This day, our God, as we gather,
we pray for mothers.
We give thanks
for good mothers
who love and care for their children
and are loved and cared for right back.
But we also pray for women
who have longed for children
and don’t and can’t have them.
And we pray for women
who had children who shouldn’t have—
for children who grew up
without the love and care they deserved and needed.
We pray for grandmothers—
for those for whom that turned out what they dreamed it would be
and for those for whom it didn’t.
We pray for mothers with sick children
and children with sick mothers.
We pray for mothers with lost children and dead children—
children with lost mothers and dead mothers—
for those who grieve what they had
and those who grieve what they never had.
We pray for women who are afraid.
We pray for all the dilemmas and doubts
and fears, frustrations and heartaches
and richness and wonder
We pray for mothers who parent by themselves.
We pray for women who carefully negotiate life with step children,
and for women trying to adopt,
and women hoping fertility treatments will renew disappointed hope.
We pray for mothers whose children have grown up and moved out
and those whose children have grown up and not moved out.
We pray for women who mother the children of others,
and we pray for women who give birth
in every conceivable way—
to ideas and art and possibility
and wonder and joy—
to new life in job contexts and in relational ones.
This complicated day, our God,
we’re reminded again
of just how much will not fit on a Hallmark card.
but does fit into Your full awareness of all that is—
that does fit into Your investment in love and grace
in and through all circumstances.
We pray for mothers
in all the fullness of what all it can mean—
informed by what we know
of all those we know—
gratefully trusting You to know so much more than we do or can—
gratefully trusting You with the hearts of those we love—
gratefully trusting You with all the deep pain and joy of this day,
in Jesus’ name,