I’m a mother, but I haven’t held my baby in my arms just yet or heard her cry. Mostly, I know her by the way she wiggles and stretches right before I close my eyes to go to sleep, or the long arms I have seen on a screen that seems to match mine exactly. I’ll admit it, it feels strange to be so connected to someone, to know her every hiccup and movement but not yet have touched her face or kissed her cheeks.
I know it’s a lesson in patience, this waiting game of becoming a mother. I know it will be worth the wait. But it doesn’t stop the urge to plan and prepare.
These days, my mind regularly goes to pregnant Mary, crying out to God, in the midst of her emotion for her not-yet-born son. I wonder if the mere idea of picturing her baby could bring her to tears like it does for me. I wonder if she insisted on preparing and planning for her little one just like I am.
When I think about Mary, I’m reminded of Luke 1:46-48, where Mary cries out, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed.”
I feel that now. Without even lying eyes on my daughter, I know that generations will call me blessed because I had the opportunity to carry her. What an intoxicatingly beautiful and delicate feeling.
And in the midst of my preparation and in the stillness of the night when the rest of the world seems to sleep except for me and my baby who I have not yet held, I am reminded that my daughter is not too young or too small or too new for my prayers for her to matter to our God. I used to think I would need to know her better to pray for her properly. But I realize that no matter who she grows up to be, no matter what challenges she faces or the strengths she brings into our world, my prayers can be more or less the same.
They are prayers for joy, confidence, and a connection to our God. Prayers for love bigger than she could ever imagine, and peace even amid her biggest tribulation. Call it part of my preparation process, these soft, whispered prayers for a baby not yet born. May I prepare her for the future joy and tribulations with gentle sighs to our Father. May her future fear be extinguished with the words I speak today.
Whether you are an expectant mother, a nervous father, an eager grandparent, or someone in between who feels the call to pray for a child who is not yet born, I share this with you. These are a few of my prayers. You can pray something similar or use your own words, but rest assured in the knowledge that our God in heaven hears our words and knows our child’s needs, even before we say Amen.
Prayers for Peace and Safety
“In peace, I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety” (Psalm 4:3).
As my eyelids grow heavy, I can’t help but notice the constant thrumming of what could be and the problems of our world. I begin with fear: of the unknown, of the perceived, of the things that could be. What I need is You at the forefront of my memory, and the constant awareness that you are in control of our lives, even those of the youngest and the smallest of them.
If my little one ever finds herself scared, either now in the safety of my body or when she gets older and moves in the world without me surrounding her, I pray You provide her with the knowledge of Your peace. Even before she can utter a word, remind her Your love is bigger than things that startle, surprise, or don’t go as planned. Let her know there is beauty in the not knowing, that it is the simplest evidence of Your love, and Your power to provide.
Let her moments of quiet be filled with a deep rest and the knowledge she is cared for and loved beyond words. No matter what and no matter when.
Prayers for a Confident Spirit
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7).
It’s the mother in me, but I am already thinking about how I can give this little one everything they need to be successful. I know that in reality, no amount of baby books, fancy schools, or intricate planning can create success. But the truth is, who she is and her innermost personality traits may already be stitched into her tiny heart and blossoming soul. All I can do is prioritize placing love at her core.
May she never be afraid to hide the wonderfully unique parts of her, the quirky side, the silly side—even when it is easier to go with the flow or do what the rest of the crowd is doing. I pray she is not timid in her opinions, but proudly proclaims who she is and what she stands for, even when it’s hard. I hope she is full of bravery, one who states her mind (and if these kicks are any indication, that is exactly who she will be.)
You know her mother is a writer, a vocal one, and I hope falls in love with words as I have. But even if she doesn’t, even if her voice is small and her demeanor is shy, I pray she exudes a confidence that says she knows how loved and valued she is in this world. Help her be a light against the darkness of our sky.
Whatever her personality may be and her gifts may look like, I hope her actions proclaim she is a friend to the friendless, a kind face in the crowd. Give her the conviction to move mountains.
Lord, grant her strength in those tiny fists and determination in her perfect nose. Remind her time and time again who she is, that she can do anything through Christ who gives her strength.
Prayers for Joy
“You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound” (Psalm 4:7).
I never knew that I could feel so much delight in something that is still so delicate. They say that joy differs from happiness because it is consistent, it doesn’t depend on your mood or situation, and it stays regardless of your circumstances. Maybe this is true joy in its purest form.
Lord, I am so grateful for this feeling that you have blessed me with and for this opportunity to know what it feels like to love so deeply. I pray that even amid the bad days, the pretense of joy will shine through. That the small things will create big sunbeams in her chest: sand on her toes, light through the window each morning, a butterfly on the tip of her finger.
May I never be immune to her small joys, and may she never be without the knowledge of all of the good in this world. When rainy days come and the sun doesn’t shine, may the warmth of Your love still spread from her chest and into her smile.
May she know big joy every day of her life, and like never before.
Big Prayers for Small Things
I wonder if my daughter will ever read back on these prayers one day. Maybe then, she’ll laugh at my love and devotion when she was no more than fluttering inside of me.
Or will she remember a rush of emotion from the warm space inside when my voice lifted these prayers to our Father? I’ll have to wait to ask.
For any other mother navigating the challenges of pregnancy with the joy of blossoming new life inside of you, I hope these prayers bring you peace. I hope they bring you understanding. But perhaps most of all, may it bring the knowledge that our Heavenly Father knows the baby inside better than we can comprehend, and He will provide for each of their needs.
This is the peace that passes understanding promised to each of us. Even for you, Mama.