This is a mother’s day prayer, but not the ones I grew up hearing. This one is more of a psalm and a lament. It lifts up to God the painful and unspeakable facets of mothering and mother’s day. It also honors the gifts and graces of mothering. God in her wisdom sees and hears it all. There is no truth we cannot pray.
A Mother’s Day Prayer
For every mother wailing at the border
Outside the prison
In the hospital waiting room
At the courthouse
After the storm
In your mercy, Dear Mothering God, incline your ear, and hear our prayers.
For every daughter and son and child of every gender and orientation
made in your image, O God,
the one who needs compassion
And the one who begs for acceptance
And the one who pleads for understanding
And for every one that does not receive it from the one who gave them birth or the one who raised them up…
Turn the hearts of the mothers to the children,
Deepen the well of comfort and compassion,
And stir the waters of justice.
In your mercy and compassion, Mother of all Creation, hear our prayers.
For every tenderhearted human who needs
To be a mother
To be a father
To be a sibling
Or a grandparent
For every longing, every dream, every desire, every future story of giving birth
For every gentle moment
Of breathing together quietly
And also …
For every raging, ranting, shouting grief over parenthood,
And every silent, seething, unspoken one, too.
For every broken heart, shattered into a million shards of broken hope
For every cry of anguish and lament
And every heart full of disgust at one more piece of not-positive news
In your mercy, Mother Bear, hear our prayers.
For every child abandoned, forgotten, lost, and given up,
Bind up their broken hearts and tend to the unhealed words and unreceived feelings
For every mother who has poured out her life, and broken her back, and taken no thanks, and showed up time after time after time, we call out for deepest love, for tenderness, for the return of kindness to another human being.
In your mercy, Ama, hear our prayers.
For every woman who has been shamed, side-eyed, ignored, and questioned for not providing an offspring,
For every woman asked to prove her worth beyond her womb, for everyone asked why are you not expecting yet?
For every woman guided by purposes large and lavish, but not by a desire for raising children, we give you thanks.
And we pray to you, God of Deborah and Hulda, for wisdom, fierceness, and courage for every woman called to lead and guide.
We pray to you, God of Miriam and Esther, in your mercy, make clear the path for women of every vocation. We give thanks for women who are not called to motherhood. We give thanks for every person, born of a woman who is called to powerful and generative purposes according to your gifts and graces.
In your mercy, Sister Spirit, hear our prayers.
For every woman agonizing over leaving a dangerous home, choosing to end or extend a pregnancy, discerning the hardest decisions and directions of her life, we ask your wisdom, grace, and presence – even when there is no clarity.
In your mercy, Sophia, keep building a house of wisdom and calling all your children home.
For every exhausted mother of preschoolers, middle schoolers, and finished-with-schoolers, children of every age and stage who are navigating their own growth and striving and departures, we ask your strength and patience, and the gift of spiritual detachment so that the young my find their own way from their mothers’ houses and still know they are loved and welcome at her table any time.
In your mercy, God of Mary and Martha, make a place at your table for all the mothers.
For every trans mom, cis mom, lesbian mom, queer mom, gender-fluid mom, bi-sexual mom, adoptive mom, stepmom, femme mom, butch mom, married mom, single mom, non-binary mom, foster mom, and mom-to-be…
For all the ways they became a mom, identified as a mom, got cheated out of motherhood, or fell into it by dumb luck, pursued it with singular attention, or wake up dreading it every single day, may the God of all flesh behold you in her mercy, love you through all your feelings, know you in your inmost being, and bless your mom-labors.
And for all your emotional, physical, spiritual, embodied, and dis-embodied labors of mothering, we give God who sees you with mercy, our deep, deep thanks.
For all the blood, sweat, tears, spit, milk, snot, and poop spilled over these questions of mothering and not mothering, loving and losing, adoration and apathy, we ask your blessing, O Divine mother.
For every daughter, son, baby, and child of any age
who lost their mother,
who felt a mother’s rage,
who knows a parental abandonment,
who feels the deep disappointment of being unseen or unheard,
We plea to the God of all mercy and all compassion
We insist upon your lovingkindness
Ask for your deliverance
And implore your healing for these wounds.
For every child whose mother turned a blind eye, came home too late, took another hit, or failed to appear, we ask your generous loving arms, merciful God, to be a welcome and safe harbor. To meet your children on the road, to bring them all home in tenderness.
For everyone longing to be a good parent, a better parent, a strong mother, a wise and nurturing presence, grant your wisdom, patience, and tenderheartedness. God show us how to navigate the high and dangerous cliffs of parenthood, how to step lightly, and with courage, to know how to hold, and when to push gently, and when to embrace, and when to let go so they can fly.
Teach us your ways, dear mothering God, soaring with eagle wings, that we may have hearts of wisdom and lives marked by your mercy.