For me and my siblings, the idea of mother and prayer are inseparable.
The four of us heard about God’s love first through our mother’s bedside prayers. She prayed throughout her entire life, and we were frequently the subject of her thanksgiving and requests.
I heard about God's love first through my mother's bedside prayers.Click To Tweet
Last year, we found Mom’s prayers tucked into books she was reading and magazines she was clipping. They sat at the top of her office desk drawer and marked favorite recipes in her well-worn cookbook. A treasured memory that was shared at her passing was that she was often caught on the church security camera sneaking in to pray between designated gatherings.
So now I find myself caught in the middle of messy Mother’s Day feelings.
I miss my momma. But I also miss my babies.
One thing I miss most about not having littles at home are the handmade Mother’s Day gifts that showed up on my kitchen table early that second Sunday in May. Flower pots adorned with tiny handprints, cards with carefully drawn letters of praise, a personalized paper mâché trinket box or construction paper frame. Treasures secretly created at preschool or even middle school that I still have, carefully packed away yet available to hold and touch when my heart is empty.
My Mother’s Day is different now. Calls and cards stand in for handcrafted gifts. But, as I learned from my own faithful mother, we don’t stop being mommas when our babies grow up or even when they move out. All of us, in our imperfect yet passionate way, lean and learn into our role of motherhood all our lives.All of us, in our imperfect yet passionate way, lean and learn into our role of motherhood all our lives.Click To Tweet
And as Mom demonstrated through her constant prayers on my behalf, we need intercession through the entire journey.
Bridging the generation and years between losing my own momma and watching my daughter become a momma herself, I have deepened my appreciation for all kinds of mothers. This month, as we search stores and websites for the perfect Mother’s Day gift for the mothers in our lives, I want to give you the best gift I know— the gift of prayers, especially the gift of words to borrow in prayer when words are hard to find. So I’m sharing with you some prayers I have written for mommas in the circumstances I’ve landed in, and it hits me that they’re actually (at least eventually) part of every mother’s story.
A PRAYER FOR MOMS WITHOUT THEIR OWN MOTHER
Father, I pray today for moms living without their own mother.
For little girls, all grown up, who still feel that tug to call home, but can’t. For mothers trying hard to do everything right, who need someone to tell them that they’re alright. For moms who feel cheated of a grandmother for their children.
Protect them, Lord, from harboring hate for what took their momma, or resentment for the way things should have been, or envy of those who still have their mommas with them.
But mostly, good Father, give them the understanding that on their own they’re not supposed to know everything, or be everything, or even to be an exact copy of their own mother. They are called to be the momma of the children they have, in the moment and circumstance they are living. And in doing so, they celebrate the gift they were given, however brief, in their own mother.
Give them this lifelong comfort, as only You can.
Through Jesus I pray, Amen.
For more about mother loss, Receiving the Baton.
A PRAYER FOR MOMS WITH CHRONIC ILLNESS
Father, I pray for the momma with chronic illness.
I pray for her health and strength, but mostly I pray that she understands You know her deepest disappointment: that she is not the mother she had hoped or planned to be. I pray that You provide her peace and purpose in who You made her to be and in the life You have given her. Give this momma assurance that it is only in human weakness that Your power is perfected. Help her to embrace the opportunity to join with You in creating that masterpiece.
Lord, help this momma to realize she is modeling resiliency by facing yet another day without a cure this side of Eternity. Help her to remember that she is a living example of Your hope by boldly facing her misunderstood physical challenges. And Lord, help her to understand that she is offering something few mothers can: an everyday, front-row seat to trusting You. I pray that she knows this: By trusting You to handle what the world cannot, she is giving her children a gift that far outweighs any other.
Wrap her in your comforting arms, faithful Father, carry her when she is weak and comfort her when she is worried. Give her a sense of Your presence in the pain and Your purpose in what may seem like a broken plan. Strengthen her body and guard her heart.
Help the momma with chronic illness to cling to Your Son who experienced our deepest pain points.
In Jesus’s precious name,
For more about chronic illness and parenting, 5 Lessons Chronic Illness Taught Me About Parenting Grown Children.
A PRAYER FOR MOMS OF FAR AWAY CHILDREN
Father, hold close the momma, like me, whose children are far away today.
Whether separated by circumstance, court orders, or choices, comfort her anxious heart. Help this mother to remember that while we want them close to us, we would rather have them close to You. Please take our moldable children and make them Your own, wherever that needs to be. Give them dreams and opportunities to get them there, and give us concerned mothers the resilience to be good with it.
Lord, it is hard-wired in us to want our children within arm’s reach, within our community, within driving distance. We want to share their lives. But as our world spreads out, our children are often taken into places we do not know. Comfort mothers who release children into your faraway plan, like Hannah did with Samuel.
Without our children here, our nests are too clean, too controlled, too calm. Help us learn to bend our vision for how mothering is supposed to look. Give us a wider lens to see your bigger plan in their absence. Grant us assurance that for some children, Your perfect plan is close to home. For others, Your best may require separation and distance.
Help the momma with faraway children to remember your faithful daughter Hannah. That she released her son Samuel to be raised to know You and to serve You and eventually appoint King David, the man after Your own heart.
Help us not to force our own plan to keep our children physically close. Help us not to covet the plan You wrote for someone else’s child. Give us Hannah’s strength and vision.
We bring this petition in the name of the Son You sent faraway for our sake,
Happy Mother’s Day to all the beautifully imperfect women taking on one of life’s biggest and best challenges.
Whatever stage or position you’re currently navigating, you are loved.