Pastoral Prayer – May 13, 2018

Almighty God, your people gathered here bow before you in thanksgiving that you have not given to us according to the evil of our deeds. In your mercy, you brought us to repentance and faith in Jesus. Now clothed in his righteousness, you have forgiven us and adopted us as your children. What an astounding privilege it is to know you as our heavenly Father, who loves us and works all things for our good.

Lord God, when you describe the nature of your care for your people, you compare it to the feelings a mother has for her child.

you tell us in Isaiah 49:15, Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.

And in Isaiah 66:13 you say, As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you.

Great Jehovah, it is you that births in mothers the exceptional love that warrants such comparisons. In this nation, we honor mothers today, and, by your grace, we have much to laud, much to celebrate.

We are grateful to you for the mothers that birthed us and nurtured us. In Proverbs 1:9, you describe the lessons they taught us as a graceful garland for our heads. Though we may be away from them now, our hearts are softened by the knowledge that we remain in their hearts. Enable and compel us Lord, to honor them as you command and forgive us for the times we did not. As we are able, may we not be hesitant to thank and praise them, today and often.

We praise you for the mothers and expectant mothers among us and celebrate the precious children you have given them. Protect and sustain them, we pray. Help us, Lord, to love and encourage them.

We extol you Lord, that many women among us have become, or are becoming, mothers through adoption. How beautifully this reminds us of our adoption by you. Sovereign God, please bless those who model your adoptive love.

Loving Creator, we praise you too that the joys of motherhood can be known by those who provide foster care to orphaned children. you tell us in James 1:27 that, Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. We lift-up such foster mothers and pray your blessings upon them.

How kind you are, Lord, to equip Christian mothers to care for their children not just physically, but spiritually – teaching them the glorious truths of the Bible and the precious gospel of Jesus Christ. We extol you too for the many women who serve as “spiritual mothers” to the children of others, seeking to turn their hearts toward Jesus.

Father God, please equip and strengthen all these mothers in their exhausting tasks, and move the hearts of their families, their church, and their friends to aid and support them. May they know the fulfillment of your promise in Isaiah 41:10 that, I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Shepherd of our souls, you know every heart here completely, and so you know well that Mother’s Day isn’t a celebration for all. Few observances can rival it for emotional highs and lows, and those lows can be excruciating for many.

Lord, we weep with those who have lost children by mishap, violence, suicide, abortion, or other manifestations of the curse of sin. Loving God, please console women who have suffered miscarriages. May they all know the truth of Jesus’ words, Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. (Mt. 5:4)

For those relationships tinged with sadness, hurt, bitterness, alienation, or regret, we plead for repentance, forgiveness, and healing. As you, in your kindness, reconciled us to you through faith in Christ (1 Cor. 5:19), may you bring about reconciliation in those mother-child relationships.

Heavenly Father, our hearts go out to those women among us who eagerly desire to be mothers, but do not yet know that joy. We pray you will fulfill their yearning. As they wait, please comfort them and grant them peace, trusting in your perfect will.

God of all comfort, we pray your reassurance on the mothers among us who feel like they aren’t good enough, who sense they aren’t measuring up to some set of standards others set for them. May you equip, sustain, and encourage them, assuring them of your love.

Heavenly Father, we ask a special measure of your grace for women who have selflessly given up children for adoption, knowing that was the best way to love them. Please fill the empty space these birth mothers may feel in their hearts today — fill it with yourself, we pray.

We ask, Lord, that those among us who have already lost their mothers will be comforted in their grief. And please grant that those in the process of saying farewell to mothers nearing death will do so tenderly, devotedly, and with thankful tears.

Lord God, in this fallen world, motherhood has elements of both great joy and great pain. May we mourn over all that is broken. At the same time, may we rejoice over everything that is good and right in motherhood, for it points to your goodness, mercy, and redemption.

We ask all this in the name of the one mediator between God and man, Jesus the Christ. Amen.

Posted on: May 14, 2018 - 1:32PM

Comments are closed.