Prayers of Women

As a mom, I’m often struck by symbols, reminders, and lessons for myself.  For example, discipline situations with my children often remind me of my own behaviors and “slow learning” in the context of my relationship with God.  Or, the wonder my children express as they see new and exciting things (alligators, sea turtles and dolphins) remind me to look at life with wonder and to marvel at God’s creation.  As I constantly pick up toys and clutter, it can symbolize the clutter that builds in my own internal and spiritual life.  If I have the eyes to see, so many situations in life as a mother lend themselves to personal and spiritual growth.

In my mom’s book, Keep These Things, Ponder Them in Your Heart, she has a chapter entitled “Prayers if Women”.  These words are taken from an African pamphlet, and the sentiments expressed cross multicultural (and generational) lines.  These could be the prayers of any mother:

At the hour that I open the door of my house, I pray, my Lord, open the door of my heart that I might (be able) to meet with you!

At the time I wash my clothes, I pray, my Lord, cleanse my heart and cause it to be good and righteous that I might become pure white in your eyes.

At the time I sweep and clean around my house, I pray, my Lord, remove the trash and dirt that is inside my heart.  Remove unclean thoughts that I may be thoroughly clean and pure in your sight.

When I go to buy oil, I pray, my Lord, give me wisdom ~ your wisdom, as the young virgins had as they had oil in their lamps.  May I know and be ready at all times for your work.

When I receive a letter or when I send a letter to others, I pray, my Lord, enlarge my faith that I may fellowship with you, whom I do not see with my eyes, but whom I can know in my heart.

At the time I go to get water, I pray, my Lord, give me the water of life that I may never, never be again with thirst.

When I light the lamp, I pray, my Lord, let your true light shine in my heart.  Help me that all of my affairs be with love, gentleness, and kindness, that my life may light that life of others in leading them to Jesus Christ.

When it is necessary to sprinkle water to the things I have planted I pray, my Lord, let the good rain of your Spirit fall on my heart.

When I boil the water to cook our food, I pray, my Lord, light your fire in my heart of coldness.  Give me a strong yearning and desire in my heart to do your needy work with great joy.

Amen.

These prayers not only resonate with me as a mom, they are a good introduction to some of my own prayers and reflections I’ve had related to various tasks around the home.  In my next few posts I’ll be sharing some of these insights and prayers.  Insights related to scrubbing floors, cleaning glasses with vinegar, and scrubbing calluses off my feet!

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