“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families…” (Ps. 68:5-6a)

For every woman who will receive a crayoned card made of folded construction paper, a bouquet or a sweetly sentimental piece of jewelry this Sunday, there are many others who need a different kind of gift this Mother’s Day. This prayer is for so many of us:

O God, the commercials, cards and gifts of this Sunday are a reminder to honor the mothers in our lives. A day set aside to celebrate mothers is a lovely thing, and yet we recognize it as an echo, a single skipped stone, of the kind of family life to which you call us here.

In our broken world, this single day, these reminders for some are not blessings but pain or longing. May these few words help us intercede for someone we know who may be suffering this week.

For those who are sorrowing, raw and tender this week, we pray:

…for those who’ve suffered the loss of their mothers through death; Lord, please bring them your comfort

…for those estranged from their mothers through family division, mental illness or strife; Lord, please salve their wounds and bring your healing

 …for those who are losing their mothers by degrees through disease; Lord, please measure extra grace to parent and child alike as the roles reverse

…for those who never knew their mothers; Lord, please reveal yourself to them at every point of abandonment, longing and need as El Shaddai

…for those who have lost a child; Lord, please have mercy on them as they daily bear this searing pain

 …for those who are riding the roller-coaster of infertility; Lord, please revive their hope and bless them with new life

…for those who ache to become mothers, but find themselves without a mate again this year; Lord, please draw near to them, and help them draw near to you as they wait and hope

…for those whose children have chosen a prodigal path; Lord, please grace these parents to wait together with you for their children’s return home

…for those whose children are living, working and serving in distant lands; Lord, please keep them safe, and keep our hearts at peace

…for those who have a full and happy family life; Lord, thank you for this witness, and give them  an extra chair at their table waiting for the lonely to fill it

…for those who, in their pain, have felt abandoned and undefended by you; Lord, please comfort them…and let them recognize that you are near at all times

In the name of the Father of the fatherless, the Bridegroom of the widow, and the Companion of the lonely, I pray. Amen.

This post first ran here.  Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash.