Dear Hyde Park Family,

In preparation for this Sunday, when we celebrate and honor the mothers and mother figures in our lives, here is a reprise of a prayer for Mother’s Day that I first offered years ago. May it guide us into a deeper appreciation for these special persons, and reflect on the character of God, who is like a mother to us all.

A MOTHER’S DAY PRAYER

God of Provision and Unconditional Love,

On this day when we acknowledge the importance of motherhood among us, we first give thanks that you are a loving parent to us all. From your being all life was born, and from your bosom all creation is nurtured. You have formed us in your image as your children, and gathered us together as a brood under your wing. You have united us as kindred members of one human family, and we celebrate how your love is reflected in human expressions of motherhood.

We give you thanks for the mothers among us, and ask that you strengthen them in their daily tasks. Grant them wisdom in the lessons they teach, both by word and example. Give them patience in the discipline they provide, and persistence in their daily labors. May they be given the honor and thanks they deserve but often do not receive.

We thank you for all mother figures: grandmothers, aunts, sisters, wives, step-mothers, foster mothers, guardians, babysitters, teachers, neighbors, and friends, who practice self-sacrifice and compassion to all within their influence. Grant them vigor and satisfaction in their work.  

We acknowledge, God, that even amid our grateful celebration, many of us come with restless spirits, reluctant to name the difficulties of this day.

For some, this day brings the sorrowful awareness of their own inability to conceive biological children. Draw your spirit near their feelings of self-betrayal and grief, and remind them that those who struggle with infertility have always shared a special place in your heart. We pray for those who have suffered miscarriages, those fatigued by fertility treatments, and those struggling through the process of adoption. May they remember that in your power and through your church, they can still leave a lasting legacy beyond themselves.

For some, this day is marked by loneliness and grief, as they spend this first Mother’s Day as a widower, an orphan, or a parent who has lost a child. To those who live in the wake of the death of a loved one, grant glimpses of the resurrection. Bring to them a steady restoration of their broken hearts, allow them to live into their future with hope, and empower them to carry out the legacy of lessons instilled within them.

For some, this is a day that surfaces ongoing tensions that exist within our own families. We ask for healing from the wounds of our past, a path of forgiveness for wrongs both experienced and committed, and the rebuilding of trust forged in honesty, authenticity, and love.

We give you thanks for the wide spectrum of motherhood represented among us today: new mothers and young mothers whose children are in their most tender years; mothers of grown children who transition into empty nests and a new chapter of self-discovery; mothers and grandmothers of advanced years, whose twilight of life is marked by frailty of body but a potency of spirit. Theirs is a cumulative reminder that though our lives are marked by transition and change, your nurture and affection for all your children remains the same.

God, remind us to live with a child-like faith, curious to every wondrous mystery, attentive to your every instruction, obedient to your every command, and willing to share with every one of your children. We give you thanks, O God, who is a loving Mother and Father to us all, and in whose name we pray,

Amen.