In the past 10 months I have prayed, cried, laughed and rejoiced with many of you. I have seen you in great sorrow and great joy. I implored the Lord for what you have asked.
What follows here flows from those requests, concerns and often time, tears, as well as those from previous parishes and ministries through the years. We don’t always have words to say when our hearts are breaking or our patience worn thin.
These prayers may be shared with anyone you wish or kept for the time in your life when you are hard-pressed to find the right words to pray. 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 – your prayers – from the heart are offered for mothers here and everywhere.
Prayer of a Mother concerned about her adult children
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 if 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 wounder. 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.
Prayer for a Single Mother
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.
For Working Mothers
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 for a Birth Mother, From an Adoptive Mother
Please, God, bless the life of this courageous 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.
For a Mother with Alzheimer’s Disease
“Take Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, my entire will… Give me only your love and your grace and that is enough for me.”
Ignatius of Loyola Loving God, Please bless every mother who has Alzheimer’s disease. She was with us children as we learned to walk — Guide her uncertain steps today as her balance fails her.
She taught us to cross streets and be safe– Help her not to get lost, even in her familiar surroundings.
She held us close in the terrors of the darkest nightmares — May she not be frightened today by the reality of her life, which is strange and totally out of her control.
She cooked thousands of meals over decades of time — Please allow her to accept the caring hand that now feeds her.
She changed diapers, Lord, and served you each time she did — Please give her now the humility and grace to be served in this way.
Loving God, the familiar eyes of my mother now respond with a blank stare.
She is unable to carry on a conversation, to ask about her family or to serve in the central role she has in our family.
Help her accept the surrender of her life these days. Open her prayerful heart and fading mind to be aware of your presence with her, perhaps now closer than ever.
Give us, her family, the patience, courage and acceptance to love her as she is and to support her in her daily needs.
For a Mother who has died
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.
Happy Mother’s Day!