How often do you pray for your mother? I posed this question to friends on social media recently and the consensus was pretty overwhelming: not enough.
Up until a few months ago, that would have been my answer, too. I’d pray for my mom in times of crisis or frustration, but not much more beyond that. Since the beginning of the new year, however, God has been graciously teaching me how to better honor her through faithful prayer.
As believers, God commands us to be devoted to prayer and to honor our parents (Romans 12:12, Ephesians 6:2). The word “honor” in Ephesians 6:2 means “to give weight.” When we give our moms weight in our prayer lives, we obey both commands which is doubly pleasing to God!
Praying for our mothers also comes with a double blessing—for our moms and for us. The Bible tells us that “the prayers of a righteous person have great power” and that honoring our parents comes with a promise that it may go well with us (James 5:16 ESV, Ephesians 6:3).
As Mother’s Day approaches, I hope you’ll consider how God might be prompting you to pray for your own mom. What better gift to give her than the prayers of a faithful daughter?
Seeing Our Moms through the Eyes of the Father
One benefit of praying for our mothers is that it helps us to view them how God views them—as fellow image bearers who need the gospel just as much as we do. In My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers wrote, “True intercession involves bringing the person, or the circumstance that seems to be crashing in on you, before God, until you are changed by His attitude toward that person or circumstance.” As we pray in his Spirit, our own hearts towards our moms will begin to match God’s heart towards them.
Interceding for our moms before the throne of grace requires us to stop and consider their needs as well. What trials are they facing? What are their wants and desires? What do they believe about God and his promises? In order to answer these questions, we have to practice being slow to speak and quick to listen—paying careful attention in conversations so that we know how to best pray for our moms (James 1:19).
Praying God’s Will for Our Moms
One of the best ways to know that we’re praying God’s will (and not our own!) for our moms is by using God’s word as our prayer guide. Jesus said, “If you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you” (John 15:7 ESV).
Praying biblical prayers for my mom has been freeing for me on a personal level. It protects me from self-serving prayers and allows me to confidently pray, knowing that if we ask anything according to his will, God hears us (1 John 5:14).
What does this look like in practice? Let’s say you know that your mom has to make a big decision. You could turn to Proverbs 2:3-8:
“Yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints.”
Then you could call upon God to grant her wisdom, praying that she would fear the Lord and seek out insight and understanding from above. If your mom isn’t a Christian yet, you could ask God to give her knowledge and understanding of the gospel so that she might fear him and be wise.
That’s a lot richer than saying “God, help my mom make this decision,” isn’t it? Praying according to God’s word puts meat on the bones of our sometimes paltry prayers.
When Honoring Our Moms Doesn’t Come Easy
Honoring our moms doesn’t always come easy. Sadly, sin has left no good thing untouched—including the family dynamic. If your relationship with your mom is strained or even non-existent, I’m so sorry, friend. It’s not supposed to be that way.
How do we do honor our moms when it’s hard? Only with God’s help. Honoring them may be difficult for us, but Christ is well-acquainted with honoring the dishonorable. While we were still dishonorable sinners, he died for us and raised us up with him to a place of honor (Romans 5:8, Ephesians 2:6). It is by him, through him, and to him that we honor our moms.
For those who struggle with their moms, prayer is a safe first step of obedience. It doesn’t require direct contact with anyone but God, meaning you don’t have to see your mom or even be on speaking terms to pray for her. Of course, our hope would be that God would eventually bring healing to your relationship, but in the meantime, you can honor her from a distance with your prayers.
Remember, we can’t change people or restore relationships, but God can—and he does! Though our earthly parents may fall short, we have a perfect Heavenly Father who listens intently to his children and is eager to answer our prayers.
Join Me in Prayer
Sister, I hope you’ll join me in honoring God and our moms through prayer. Prayer is powerful, valuable to God, and it helps us see others through the eyes of our loving Father.
If you’re not used to praying regularly for your mom, it might feel a little clunky at first, but don’t let that hinder you. The Holy Spirit intercedes when words fail us, and God graciously equips his saints to obey his commands (Romans 8:26-27; Hebrews 13:21).
May God bless us and our moms as we seek to honor them through prayer.