Scripture: Psalm 1 Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers, but their delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law, they meditate day and night. They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper. The wicked are not so but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore, the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
The message of the Psalmist is that happiness, or blessedness, does not come from doing what we want to do. Instead, happiness comes from doing what God wants for us to do. That is, we find happiness by doing the will of God. To know the will of God requires constant meditation and discernment – day and night (v.2).
It takes a spiritual guide to introduce us to the path of true happiness with God and in life. My first guide in the Christian life was my mother, Olga. Mom was my One Class Sunday School teacher in my early years. She served as the church’s Christian Education, Vacation Bible School, Christmas and Easter play director. She is still active with the United Methodist Women, and in the life of the only church she’s been a loyal and faithful member of since 1960, First United Methodist Church in Rio Grande City, Texas.
Mom has been an intercessory prayer warrior for me all my life, and she still is. She is with me in spirit, even though miles and miles separate us. Mom introduced me to the pathway of happiness in God. She nurtured me with spiritual grace, and by her witness, led me toward the path of blessedness that comes by doing God’s will. She looked well to the practical and spiritual ways of her household. I call her blessed (Proverbs 31:28).
I had the blessing of a mother who lives her faith in such a beautiful and compelling way that I too followed the path of faith. Perhaps you had or can remember an extraordinary woman (mom, stepmom, aunt, grandmother, great-grandmother, Sunday school teacher, neighbor, or other) in your life that nurtured you, affirmed you, loved you and served as your spiritual mother in the faith. If she is living, call her and thank her for the showing you the love of God in word and deed and for leading you to faith in Christ. If she is no longer living, say a prayer of thanksgiving for her life and witness. Afterall, she did the will of God by sharing faith, hope, and love with you and the world.
God of Provision and Unconditional Love,
On this day when we acknowledge the importance of motherhood among us, we first give thanks that you are a loving parent to us all. From your being all life was born, and in your bosom, all creation is nurtured. You have formed us in your image as your children and gathered us together as a brood under your wing. You have united us as kindred members of one human family, and we are grateful to be your offspring together. We celebrate your divine love, reflected in human expressions of motherhood.
We give you thanks for the mothers among us and ask that you strengthen them in their daily tasks. Grant them wisdom in the lessons they teach, patient in the discipline they foster, and persistence in their promotion of decency and compassion, both by word and example. May they be given the honor and thanks they deserve but often do not receive.
We thank you for all motherly figures: grandmothers, aunts, sisters, wives, step-mothers, foster mothers, guardians, babysitters, teachers, health care providers, neighbors, friends, loved ones, and many others, who practice self-sacrifice and embody compassion to all who are privileged to be in their influence. Grant them vigor to carry on their work, and the satisfaction that the holy privilege of their task affords.
We acknowledge to you, O God, that even amid our grateful celebration, many of us come with restless spirits, reluctant to name the difficulties of this day.
For some, this day brings the sorrowful awareness of their own inability to conceive biological children. Draw your tender spirit near their feelings of self-betrayal, impotence, and grief, and remind them that those who struggle with infertility have always shared a special place in your heart. We pray for those who have suffered miscarriages, those fatigued by fertility treatments, and those struggling through the process of adoption. May they remember that in your power and through your church, they can still leave a lasting legacy beyond themselves.
For some, this day is marked by loneliness and grief, as they spend this first Mother’s Day as a widower, an orphan, or a parent who has lost a child. To those who today live in the wake of the death of a loved one, grant glimpses of the resurrection. Bring to them a steady restoration of their broken hearts. Allow them to live into their future with hope, and empower them to carry out the legacy of lessons instilled within them.
For some, this is a day that surfaces ongoing tensions that exist within our personal relationships and family dynamics. We ask for healing from the wounds of our past, a path of forgiveness for wrongs both experienced and committed, and the rebuilding of trust forged in honesty, authenticity, and love.
We give you thanks for the wide spectrum of motherhood represented among us today: new mothers and young mothers whose children are in their most tender years; mothers of grown children who transition into empty nests and a new chapter of self-discovery; mothers and grandmothers of advanced years, whose twilight of life is marked by frailty of body but a potency of spirit. Theirs is a cumulative reminder that though our lives are marked by transition and change, your nurture and affection for all your children remains the same.
Therefore, remind us to live with child-like faith, curious to every wondrous mystery, attentive to your every instruction, obedient to your every command, and willing to share with every one of your children. We give you thanks, O God, who is a loving Mother and Father to us all, and in whose name we pray,
Prayer for Mothers provided by Discipleship Ministries, The United Methodist Church