Let’s talk about prayers during labor. Don’t click away even if you’re not pregnant! This isn’t just a post about praying during actual labor and delivery of a baby, although that’s a great starting place. It’s also about prayers during labor in the day to day care of our children.
Yet she will be saved through childbearing, provided they continue in faith and love and holiness, with modesty.
1 Timothy 2:15
I love when a pregnant woman sends out an offer to pray for others–when a momma offers her prayers during labor for all the intentions she knows the rest of the mommas are holding on to tightly and close to the heart. And I love a good birth story made so popular in recent years. But they are always anticlimactic for me.
Sure, a great birth story always includes the whole labor and delivery part…but I realize now, just because we deliver a baby into the world, does not mean our labor has ended. The delivery is not the completion of the labor. I’m 21 years into parenting and I can tell you mommas–I labor every single day…without an epidural even!
Parenting is hard and holy and sometimes it hurts every bit as much if not more than the actual day of delivery.
And lonely…parenting is so lonely sometimes. It’s not like the day of delivery in the hospital or at home where people take care of you and your every need and congratulate you on doing something hard and literally life-giving.
Nobody brings in flowers or gifts after a particularly hard day of real-life labor. And lots of nights, there’s not even a fresh smelling little one to cuddle up to.
Part of what makes the day in and day out laboring of parenting so lonely is that no one wants to details of the mundane, everyday labor. But more importantly, I have found as my children have grown–it’s not entirely my labor story to tell.
And it seems those stories, the ones that are not mine to tell, they are anything but mundane, those are normally the stories that can crack a momma heart wide open where she feels like she’s left to bleed out alone.
There are many labors throughout my day I’m unable to talk about because they aren’t just about me. There’s this baby of mine–8, 18 or older and they deserve to tell their own story or keep it private; that’s not always my call.
So we get out own cup of ice–with or without our beverage of choice, slip into our old, worn out pajamas–not a new, fancy, matching set with robe and slippers, we and relive the labor story of the day quietly to ourselves.
And sometimes, the pain of this labor, just like the first one, brings on big, hot tears. And it hurts. Do not let anyone tell you laboring through the daily care, love, and raising of children doesn’t hurt emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and yes–even physically, because it does!
There won’t be a steady stream of visitors, happy photographs and prepared meals. And because of the whole “not my story to tell,” there won’t even be shared stories to pass around. And so we are quiet.
Quiet is not a bad thing momma. God met with Moses many times alone on the mountain and Jesus alone in the desert. When we leave that space for quiet, that’s when we can start processing and laboring through the difficulties and decisions.
I think sometimes when we can’t pick up the phone, hop on Facebook or meet a friend for coffee to “vent” we have the ability to grow in closer friendship with God. Not that doing any of those other things necessarily keep us from God–necessarily, but we end up taking the scenic route to reach Him don’t we?
I’ve delivered some of my babies with an epidural and some without. Those labors without an epidural required all my focus. I couldn’t watch television, talk to Chris, much less joke around with him. I needed to be totally focused on what was a hand and this required an interior silence like no other. My entire body needed to be united and that required a profound silence. My body was bearing another human soul–much as it does now, times seven–add in my husband and we’re at eight souls.
And mommas who have had a cesarean delivery, your labor and delivery may look different than the ones I’ve experienced but your prayers do not change. Prayers during labor are universal.
Eight souls that require my heart and mind to be united for prayers during labor; even though this labor looks like normal, everyday life.
Familiar friends of The Littlest Way will know, I love a Thesaurus. And if you look up “Bear” there are so many connections you can make. I especially love when it mentioned “Bear” as a verb meaning “to support mentally.” Some of the synonyms listed are: have, hold, cherish. Another definition is “Endure” and a couple of the synonyms are experience and encounter.
Sounds like day to day motherhood, doesn’t it?
Mommas, the point of this post, offering our labors, our prayers for one another, is not a one-time event during our actual labor and delivery, bringing a child into the world. We have the opportunity to offer our labor every.single.day for each other.
What are some of your favorite prayers during labor? I have so many. Some are as simple as, “Jesus I trust in You” to a simple one word, “Jesus.” Others are a long litany of everything including the kitchen sink it seems. It’s ok, God hears them all. More important than hearing them all–He listens.
God the Father and Creator of all actively and patiently listens to each and every prayer we pray as we laboring mommas. Search the Psalms and make a note or highlight every time you come across a verse reminding you or confirming to you that God hears and listens to you.