Prayers of the People—May 8

God of every mother and child, it is no small task to gather us here.

We have come from north and south and east and west, from the scattered corners of our many communities across the globe, to know again your deep mothering love.

Like a mother bear, you fight to protect us.

Like a mother hen, you shelter us under your wing. Let your Spirit alight on us here, like a gentle breeze, like a settling dove, like a deep breath that brings in an unexpected peace.

Today, O God, we are grateful for mothers and grandmothers, step-mothers and mothers-in-law, aunts and those men and women who step in to mother us in different times of our lives.

As we give thanks, O God, the gift of motherhood is etched in the story of our faith, and so we remember.

Today, we remember Eve, who stands in as our most ancient ancestor, and we give thanks for every named and unnamed woman whose genes surge in our blood, not just for mothers and grandmother and great-grandmothers, but for women far back across the generations who loved and nurtured and carried life into this world.,

We remember, also, Sarah, who was barren into old age, and we pray for every woman who long for the gift of motherhood, and for all those—men and women alike—for whom pregnancy is a struggle. Give them peace and a way forward, O God.

We remember Puah today, O God, the Egyptian midwife who was ordered to kill Israelite babies at birth, but who was brave enough to save Moses and other slave babies instead.

We pray for every midwife and doctor, O God, who bring babies into the world at great cost, and for those who risk their lives to mother the unprotected children of this world, the children who face great persecution and violence.

We pray especially for children living in poverty, and those who mother them. We pray, also, for children and teenagers, ours and others, who are in harm’s way, and for adults who stand with them in the midst of every chaos.

We remember, O God, Ruth the Moabite, who went childless into a foreign country, only to become grafted into a new family.

We pray for all those women who seek refuge in a new land, especially for Syrian mothers who are fearfully sending their children across continents for safety, and for Syrian women who will face the vulnerability of giving birth in an unknown place far from home.

And finally, O God, we remember Mary the Mother of Jesus, who sang for joy at the birth of her son, and who followed him to the cross and to the empty tomb.

We pray for mothers who know suffering, and who have seen the abandoned places of death.

God, you hear our cry. Be with every mother and father who have lost a child, old or young, and for those whose grief remains deep and wide day by day.

Be a comfort, O God. Be our hope for life beyond life. Be the one who listens and holds our tears in the palm of your hands.

God, on this Mother’s Day, bless us. Be with us. Abide in us. Love us. Know us.

Call us by name. Renew us. Give us your peace that passes understanding.

Allow us to drink deeply of your love, both here in this place, and in the quite places of our lives. Let this prayer echo across the rest of our week, so that as we awaken to each new day, we might again know that your presence goes with us, as a symbol of hope, a promise of new life, now and always.

Let us now, gather our voices to return thanks to God by praying the holy prayer that Jesus teaches us saying…