Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
Psalm 127:3-5 (ESV)
My dear sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ, and most particularly today, the ones who are raising little ones for the Kingdom of God; how we need to cover not only our children in prayer but also ourselves as their mothers! I find it so much easier to pray for others than to pray for myself—but, oh, how naïve and simplistic that is! How prideful, to even pretend to think that I can get by without praying for myself. Because I need so much prayer, and especially in this wonderfully huge but terrifyingly small work of motherhood. Oh, Lord have mercy upon us!
Sisters who are mothers, please kneel with me at the feet of our Father while we bring Him our motherhood… and sisters who know mothers, please kneel alongside us and pray for us as well. We need Jesus and His grace, and we want to walk together in this journey of seeking the Kingdom to come on earth and specifically in its manifestations in the work of motherhood. Pray with me now, inserting your own personal tweaks, requests, and names as we go:
Lord of all creation, Father of all mercies, King of our hearts and homes,
Please hear us as we bring our petitions before You, and as we seek Your face today in our calling of motherhood—in all of its joys, challenges, enormity, smallness, victories, defeats, the miraculous and the mundane. You who once were knit inside Your mother, O Lord Jesus, (Luke 1:31, 35) You know what it is to dwell in a womb, to nurse on a breast, to cry in the night, to need food and clothing and snuggles and teaching—to need a mother. Hear us, Jesus, and grant that our requests would be heard and holy in the ears of Your Father, our Father.
We praise You and we bless Your name, for we know that You sit high in the heavens and that all things are under Your feet, including the daily and repetitive things. Oh Lord, You are the One that designed the daily rising and setting of the sun. You ordained repetition and routine, so please help us to embrace it and glory in it, resting in Your sovereignty even when the daily threatens to weigh us down. You look down upon those in the dust and those who are needy—even us, Father—and You lift us up, build us up, equip us, strengthen us, give us joy and promise and victory. You are our hope! We trust You, we praise You, we hope in You for every act of motherhood. Thank You for being our God, thank You for being God to our children not because we are faithful but because You are faithful, right from the womb. (Psalm 71:5-6) Thank You for the gift of children—thank You for filling wombs, filling arms, and for the various ways You do these things. It is hard to be thankful for things like infertility, miscarriage, and long roads of complicated pregnancy or adoption. But Father, in whatever ways You have accomplished our motherhood, thank You. Thank You for knitting children in wombs, for creating DNA strands and dividing cells. Thank You for secret work, for wonderful work, for intricate work. Thank You for planning each day of my life—and each day of my children’s lives. Thank You for the knowledge that I do not have power over their lives. (Psalm 139:13-16) Thank You for taking a woman and making her a mother. Thank You for making me a mother. Help me to praise You rightly for this gift, this responsibility, this joy, this mercy every single day. (Psalm 113)
Please give wisdom and kindness to my mouth, so that I will not speak harshly to my children but wisely and kindly. It is so easy to be snappy or snarky—please give words of mercy and grace in their place. (Proverbs 31:26) Please grant me a compassionate nature to remember that, like me, my children are but dust. Make me a mother who remembers the frame of my children, so that I build them up rather than tear them down. (Psalm 103:13-14) Please make me a woman that could justly be praised and blessed by those whom I serve as well as lead. (Proverbs 31:28)
Lord God, please teach me to love my children as I ought. (Titus 2:4) Be with my hands, my feet, my mouth, my ears, my eyes, my womb, my breasts—to use every part of me to love my children as You want me to, genuinely and truly. (1 John 3:18) Show me how to walk in love, so that I would lay down my life for my children not just sometimes but all the time. (Ephesians 5:1-2) Give me diligence to discipline when and how You require and desire. Allow me not to be swayed on my conviction against sin, but give me the eyes to see sin for what it is, where it is, and how it needs to be addressed. Give me the strength to love my children with discipline so that they would increase in wisdom. Please give me rest and delight rather than shame. (Proverbs 29:15, 17) Please teach me true forgiveness, so that I would forgive as I have been forgiven. (Psalm 32:1-2)
Please give me the industrious nature that I need to accomplish the work You have put into my hands. Gird me up, so that I can press on in faith, love, and holiness in self-control. (1 Timothy 2:15) When I labor to love my children, to feed them and clothe them, to educate their minds and nourish their souls, to make them happy and cover them with peace—allow me to do this in accordance with Your will, O God. (1 John 5:2-4) Cause me to obey Your commandments, to grow in my own faith so that I will always speak of Your glory and teach Your laws in ways that are true and winsome and inescapable. (Deuteronomy 6:7)
Please enable me to seek the good of my children, in their humanity and in their eternal souls. Convict me to pray for them regularly and specifically, night and day. (2 Timothy 1:3) Please remind me daily that their spiritual growth is more important than anything else, and give me the grace to preach the Gospel to my children through my actions as well as my words. Cause me to proclaim Your deeds and Your faithfulness, which You have taught me and proven to me repeatedly and continually. God who has never left nor forsaken me, allow me to rightly show forth these things to the next generation of those who love You! Give me the words and the wisdom to proclaim Your power and might. (Psalm 71:17-18) Please give us joyful praise together, to praise Your holy name! May each member of our family praise You, knowing that You are high above all things and You alone are to be exalted! Please give me the strength to teach this praise by genuine, diligent example. (Psalm 148:12-13) Be pleased, O Lord, to grant Your grace to continue on to another generation, and allow my faith and the faith of my mother and mother-in-law also to bolster the faith of my children. (2 Timothy 1:5)
Please, in Your merciful kindness, remind me that these beloved children belong to You, and help me to praise You for Your kind gift of life & appreciate the blessing of being entrusted with these little saints. Allow me to rejoice and be glad! (Proverbs 23:25) Please give me the bold strength to be tenderhearted, to imitate You in how I gather, carry, and gently lead my young ones. (Isaiah 40:11) Thank You for hearing our prayers, for remembering our frame, for loving our children, for drawing us to You by Your covenant love and faithfulness. We thank You, Lord, for Your steadfast love and Your faithfulness to our children. (Psalm 107:8, 15, 21, 31) We praise You for Jesus, our Prophet, Priest, and King, in whose glorious and saving name we pray these things at Your throne. Amen.