There are bleak moments in our life when it feels as if the world has pitted itself against us. We grow unthankful and our hearts lose hope. It’s usually at these times our mothers give us breakfast and tell us to snap out of it, and we are forced to rejoice at how good we have it.
Father, we can’t thank You enough for the impact and example our mothers have had on us over the years. Their industry, faithfulness, love, discipline, and unworldly care should give us pause to consider there’s more to the story than meets the eye. You have a majestic plan, and in this plan is redemption, and at the forefront of this battle are our mothers.
We can’t pray enough, Father, for protection of our mothers in their role as helpmate and guide. Give them patience and grace in what sometimes may feel like combat in raising their young ones.
Bless the work of their hands in their homes and bring prosperity upon their many endeavors. We as sons, daughters and fathers are forever indebted for Your design of the family and how it beautifully reflects Your kingdom and character.
Bless our mothers who give of themselves completely and selflessly. May we honor them with our love and respect. “Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.”
In Christ’s name,
* In our church we regularly pray for our families and for the nations of the earth. Yesterday Brian, a young dad himself, prayed this prayer for mothers. He gave me permission to share it with you.
Prop me up, O Lord,
In all my leaning places.
Open my eyes
That I may see
Teach me how, O Lord,
To fill my empty spaces,
By reaching out
Before this day is done.
Lift me high, O Lord,
And maybe in the lifting,
I will learn how to lift
My fellow man.
— John W. Streetman III
Or have a heart attack. Or a stroke. Someday one of us will be diagnosed.
I’m not trying to bring in the new year with doom and gloom. I’m not instilling fear. The point is, we need to prepare our minds before the crisis.
We used to listen occasionally to James Montgomery Boice preach, late Sunday nights as we lay in bed in the dark. His voice was deeper than the ocean and full of gravel. That voice! I honestly pictured a huge black man like James Earl Jones. The first time I saw a picture of Boice I about choked. He was as white bread as could be! Where did that voice come from?
Curt and I will never forget hearing Pastor James Montgomery Boice’s announcement that he had been diagnosed with liver cancer in 2000. We were driving in the car and I can remember reaching over to turn up the volume of the radio. I can see the very farm we passed on our right when I heard these words.
Boice’s response has been my model–the definitive practical application of the sovereignty of God. Over the years I have searched (and found) the text of his talk. I’m writing this post so I have a quick way to find it when it is needed.
The entire text is here.
A relevant question, I guess, when you pray is, pray for what? Should you pray for a miracle? Well, you’re free to do that, of course. My general impression is that the God who is able to do miracles—and he certainly can—is also able to keep you from getting the problem in the first place. So although miracles do happen, they’re rare by definition. A miracle has to be an unusual thing. […]
If I were to reflect on what goes on theologically here, there are two things I would stress. One is the sovereignty of God. That’s not novel. We have talked about the sovereignty of God here forever. God is in charge. When things like this come into our lives, they are not accidental. It’s not as if God somehow forgot what was going on, and something bad slipped by. […]
Everything he [God] does is good. And what Romans 12, verses1 and 2, says is that we have the opportunity by the renewal of our minds—that is, how we think about these things—actually to prove what God’s will is. And then it says, “His good, pleasing, and perfect will.” Is that good, pleasing, and perfect to God? Yes, of course, but the point of it is that it’s good, pleasing, and perfect to us. If God does something in your life, would you change it? If you’d change it, you’d make it worse. It wouldn’t be as good. So that’s the way we want to accept it and move forward, and who knows what God will do?
Boice died a little more than a month after he said these words. Wow. Thank you, Lord God, for your servant, James Montgomery Boice.
Please pray for my friend Sonya who mentioned in the comments that her husband was diagnosed with cancer in 2008.
Related post: After the Diagnosis
Having two births imminent colors, textures and illuminates this Advent season.
I have great respect for the complexity and fragility of human life, and never take a healthy birth for granted. I’ve thought more this year of Mary, awkward with baby, traveling to Bethlehem. There is no way she could find a comfortable position on or off a donkey. Really, how would she even get on a donkey? Her first birth, away from family, in a strange place, questionable hygiene, Joseph at her side. They were not what one would call, in the parlance of medical speak, favorable conditions.
My Oregon daughter-in-law has been in labor through the night. I am waiting to hear an update.
Today is her due date. Tomorrow is my Washington daughter-in-law’s due date. Deep, cleansing breaths!!
I love the Lutheran Book of Prayer with its section “Prayers for Special Occasions in the Family Circle or in the Life of the Individual.” In this section is a prayer Of a Woman with Child.
O Great God, heavenly Father,
Thou art Creator and Preserver of life.
Marvelous are Thy works.
I magnify Thy holy name for having blessed me.
In humility I appear before Thee
with petitions for my unborn child and myself.
Thou, O heavenly Counselor and Helper,
knowest our needs.
Keep away from us what might be harmful,
and daily bestow health and strength.
Guide me through Thy Holy Spirit
that I may constantly be mindful of my privilege
and my responsibility as a mother.
At all times let me place my trust in Thee
and Thy fatherly care,
knowing that from generation to generation
Thy mercy is upon those that fear Thee.
Grant that, relying on Jesus,
my dear Redeemer,
and His glorious sacrifice,
I may face the future calmly,
and in quiet happiness.
I ask all this in His name.