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Prayers by and for Mothers
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These prayers are offered in the spirit of our common experience - every one of us has been borne by a mother. Our mothers may be part of our everyday lives or live far away. Perhaps our communications are strained. Maybe our mother is no longer living. We may know of a young mother, living in the chaos of a newborn, who needs our prayers. Or one who lives in the darkness of dementia. These prayers from the heart are offered for mothers everywhere.
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Loving God, how can I thank you for the generous woman who gave us her child? Our years of sorrow and emptiness ended with a phone call and a new child in our home. We rejoiced in the utter happiness that this birth mother - and her child - gave us then. We have received so much joy over the years.
We think of this special mother, Lord, this generous woman who bore our child. The one who went through the discomfort of pregnancy and the pains of birth - only to hand her child over to someone else to love and care for.
Please, God, bless the life of this incredibly noble woman. She gave me the great gift of motherhood, and I can imagine the cost to her: an empty spot in her own heart where this child we somehow share, will always abide.
Bless her life, dear Lord. Give her an abundance of happiness and love and family. Please let her feel the prayers we have for her on each birthday of our child, each Mother's Day. We think of her with reverence and love and inexpressible gratitude.
Dear God, she seems to bear the weight of the world on her shoulders, but to carry it more lightly than I think I would. I see her balancing work and home, money and no money, friends who no longer make time to see her, and I send up a prayer for her.
Her old friends have moved on with their lives, and in truth, she doesn't have much in common with them anymore. She is lonely, loving God. She would like company but doesn't want to make time for new relationships because her waking hours are already full: she is a mother. She walks when gas is too expensive for the car and forgoes new clothes so her child can have shoes.
This is not how her life started out, but circumstances changed from her life of privilege to this life she embraces so fully. Her life is difficult and she seems so tired much of the time, but I am inspired by the love she has for her child.
Give her the strength to put in long hours each day; the courage to face those who dismiss her with blaming and knowing nods; the ability to maintain her loving life at home; and the deepest knowledge in her heart that you love her.
Dear Lord, today I turn to you to give you thanks for my mother. With
your own gift of life, she bore me in her womb and gave me life. She tenderly,
patiently cared for me and taught me to walk and talk. She read to me
and made me laugh. No one delighted in my successes more; no one could
comfort me better in my failures. I am so grateful for how she mothered
me and mentored me, and even disciplined me.
"Take Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory,
Please bless every mother who has Alzheimer’s disease.
She was with us children as we learned to walk.
She taught us to cross streets and be safe.
She held us close in the terrors of the darkest nightmares.
She cooked thousands of meals over decades of time.
She changed diapers, Lord, and served you each time she did.
Loving God, the familiar eyes of my mother
Help her accept the surrender of her life these days.
Give us, her family, the patience, courage and acceptance
Father of Life,
We thank you for the expectant mother who carries this growing hope in her life and into our world. Bless her and the living promise of this child and help her to manage the mix of joys, fears and anxieties she may have about the time ahead.
As she watches her body change, may she grow in your own loving kindness and compassion. Let her be inspired by Mary and Joseph who model a loving family life and give her the courage to guide her children in a faith-filled life.
Be with her in her gladness these days and deepen her faith, so that labor might be a time of strength and prayer. Guard the health of her baby and give her the peace of mind that may so often seem elusive in this time.
With your grace, she will be ready for the end of this expectant time and ready to take on the joys and challenges of parenthood.
May she praise you with Mary:
Dear Lord, relying on your promises to us, I turn to you in trust that my mother is with you and that she is enjoying your loving embrace. You alone know how she loved the best she could and how she faithfully endured the struggles that she faced. You know the graces you gave her and you know the grace she was for me and for so many. For all the ways she truly loved the way you loved her, please reward her, Lord. May she enjoy the communion of all her family and friends who are with you.
Lord, I know my mother still loves us who are still here on earth. I ask you that you might listen to her fervent prayers for us. Help me to grow into a new and deeper relationship with my mother now, as I long for the day when we will both meet in your embrace - freed from all that might have hindered our relationship on earth, knowing and understanding everything we did not know or understand on this earth.
I ask you this with faith in the resurrection, trusting my mother's love, and desiring that she know my love for her. Amen.
The Cathedral of Home
My life is upside down, loving God. The order of the world is out of place and I can’t do anything to right it again. Oh, Lord, you know the pain in my heart at all times and you know why: my child has died. How can it be that my beloved child is gone? The child I cared for with such concern in every illness, the one I held close to my heart and promised to take care of for a lifetime, is not here for me to care for anymore. It hurts deeply that I wasn’t able to protect this child I love with my whole being from a death that seems so unfair.
Let me feel calm. Let me breathe deeply. Be with me in this kind of deep and transformative pain. I now carry this darkness with me on my back and in my heart, always. It is my burden and my companion.
Lord, there is not a single minute of my life when this loss is not etched so keenly into my brain and heart, whether it is in the middle of a busy day or in those choking moments of grief in the solitary dark of night. Let me be grateful for every minute we had together. Let me treasure those memories and find joy in them.
Help me to deal with people better. They don’t know what to say. They stumble and look away when they see me. They pretend nothing has happened. I know they “don’t want to remind me” but they don’t understand it is with me always, always.
Teach me, Lord. Tell me what you want me to do with this. What am I supposed to learn from this kind of pain? What are you calling me to do?
Open my battered heart and lead me to comfort and peace. Only you can give me the peace I need. Let me feel your presence in my life.
My mother is gone, loving God. I am so grateful I was at her side as she breathed her last, her agony complete. She lived a full and complete life and all of us felt relieved, for a moment, when she finally slipped away to be at your side.
But now I am left with the sorrow and grief. My mother is gone. My mother who had been a part of my life for each day of it, is not here. I have such a sadness and it surprises me.
In her years of Alzheimer's, it seemed as if she died a little each day. The differences were almost invisible, but real. She responded less, sang less, prayed less. She became unsteady on her feet, then she couldn't walk, then she no longer spoke. Finally, her loving eyes gazed on me with no recognition.
Watching that decline was hard over the years and I grieved every time I saw her. I was letting her go with each visit as she slowly moved through the sacred "thin spaces" to be with us a little less each day, and as she drew a little closer to you each day.
Help me to rejoice with my mother in her new life of the resurrection. This is what her faith taught her and help that belief bring me comfort in my sorrow.
My Loving Creator,
You know how really tired I am. On days when things are really frantic, I consider how you made the world in seven days -- and then I try to remember that you aren't asking me to re-create that feat.
Please help me to remain a loving mother to my children and to keep some balance in my life. Help me to remember that you are with me in every packed hour of every day. As I am finishing a work project or planning dinner or buying the kids shoes, (sometimes all at the same time) help me to remember your loving care for me and let me sometimes stop for a moment and just wallow in that.
Most of all, my caring Father, let me remember to ask for help and to rely on you for strength when I have none left; for patience when mine is so often gone; and for the wisdom and endless well of compassion and love I need in my job as mother.
Prayer of an Infertile Couple
I assumed that when we were ready for babies, we would have them. How could it be that month after month I feel so sharply the pain and disappointment of that "failure." The Bible does not comfort with words like "barren" to describe that ancient disgrace.
I am happy for our friends who call us with the joyous news of their expectations, but it is like another pain in my heart. I want to be there to celebrate with them but my battered emotions are numb to the joy of another baby shower, another baby gift.
We want to adopt, but we are not ready yet. Heal us, loving God, from the sense that if we adopt, we are somehow "abandoning" our child -- the child we have not had but long for so deeply.
Give us the patience to support each other in our sorrow and may this pain bring us together in the grace of our marriage. Bless us with ability to see more clearly where you are calling us to serve in this time in our life, when our sorrow sometimes outweighs our generosity and our self-focus lets us forget others. Be with us, heal us and let us feel your love blessing this marriage.
Prayer of a Mother whose children are no longer at home
"Remember not the events of the past, the things of long ago consider not; See, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?" - Isaiah 43:18-19
What is this new thing you are doing in me?
My life is and has been so very full. Each day it has been shaped by
the miracle of being a mother. For so many years my every moment was intently
set on the world of raising my children. I was so keenly aware that my
family was some wondrous way that you and I share our love for each other.
You have given me my children and husband as a way of showing me your
great love - and the way I love my family was a response to you.
Prayer While Doing Laundry
I fill the washer with my husband's shirts and socks, and ask that you bless him as he wears them to work each day. Give him the grace to see that his work is holy and open his eyes to see the sacredness of each moment of life.
As I sort the tiny socks or the overalls of the children, I smile and remember how blessed I am to have them in my life.
I sort the larger teenage clothing and wonder at how fast these clothes have become larger sizes - and how quickly children grow up. I ask your help as I guide them through each new phase of their lives.
Give me a love that is endless, a heart that forgives them and the humility to ask for their forgiveness when that is right. Help me keep them from danger, and help me to let go and trust you when it is time to do that.
I try so hard to be perfect but lead me to remember that it is here in the smudged, disorganized and disheveled part of life that I find you the nearest.
Thank you, dearest Lord, for so much grace in my life!
As I turn to you, Lord, my heart is troubled. You know the journey that brought my children to where they are today. I am so sorry for whatever my husband or I might have done wrong, Lord. Our children don't seem to practice the faith we tried to hand on to them. Their values are so different from ours. It breaks my heart to see them passing those same values on to their children, my grandchildren.
Oh, Lord, I place them in your hands. I surrender the judgments and anger that can fill me. I know that, at times, in my frustration and desire to help them, I have pushed them farther away. Give me the graces I need to change my heart. Fill me with your mercy and forgiveness for my sins so that I might grow in the ability to forgive and embrace my kids with compassionate love. Let me be a healer of wounds, rather than a wound-er. Let me build bridges of understanding. I know that is the only way I will be able, with your grace, to heal our relationship.
Father of Love, help my kids grow in gratitude to you. Help them to find you in their busy lives. Help me to affirm them and support them with love, that they might recognize authentic faith and love, and turn to you in their time of need.
Thank you, Lord. Thank you.
I thank you that she gave me life and nurtured me all those years. She gave me my faith, helping me to know you and to know Jesus and his ways. She taught me how to love and how to sacrifice for others. She taught me that it was okay to cry and that I should always tell the truth.
Bless her with the graces she needs and which you want to give her today. Help her to feel precious in your eyes today and to know that I love her. Give her strength and courage, compassion and peace.
Bless her this day with your love.
For Mothers Coping with Moody Teenagers
I've had it, Lord! I really am at the end of my rope. You know how much I love this child. Only you know the thousands of times I have prayed to you for the safety, wisdom, health, happiness and life dreams for this beloved child of mine.
But right now this child has turned into a mouthy, moody, sullen and non-communicative teenager. My prayers now are asking for guidance and patience for me. Help me, Lord!
Sometimes at night I can find my loved child asleep and peaceful and I remember all over again with a great rush of love, just why you blessed me as a mother. But today, this week, this month, it's just hard.
Help me to remember in every situation that I love this child deeply and with all of my heart. Give me the wisdom to say the right thing - and the wisdom to say nothing when that is the right thing. Give me patience. Help me to remember that this struggle against me is a part of growing and becoming an adult. I want to remember that it is hard for both of us, and that I am at least the one who has memories of my own experience of those years.
Help me to keep a cool head, loving God. I am humbled by my powerlessness at times. Let me remember that I am not in control and never have been. You are. Thank you.
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