Monday, May 12, 2014

Helps for Orthodox Mothers: Prayers

Below I have several prayers for mothers to pray for their children. I know it can be difficult to read lots of long prayers when you’re intending to relax by reading a blog or two. So, maybe just scan the titles and see if one catches your eye. Or maybe leave it up and read one here and there. The last prayer is for an expecting mother (I just did one out of three I have). So, that may or may not apply to you. If it does, and you want the other two, just let me know and I can send them your way somehow!

As my sister-in-law Lisa commented on the introduction post, praying for our children is the most important thing we can do. There are lots of ways to do that. These are a just few prayers the Orthodox Church has given us.

Lisa emailed this to me in a post somewhere around the time my daughter was born.

A Mother’s Prayer
O Lord Jesus Christ our God, who didst come into this world not to be ministered unto but t minister and to give Thy life as a ransom for many. Help me, I beseech Thee, in my ministry of caring for the children Thou hast given me. Enable me to be patient in tribulations, to instruct with a meek and gentle spirit, to reprimand with inner tranquility and a sober mind, and to serve in humility of heart with love. May I thus live in Thee alone and for Thee alone showing forth Thy virtues and leading my family upon the path of Thy saving commandments. That we may glorify Thee together with Thine unoriginiate Father and Thine all-holy and life-giving Spirit both in this world and that which is to come. Amen.

I read this in the book Children in the Church Today, loaned to me by Lisa.

O Lord God, only Thou knowest this Thy child, his/her heart, his/her needs, his/her future. Help me not to make a mistake in my dealing with her today.
(I pray this for each child individually and then pray about any current issues I am having with that child.)

I saw this on Molly Sabourin's blog.

Orthodox mother’s prayer for her children

Holy Father, Immortal, from whom all goodness and gentleness comes, penitently I pray Thee for the children whom Thou hast given me to bear. Keep them in Thy grace and holiness, that Thy name may be glorified in them. Direct me by Thy grace to raise them toward the glory of Thy holy name and the benefit of other people. Grant me the gift of the patience necessary to do so. O Lord, enlighten the mind of my children with Thy Wisdom to learn to love Thee in their souls and thoughts. Instill in their hearts the fear and abhorrence of every vice, that they may be able to go the right way without sin. Adorn their souls with purity, goodness, humility, diligence, patience, and every virtue. Guard their lips from all slander and lies. Bless my children, that they may progress in virtue and holiness, and grow under Thy care into honest people. May their guardian angels be with them and protect them in their youth from misleading thoughts, from the evil and sinful temptations of this world, and from the traps of all unclean spirits. And when my children sin before Thee, do not turn away Thy face from them, but according to Thy great mercy be merciful unto them, for Thou alone art the one who cleansesth people from all sin. Reward my children with worldly good things and everything they need for salvation. Keep them from wrath, anger, misfortune, evil, and suffering all the days of their lives. O good Lord, I pray Thee, grant me joy and happiness from my children. Keep me in righteousness and justice, that with Thy children I may stand before Thee in the day of Thy dreaded judgment, and that without fear I may say: Here I am, Lord, with the children whom Thou hast given me, that together with them I may praise Thy most holy name of the Father and Son and Holy Spirit, unto ages of ages. Amen.

There is also the Akathist to the Mother of God, “Nurturer ofChildren” which is full of petitions to Christ and Mary to guide children on the right path. I try to pray this weekly during one morning before the kids get up.

And lastly, a prayer for expectant mothers:

O Sovereign Lord Jesus Christ our God, the source of life and immortality: I thank Thee for in my marriage Thou hast made me a recipient of Thy blessing and gift; for Thou, O Master, didst say: Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth. I thank Thee and pray: Bless this fruit of my body that was given to me by Thee. Favor it and animate it by Thy Holy Spirit. Let it grow a healthy and pure body, with well-formed limbs. Sanctify his body, mind, heart and vitals, and grant this infant which is to be born an intelligent soul; establish him in the fear of Thee. A faithful angel, a guardian of soul and body do Thou vouchsafe him. Protect, keep strengthen and shelter the child in my womb until the hour of his birth. But conceal him not in his mother’s womb; for Thy hands fashioned him; Thou gavest him life and health. O Lord Jesus Christ, into Thine almighty and paternal hands do I entrust my child. Place him upon the hand of Thy grace, and through Thy Holy Spirit sanctify and renew him unto life everlasting that he may be a communicant of Thy heavenly kingdom. Amen. 

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