A Prayer for New Mothers

A prayer I was asked to write for a new mother's celebration at our church:

Lord of Mercy,

You are the realization of all true loves, including the love of a parent. You are to us a gracious father, protecting and providing and welcoming, running to embrace us when we wander and seating us at your table. And you are to us a tender mother, comforting and nursing and watching over us, groaning in your spirit with us and gathering us under the shelter of your wings.

We pray for these mothers, that you would so love them that they might love as you have loved. Give them tenderness toward their little ones, even in the midst of life’s frustrations. Give them wisdom and patience in the midst of life’s distractions. Give them courage and strength in the face of life’s challenges. Give them encouragement, reminding them that in their care for their children, they are engaging in the greatest human calling of imaging you.

Lord, we pray that you would help them love, and we pray that you would fill up all that is lacking in their love. Even as we fall short of Your perfection, even as we sin and at times wound, may we rest in the fact that you love our children more than we ever could, and may we always point them to your perfect love shown to us in Christ Jesus.

We pray for these children as well. May we as their parents faithfully raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. May they have hearts that are drawn close to yours, knowing you at the earliest of ages and hoping in you as their greatest good. May they become sons and daughters of your kingdom and find their greatest joy in doing the works you have prepared beforehand. May they live great lives, not as the world considers greatness, but in the true greatness of your redeemed humanity.

Bless and keep these little ones, Father. Let them always see your face. Be gracious to them and give them your peace in Christ Jesus.