The Prayer of a Father


Image may contain: 7 people, including Holly Domin Lautzenheiser, Kylie Lautzenheiser, Trey Lautzenheiser and Tela Lautzenheiser, people smiling, people standing, wedding, tree and outdoor

My oldest son got married in 2018. It was a day of mixed emotions and despite him not having lived at home for over a year, I was filled with emotions, both sadness of the young boy he was, riding on my shoulders and climbing on my lap, but emotions of joy on the man he has become. It was a great honor that he and his new wife asked me to say the prayer before dinner.

I wrote it down, but as it was a chaotic day I left it at home and had to just wing it. What I wrote and what I said was pretty close so my message came across. Today while looking through some writings, I came across the prayer I had written and as I read it, I realized that what I had written for the start of a new phase of their lives, applies to us on a daily basis, I felt it would be interesting to read it anew with that in mind.

Heavenly Father, we thank you for today.

Each day is a gift from God. Every morning I wake up and thank God for another day of life to spend with my loved ones and to serve him. And on those days that I forget or get too “busy” to say that small thank you, I usually realize it early into my day as I feel that things just aren’t going smoothly. That simple statement of thanks is always appropriate to give as every moment is a gift from God.

For allowing us to come together to witness the joining of Trey and Kylie in marriage.

We gathered that day to witness a marriage between a man and a woman that fell in love. That day, our son left our side and joined as one with his new wife.

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. – Genesis 2:24

When they were united in marriage, before God, they became one. My wife and I have been married for 27 years now and we are truly one. We joined together not only to make a marriage, a home and four wonderful children, but have joined together in one mind in our love of God and our need of a savior, trusting in Jesus Christ as that savior.

We thank you for the fine young man and woman they have grown up to be.

Trey and Kylie have grown into wonderful adults. We as parents are given our children by God, to care for just a short time. Seemingly too soon, they grow and become independent of us. Not that our love fades for them at all, in fact it grows each day, but they grow in the image of God and begin their own life journey with Jesus. Our hope and prayer for them, is that they grow deeper in love with Christ each day. That they realize there need for him and include him in all parts of their lives. I’m nearing 50 and still learning to give my all to Jesus. I try to hold back pieces for myself, but I’ve learned over time that holding things back is not what God wants from us. He wants everything. The good, the bad and the ugly. He can turn our faults into things for his good. He can use us in ways we can not even imagine.

We pray that they honor you through their love and commitment to one another.

As they journey through their married life, how they love each other, their commitment to one another should be a reflection of God’s love for his church. Total devotion, speaking as one, putting each other first…all these things are clear examples of God’s love for us. People watch, their children pay attention, they will see how they treat one another. By loving one another, they are honoring God and what he has done for us.

We ask for your blessings upon them throughout their lives.

Of course they will go through their ups and downs through life. My wife and I have been through many, but through it all, we have shared a love and direction that has given us strength to make it through. Without one another, we wouldn’t have. Every day we wake up is a blessing from God. When we get to see our loved ones, it’s a blessing from God. The memories we have of those that have passed away, is a blessing from God. I pray for my children and their families that God will bless them with life, love and a faith in Him.

We pray that you bless this food and the hands that prepared it.

We partake in a celebration of their new life together by coming together for a meal. Following God is a daily celebration. Many think that by following God, we are bound by rules and life would be no fun. However, what I’ve found is that I’ve never felt more free and joyful. God’s people follow in the footsteps of Jesus and of the early church when they broke bread together in celebration of what God has done.

And we ask for you to join us in this celebration of their marriage.

We ask for God to join us in the celebration. God isn’t a distant, impersonal God. He knows all our names, our fears, our interests. Ask God to join you in all that you do and you will fully see God move in your life. God joined us that day as he put his blessing upon Trey and Kylie and celebrated with us their joining.

And most of all, we thank you for your son Jesus Christ and the love he shows for us.

Jesus is the way, the only way to salvation. We thank him for who he is and what he’s done. Christ is the answer. The door is always open. Jesus will change you and your marriage from the inside out. We can come before God, because Jesus says “They are with me!”

In Jesus name, Amen

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