experience that breathless wonder that exclaims, "Out of all this world, you chose me.
When life is done and the sun is setting, may they be found then, as now, hand in hand, still thanking God for each other.
May they serve Thee happily, faithfully, together, until at last they both meet Thee in the air or (if Thou dost tarry), until one shall lay the other into the arms of God.
This we ask through Jesus Christ, great Lover of' our souls.