Inclusive and Expansive Mother’s Day Prayers

These are Mother’s Day prayers I wrote for our church’s liturgy celebrating women of faith.  Permission is granted for one-time use with proper attribution: (Written by Leah D. Schade).

praying woman's hands

Prayers for All Women

As God’s beloved people, let us pray for the church, the whole human family, and God’s good Creation.

A We pray for women who are pregnant; those who are waiting with joyful expectation, and those who are filled with uncertainty and fear; we pray for women whose pregnancies are high-risk, and whose lives are in danger in the birthing process.  Hear us, Mothering God,

All:       Your mercy is great.

A   We pray for women who are mothers, either by birth, by adoption, or through foster care.  We pray that they may be supported in their mothering task by the men and other women in their lives; that their children may be provided with sufficient food, shelter and healthcare.  Hear us, Mothering Jesus.

All:       Your mercy is great.

A We pray for women who have lost children, either in utero, through sickness, through war and violence, or through tragic accident.  Comfort them, Holy Spirit with your everlasting presence and assure them of new life.  Hear us, Mothering Christ.

All:       Your mercy is great.

We pray for women who are incarcerated; women who have been abusive; women who have been hurtful and neglectful.  Hear us, Mothering Spirit.

All:       Your mercy is great.

A We pray for women who give of themselves not just through childbearing, but with their intellect, their skills, their gifts, and their physical abilities.  Bless all women, that they may receive equal compensation for their work, may be protected from abuse and harassment, and may be valued as unique individuals.  Hear us, Holy God.

All: Your mercy is great.

We pray for those who are transitioning, those who are seeking to understand who God has created them to be in their bodies, minds and spirits.  May they be protected from danger during their time of vulnerability, and guided by those who love and support them.   Hear us, Holy God.

All:       Your mercy is great.

A We pray for women who strive to protect and advocate for those most vulnerable – children, the poor, God’s Creation, the disenfranchised, other women, and those men and women whose voices go unheard.  Hear us, Holy Jesus.

All:       Your mercy is great.

A We lift to you now the names of women who have been our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, daughters, life-partners, and friends (congregation is invited to say names aloud) . . .

Give them your grace and bless them in their lives.  Hear us, Holy Spirit.

All:       Your mercy is great.

A For who else does the church pray today? . . . For all those we name, and for those who have no one to name them, Hear us, O God.

All:       Your mercy is great.

P   Holy God, we lift our prayers to you through the Holy Spirit in hope, entrusting all for whom we pray to your great goodness and mercy, made known to us in Jesus Christ, our Savior.

All:       Amen.


Photo credit:  “Praying Woman’s Hands” by Long Thien.  Public domain.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/136682034@N03/.

The sermon that preceded these prayers can be found here:  The Case for Celebrating Mother’s Day in the Church.

Click this link for another perspective on the feminine aspect of God:  Jesus – Mother Hen: This is the God I Want to Worship.


leah schade, profile (2)Leah D. Schade is the Assistant Professor of Preaching and Worship at Lexington Theological Seminary (Kentucky) and author of the book Creation-CrisisPreaching: Ecology, Theology, and the Pulpit (Chalice Press, 2015). 

You can follow Leah on Twitter at @LeahSchade, and on Facebook at  https://www.facebook.com/LeahDSchade/.

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