Prayer of Tobiah

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This is the prayer Tobiah prayed on the night of his wedding to Sarah, who had prayed for death after her first seven husbands had been murdered on their wedding night by the demon, Asmodeus.

The original prayer

Tobit 8:5-7

Blessed are you, O God of our ancestors;
blessed be your name forever and ever!

Let the heavens and all your creation bless you forever.

You made Adam, and you made his wife Eve
to be his helper and support;
and from these two the human race has come.

You said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone;
let us make him a helper like himself.’

Now, not with lust,
but with fidelity I take this kinswoman as my wife.

Send down your mercy on me and on her,
and grant that we may grow old together.

Bless us with children.

Revised for those called to marriage

Blessed are you, O God of our ancestors;
blessed be your name forever and ever!

Let the heavens and all your creation bless you forever.

You made Adam, and you made his wife Eve
to be his helper and support;
and from these two the human race has come.

You said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone;
let us make him a helper like himself.’

We pray now for all to whom You have given
the vocation to marry.

May they give themselves completely to You and to each other,
acting not out of lust,
but from fidelity to your love at work within them.

Send down your mercy on our brothers and sisters,
whose faithful love for each other
stands as a sign of your love for Your People.

Grant that they may grow old together
and take delight in their children
and in their children's children.

Amen.

Revised for Modern Man

Dear God, I am so grateful that You do not exist.
I am a fluke of the universe,
brought into being by random mutation
and natural selection.

Since You, O Lord, do not exist
and could not be troubled by
such a meaningless fleck of the universe such as myself
even if you did exist,
I am free to do what pleases me.

I plan to have my will of this woman tonight.
May she, like me, think of this as an utterly meaningless act
by two insignificant people
in an uncaring universe.

I pray that we will find great pleasure in our union,
because then, perhaps, we can hook up again later.
But please spare me from all sexually transmitted diseases,
especially pregnancy.

I do not want to become one with this woman.
I do not want her to expect anything more from me
than an occasional fling, when I am in the mood
and can't find what I want elsewhere.

I do not want to father a child this night, O Lord,
for they are an endless burden.
The thought of making a commitment to this woman
is bad enough; perish the thought that I would ever
make a commitment to the child we might conceive tonight.

Please let nature be frustrated.
May the measures we take to have the pleasure of union
be utterly separated from all responsibility
to love each other
or to love our children.

I pray all this in my own name,
for I know no power greater than myself.
May my kingdom come, my will be done,
forever and ever. Amen.