By: MaryBeth Eberhard
The prayer of a mother runs like a constant flow between her heart and the Lord, like blood streaming through the ventricles of the heart, so does a mother’s prayer connect her to the heart of Jesus. It’s a deep and profound prayer; one of surrender and supplication. We ask not for ourselves but for His will in the lives of those we love. Because we are in a constant relationship with the Lord, and we feel the freedom that brings, we so desperately want others to know the Lord; especially our family. And yet sometimes, they don’t.
Sometimes they run from Him. If they’ve been raised in His light, they might have eyes to see or ears to hear, but a heart that is closed, frightened or wounded by the temptations and worries of this world. They might know that a yes to the Lord requires a change. Has any yes to Him ever not? I might not even have the same name by the time Jesus is done with me! I often ponder how deep Mary’s prayer life must have been. As gruesome as the crucifixion was, there also must have been the temptation for such worry. The late-night mothering of an older child brings me to this reflection often. Mary walked his entire life with Jesus. She ushered him into ministry as was with him in the last. Yet, she pondered so very much in her heart.
We hear the word ponder quite frequently in scripture. The thesaurus shows meditate and reflect as the most frequently used synonyms used alongside it. Ponder, meditate and reflect. This is the breath of a mother’s prayer life even in the fast pace of everyday life. There are times however for me, that, like the major negotiator, communicator, organizer, and relationship builder that I try to be, I try to control a situation.
I believe I am doing God’s will by moving pieces in a fashion that I think will make for the best outcome for what God desires. I imagine the Lord sitting next to me, with his head to the side, one eyebrow raised, silently asking me if I am done yet? Seeing that I am clearly unable to turn off this mission of mine, he waits patiently, moments, days, sometimes years, until I finally surrender and say I can’t do this. I can’t solve this. Will you please help me? He swiftly answers of course, I’ve been waiting for this moment.
It is in that surrender as a mother, when we lay out of heart’s desire for those we love and pray boldly and trust greatly that we regain the true freedom of being in a relationship with the Lord. Through prayer I have been convicted to pray hard and let that be my doing. This is so hard for a mother. And yet we have been given such an example! We are in the middle of so many possibilities and choices for our older children right now and I am challenging myself to pray fervently to the Lord for Him to light, to guide, whisper, shout, and make clear the next steps for my older children.
With a thankful heart, I am praising him for the gift of being a mother and the treasures of these children. I am asking for the fortitude to stay constant in prayer and let that fulfill my tendency to do. This is not a test for the Lord to see if things will go my way. I am laying my way down, but rather it is a test for me to learn to grow in prayer and trust. Padre Pio is known for his simple breath of a prayer, “Pray and don’t worry.” May we all learn to trust in this way.
About the author: MaryBeth Eberhard writes about marriage, life experiences of a large family and special needs. She attends Sunbury St. John Neumann Church with her husband Ryan and her 8 children.