Mother’s Day can be a day of great rejoicing and great sadness. For pastors and worship leaders, it demands great sensitivity and wisdom as you plan on how to honor mothers corporately. I have found that the best way is to pray for them.
Here is one attempt at praying for moms who are at many different junctures on the journey:
On this Mother’s Day, we acknowledge that
there is no nobler career than that of motherhood…
We thank you for our moms and ask that you would increase the number
of converted, heaven-inspired and praying mothers in our midst.
You call us to weep with those mothers who weep.
Therefore, we pray for those mothers who have lost a child in death.
Assure them that You are a God who is familiar with suffering
and well acquainted with grief.
Comfort those mothers who have experienced loss through miscarriage,
failed adoptions, or children who run away from all that we hold dear.
Lord Jesus, walk with those who walk the hard path of infertility…
that is fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment.
We pray for those who have lost their mothers.
Even today may they grieve their loss with hope
knowing that in every change You faithful will remain.
For those women who are single and long to be married
and mothering their own children, we pray that You would grant them
the grace to wait upon You for Your provision
and that you might provide for them more than they could ask or imagine.
We pray for those mothers who have aborted children.
Bring the healing balm of your gospel of grace and pardon to their consciences.
Thank you Jesus that there is no condemnation for those who are in you.
You call us to rejoice with those mothers who rejoice!
We thank You for those moms who have given birth this year to children.
May they acknowledge that every good gift comes from you.
We thank You for the foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms in our midst.
We rejoice with those mothers whose children are walking in the truth of the gospel.
You call us to pray for our mothers!
We pray for those mothers who are doing parenthood alone. Grant them your incredible perseverance and the encouragement of Your presence and Word.
Make our mothers women of noble character whose worth far exceeds rare and expensive jewels.” May our moms love Jesus more today than they did yesterday.
Give our mothers a proper perspective of the future. May they smile at the future as You give them grace to cast all their cares upon You.
Develop our mothers into faithful, wise and kind teachers of Your truth.
May our mothers have a proper perspective on their outward appearance Free them from an undue focus on externals for You do not look on the outward appearance, but on the heart.
May our mothers grow in their knowledge and fear of You.
We pray all of this for your great glory
and for the flourishing of our moms
and the families for which they care, in Jesus’ name, AMEN.
O Father, may your salvation surround us
who live and walk under the shadow of death.
Draw near to your dying children.
By simple faith in your undying grace
may they have peace in the hour of their departing.
Draw near to those caught up in the rawness of a new grief.
Enable them to weep well, free from bitterness or despair.
Empower by Your Spirit all who care for the dying;
in hospitals or at home,
in a hospice or on a battlefield;
give them your quiet strength.
Be close to those who fight against untimely death –
those who spend their days working
for the elimination of cancer, AIDS, and other diseases;
the carnage on our highways, and the butchery of warfare.
Empower all of Your preachers of the gospel of grace and peace.
By your tireless Spirit,
may inadequate words take flesh
and become powerful agents in helping people
to begin living eternal life now.
Through Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen!
A Prayer of Confession
Gracious heavenly Father,
we confess that we put on airs
more often than we put on Your armor.
Forgive us for our self-promotion,
self-protection and self-reliance.
Pardon us for not cherishing and trusting in Your gifts
of righteousness, faith, and salvation
during times of temptation and spiritual conflict.
Transform us by Your Spirit
so that we live as good soldiers of Jesus Christ.
For we pray in His strong name,
Who is our strength and our defender. Amen.
A Prayer Guide…
1 I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;
before the gods I sing your praise;
2 I bow down toward your holy temple
and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,
for you have exalted above all things
your name and your word.
3 On the day I called, you answered me;
my strength of soul you increased.
4 All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O Lord,
for they have heard the words of your mouth,
5 and they shall sing of the ways of the Lord,
for great is the glory of the Lord.
6 For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly,
but the haughty he knows from afar.
7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you preserve my life;
stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
and your right hand delivers me.
8 The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands.
What am I to do?
Worship and call upon the Lord. What does the text say?
Give thanks…sing His praise…bow down…
Who do I call upon?
- The LORD – the personal God who keeps covenant with His people.
- The God who is steadfast/loyal in His love for his people (vv.2,8).
- The God who is ever faithful to His people and who exalts His name and His word above all things.
- The LORD who from His lofty and exalted position takes notice of those who are humble but distances himself from the proud and haughty.
- The LORD who does not forsake the work of His hands.
How do I call upon Him?
- With my whole heart…singing praise and offering thanks (vv.1,2,4).
- With humility of heart – Verse 6 – “For though the LORD is high, he regards the lowly, but the haughty he knows from afar.”
Why do I call upon the LORD?
- He answers me (v.3).
- He preserves my life while I am in the midst of trouble by delivering me from my enemies (v.7).
- He will fulfill His purpose for me (v.8).
Who is like You O LORD?
You are a shield about Your people (3:3).
You answer the prayers of Your people when they cry aloud to You (3:4).
You sustain Your people when they sleep and when they rise (3:5).
You are the LORD to whom salvation belongs (3:8).
You are a God who gives relief to those who in distress (4:1).
You are the LORD who sets apart the godly for Yourself (4:3).
You are the LORD who “lifts up the light of Your face upon us” (4:6).
You are a God who puts joy into the hearts of Your people (4:7).
You are the LORD who causes Your people to “dwell in safety” and to rest peacefully (4:8).
You do not delight in wickedness (5:4).
You are abundant in “your steadfast love” for Your people which enables and invites us to worship You (5:7).
You lead Your people in Your righteousness and make our way straight (5:8).
You spread Your protection over Your people and cover them with Your favor (5:11,12).
Would you delight to show Yourself strong and mighty in these ways for all of your children today! AMEN.
If you have turned from trusting yourself and placed your faith in Jesus alone for salvation, then you did this because the Father gave you to Jesus so that you would come in faith to Him (John 6:37). You came to believe on Jesus because the Father drew you to Jesus (John 6:44). All of this happened because of what God did.
I encountered again in in my Bible reading this morning a verse that reminds us of these wonderful truths of sovereign grace.
Revelation 13:8 reminds us that the only ones who are saved are those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life, and when did that happen? “Before the foundation of the world.”
Here are a couple of corollary passages: Revelation 21:27 teaches us that “only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life” will enter the celestial city.
Jesus tells his disciples to not rejoice that they have incredible spiritual powers, but to “rejoice that your names are written in heaven (Luke 10:20).
May our Lord fill your heart with renewed wonder and joy in this new year that your name was “written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain” (Revelation 13:8).
Knowing this promotes humility, gratitude, and joy… not pride!
May it be so for all of us in 2019!
Father of spirits, looking to Jesus,
the pioneer and perfecter of our faith,
we lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely,
that we may run with perseverance the race that is set before us.
Few, they tell us, finish well…
Lord, let us get home before dark.
Before the darkness of staining your honor,
shaming your name, and grieving your loving heart.
Before the darkness of a spirit grown mean and small,
fruit shriveled on the vine, bitter to the taste of our companions,
burden to be borne by those brave few who love us still.
Before the darkness of tattered gifts,
rust-locked, half-spent or ill-spent,
A life that once was used of God now set aside.
Grief for glories gone or fretting for a task God never gave.
Mourning in the hollow chambers of memory,
Gazing on the faded banners of victories long gone.
Cannot we run well to the end? Let us get home before dark.
- Adapted from Robertson McQuilkin’s Prayer
“Let Me Get Home Before Dark”