Mother’s Day Prayer

Here’s the prayer I used today in worship. I really gave myself license to break out the feminine language for God. This led to being confronted after worship by a parishioner who was uncomfortable with this. He and I talked about it for a while and he explained why he was uncomfortable with the idea of talking about God with feminine language. I explained a little of why I continued to periodically do so, but he already understood where I was coming from for the most part. What I liked was that at the end we agreed to disagree and wished each other peace. He said he hopes that someday I’ll be thumped by the Bible on the head, and I said that I hoped that we could talk about this again whenever he was interested. He was concerned that I would be upset if he didn’t follow along with my language choices, and I made it clear that I was fine with disagreement and other people using other language. I was touched, actually. Anyway, here:

Loving Mother God
we thank you for all you give us – for our life and for every good thing
You restore us to reflect your glory, and you restore us in relationship to others
Yet still we fall short
We name you Mother
and it brings to the light of day women and mothers who suffer in our world
who are too often the ‘least of these’
women, mothers who suffer deeper poverty, who have their voices taken from them
women, mothers who suffer abuse and assault, whose lives are shattered by violence and war
women, mothers who suffer the indignities of a world where they are not yet equal,
not yet able to be freely and fully themselves
Loving Mother God
have mercy on us
as we seek to see you in the least, to see your son’s agony in their agony
as we look for the strength and wisdom and patience to change things
to live in your community as your people; to love as you love

9 thoughts on “Mother’s Day Prayer

  1. Hey Doug, Stushie got you there.To be Scriptural you would have had to say something more like “Dear Mother Hen” (Mat 23:37) or “Dear Sophia” (Prov 1:20).I think its cool to explore the meaning of the metaphors in the Bible. The shock value of messing with them can be overdone, but people need to come to terms with the fact that “our Father who art in heaven” does not mean God has a gender. Jodie


  2. That’s quite true, Jodie. If the premise is “we can’t say anything about God that isn’t explicitly in scripture” then a lot of what i say, in prayers and sermons and teaching and youth group, is out of bounds.Stushie: Obviously I know what you’re getting at, and you and I will probably have to agree to disagree on this one. I’m quite convinced that there should be great freedom in language about God in worship as long as it is used with reverence, and that this language use should be guided by the holy spirit and the collective wisdom of the congregation.I could write a long, tedious defense of this position, but I don’t have the feeling you’d be convinced, and honestly I’m not all that worried about it. And I doubt either of us have the time to read up on books we could recommend to each other supporting our positions.Does it make you feel better if I say that I’m always open to criticism from the congregation and that I do these things to bring people closer to God, not further? Or that I use language carefully and after discernment? Or that I take comments about what I do in worship to heart and try to improve? Or that I do these things because I honestly believe that they are what the holy spirit is leading me to do in worship? Maybe, maybe not, but that’s the case. I’m sure you do the same.


  3. Madeleine McCann, 4 years old,disappeared from The Ocean Club resort, Praia da Luz, Lagos, Portugal, in the evening of May 3, 2007. Police says that she was kidnapped by an english man , with the help of his russian friend.Please, go to my blog, and copy my last post in to your blog (the post is in english and in portuguese).There´s a reward for those who find the girl, google it.You can also see more about this on youtube.She can be anywhere around the world.Thanks.


  4. Dear Stushie,<>“For a long time I have held my peace,I have kept still and restrained myself;now I will cry out like a woman in labor,I will gasp and pant.”<> <>Isaiah 42:14<><>“For thus says the LORD:As a mother comforts her child,so I will comfort you.”<> <>Isaiah 66:12a, 13a<><>“[Jesus said,] ‘How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!'”<> <>Matthew 23:37b; Luke 13:34b<>If we can call God “our shield”, “a mighty fortress”, and “rock” without the biblical literalists making a fuss, then most certainly we can call God our Mother and stand on solid biblical ground in the process.In Christ,Mark


  5. Dear Stushie,Perhaps you are already familiar with the 1984 document, edited by Alan E. Lewis and published by The Saint Andrew Press (Edinburgh), entitled <><>The Motherhood of God:<> A Report by a Study Group appointed by the Woman’s Guild and the Panel on Doctrine on the invitation of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland<>. If not, I commend it to you, especially since it is the product of your mother Church.In Christ,Mark


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