Rebekah Rains, Paul McKenzie and I put together this prayer for our church this Mother’s Day.
We know that though Mother’s Day is a wonderful time for so many, there are also hundreds of thousands who dread church on Mother’s Day – so many have pain and hurt connected to that day and are so afraid of how the church might recognize mothers.
Who is a mother? Who counts? My wife and I have had 3 miscarriages, 3 biological kids, 1 adopted child, and 2 foster children, some specially claimed spiritual children and, I hope, hundreds of others impacted by us as parents for them… so how many do we have?
I remember at one of our churches, we did the “all the mothers stand up…” and the pastor would count up and mothers would sit when the number surpassed the number of children they had.
Later, my wife and I discussed how long she should have kept standing. And we kind of decided that church needed to be more aware of real life.
Anyway, here is the prayer and the introduction.
Perhaps for you today is a day that is nothing but a joy to recall and celebrate.
Perhaps today is hard; maybe your relationship the very concept of “mom” is difficult at best.
Perhaps you celebrate, as your definition of what a mom is has been broadened to include those who have blessed you with the examples of God’s maternal traits, and you have learned to pass those along as well.
Perhaps every year there is an aspect of grief over a loss in your family.
Or perhaps today is simply the day you do not have to choose where to go out to eat…or you do get to, for a change.
Any woman representing the maternal aspects of the character of God is a mother. His strong, nurturing, sacrificial, warm and compassionate traits are the cosmic standard of mothering.
All of us have at least one mom, who took the role of giving birth to us. Most of us have hundreds or thousands of women who have been moms to us, representing those aspects of God.
We want to take advantage of the fact that our culture celebrates moms today by praying for them in a special way here…
So, Lord, we ask that you pour out your special blessings to those who represent you maternal aspects today:
God, thank you for your gift of mothers (James 1:17).
Thank you that you give us spiritual life like a mother gives us physical life (Isaiah 46:3-4).
Thank you that you won’t forget us like a mother who won’t forget the child she cares for (Isaiah 49:14-15).
Thank you that you give peace and comfort like a mother comforts a little one (Isaiah 66:12-13).
And thank you that we, like the apostle Paul, can claim spiritual mothers in our lives. (Romans 16:13).
And thank you for the all the mothers who display such truths to us (Proverbs 6:20).
And thank you for providing many moms of the gospel whom we count as a blessing from you (Mark 10:29-30).
May you bless them and keep them, make your face shine upon them, and give them your peace (Numbers 6:24-26).
We ask your special blessing on all mothers:
We thank you for mothers… In the trenches, seeking to create Christ followers by rocking, changing diapers, Band-Aids… giving medicine, listening, loving, hoping, giving keys and curfews, planning weddings, holding grandchildren and great grandchildren – theirs and others – and praying and praying and praying.
So we pray for them too…
We lift up today the
Birth mothers who gave up their children,
Mothers whose children have died,
Mothers who have had miscarriages or adoptions that fell through,
Mothers of aborted babies,
Future mothers in the midst of the challenges of infertility,
Mothers waiting for adoption,
Moms of many and moms of one,
Moms who have broken relationships with their children…
Our mothers. My mothers… my mother.
In Jesus’ name… Amen