I was going through our wedding photos this morning to finally have them printed and I was so moved by one of the photos. It’s not the first time I’d seen it, but it hit me differently as I noticed and was moved by the people in it and what they were doing…
As Ed and I went about planning our wedding, we tried really hard to always remember that the main purpose of our wedding ceremony was to honor God, recognize the gift of marriage that He has given us, and to publicly declare our commitment to serve God together as we go about the rest of our years here on Earth. So we decided to do two things during our ceremony to ensure that that happened…1) a candle lighting ceremony and 2) a time of prayer.
At the beginning of our wedding, our Moms started the candle lighting ceremony as they both lit a taper candle. My Mom lit my candle and Ed’s Mom lit his candle. Later on, Ed and I each took our individual candles and lit a shared, larger candle, as we blew out the individual ones…symbolizing the two of us now becoming one. I love that our Mom’s got to light our candles. It’s so beautifully symbolic of their influence in our lives as they each poured so much into us to help us become who we are today…but that’s a story for another day 🙂
After Ed and I lit our unity candle, we invited our family and friends to come and pray over us. It was a powerful moment, with heads bowed, hands reached out to touch us, soft smiles, tears, and focused prayers. But what got me when I looked back at the photo was the reaching. It’s hard to see if you just buzz past the photo like I did, but if you look more closely, my Dad and my Grandma are both further back but reaching out to be able to lay hands on us and pray for our marriage. It really moved me to think that it was so important to them not just to pray for us, but to have their hands on us while they prayed.
It reminded me of Jesus. It reminded me of how deeply He desires to reach out and touch us and our lives. No matter far away we stray, He will always be there, reaching, if we stop to look back to see Him. We can never get too far away from Him to reach us.
The other reason it reminds me of Jesus is because in the New Testament of the Bible, Jesus often laid His hands on people as He prayed for them. He’d lay hands on the sick to heal them and on children to bless them. More than that, the laying of hands was a way to recognize new leadership or to commission new callings and to pass on blessings to people as they began a new work or ministry…and that is exactly what we did that day and why this photo will continue to bless me every time I see it and that is why I will treasure it in my heart and remember the blessings poured out upon us on our wedding day so intentionally and purposefully.
It is a reminder of the power of prayer. May we pray emphatically and with purpose and intention, each and every day. There is A NEED to pray over people every day. Prayer gives us a visible, tangible, and powerful experience with God. I’m so thankful for prayer and that God has given us a way to communicate with Him because He loves us so much. I’m so thankful that He has given us a way to feel His power and love as He reaches out for us.
I know I’ll be spending time in prayer today. It’s something I often put off, but God’s been teaching me a lot lately about making myself available to Him, and one of the main ways to do that is through prayer. One of my favorite songs is called Talking to Jesus by Elevation Worship. It’s such a beautiful, simple, and powerful song about how to pray. Let’s start there today…<3