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Mother's Day And Mother's Prayers

On Mother's Day, Maureen Goldsmith shares how entrusting children and surrendering them to God is at the heart of Mothers Prayers.

I love the fact that Mothering Sunday falls in the middle of Lent and is a little oasis at the start of Spring with its promise of lighter, warmer days. It is a wonderful time to celebrate being a mother, to enjoy our children and all the messiness of family life and love. 

All over the country people make a special effort to make contact and celebrate those women who have given them a special place in their hearts as mothers-not all the women who mother us are our birth mothers.

Mother’s Day can also be a time of reflection for us, on how we are doing as a mother, how we are affected as an individual and how we cope with the worries of supporting our children, especially when they are struggling with relationships, their faith, their mental or physical health or the numerous expectations which burden them.

Motherhood-The Joys And Struggles

The joys of being a mum are undeniable but, at the same time, it is not easy. We often struggle to develop understanding, we don’t have all the answers and the circumstances can be incredibly difficult.

Being a mother inevitably comes with an emotional, mental and physical cost. We can end up feeling judged, anxious, guilty even isolated. Most mothers I know really are only as happy as their unhappiest child.

One of my pillars of support in my own struggles has been my Mothers Prayers group. We started off in a school staff room about 20 years ago. We would meet and then collect our children, so it was easy and regular. Lots of women came and went over the years.

A core group of us carried on meeting regularly in our own homes after our children left primary school and we’ve  been joined by other friends when they have felt the need to pray for their children.

Meeting Together To Pray

Most groups meet in homes (some in schools or parish churches) around a coffee or dining table and have a cross, a Bible, a lit candle and a small basket or bowl in front of the cross.  We have the names of our children written on a small paper disc. There is a sequence of prayers, praise and scripture reflection and the meeting culminates in each woman praying for her own children and placing her paper discs into the basket, as a symbol of surrendering the children into the care of the Lord.

As she prays quietly for her children, the other women in the group pray for her. This act of surrender is profound.

In this time, we acknowledge that the Lord knows our children better than we do and He knows the answers to all the issues they face in their lives. We trust Him with our children as their creator and Father. And therein lies a deep blessing and gift to us as mothers because, in that little moment of trust, of letting go, we are blessed.

Many mothers experience peace in this moment and are refreshed and encouraged by the Lord. Of course, being human, we tend to lose it a bit, but the habit of trust and surrender to our loving God becomes rooted over time and deepens our everyday relationship with Him.

The Power Of Prayer

The small group element of this experience is very special.  There have been many answers to prayer and many experiences of growing friendships and deepening faith. Some groups are mums with young or school age children, some are grandmothers often praying for several generations and some are mixed age groups.

During the pandemic, Zoom groups started and have worked well, with groups meeting regularly despite time, geographical and even international border restrictions. ( We are in over 120 countries)  It’s very encouraging to know that we are connected to so many groups around the world, from different Christian backgrounds too, praying for each other and all children around the world.

Confidentiality is key, but no one need share anything about their own circumstances. The idea is to surrender our children into God’s care and pray for strength and blessings for each other-not to take back the burden of trying to sort everything out ourselves. So counselling or advising each other and discussions to try to find solutions are definitely not on the agenda, which is actually quite freeing.

Jesus said: “ Come to me all you who are burdened and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

Maureen Goldsmith is the Mothers Prayers national coordinator for England and Wales

Picture: Zenspa1, Flickr


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