Prayers for Mother’s Day

On Mother’s Day, I often return to this passage attributed to Edmond McDonald in the Presbyterian Outlook: “When God wants an important thing done in this world or a wrong righted, He goes about it in a very singular way. He doesn’t release thunderbolts or stir up earthquakes. God simply has a tiny baby born, perhaps of a very humble home, perhaps of a very humble mother. And God puts an idea or purpose into the mother’s heart. And she puts it in the baby’s mind, and then—God waits. The great events of this world are not battles and elections and earthquakes and thunderbolts. The great events are babies, for each child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged with humanity, but is still expecting goodwill to become incarnate in each human life.” And so God produces the leaders, artists, activists, and thinkers who go on to change the world. How many of them were blessed to be spurred on in childhood by a mother’s boundless encouragement and faith, or her determination to make a way out of no way?  

This is a time to celebrate those mothers and other caregivers who sow seeds of life and hope for the future. I think of examples like Mother Clara Hale, who raised three children as a young widow during the Depression while providing full-time live-in child care for other families in her five-room Harlem apartment, then became a licensed foster parent and raised 40 more children over the next two decades, and then, at age 65, began caring for infants and children who were born addicted to drugs or HIV-positive, eventually caring for 1,000 more children over another 20 years. She described her essential technique for caring for all of them: “Hold them, rock them, love them, and tell them how great they are.” And though she ultimately received widespread recognition and praise for her devoted caregiving, she said, “I’m not an American hero, I’m a person that loves children.”

On this Mother’s Day weekend I again offer special prayers for all those loving and caring for children today.


A new baby is born

A new gift of life

A new gift of love

A new gift of joy

A new gift of hope

Make us good stewards of Your faith in the future.


Dear God, I thank You for the gift of this child to raise, this life to share, this mind to help mold, this body to nurture, and this spirit to enrich.

Let me never betray this child’s trust, dampen this child’s hope, or discourage this child’s dreams.

Help me dear God to help this precious child become all You mean him to be.

Let your grace and love fall on him like gentle breezes and give him inner strength and peace and patience for the journey ahead.


God, help me to weave a tapestry of love and not hate in my children, a spirit of tolerance and caring, and a dedication to freedom for all and not just some. God, help me to sow seeds of peace and justice in my children’s hearts today.


Oh God, help us to be worthy of the children You have entrusted to our care.