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How to Pray While Awaiting a Birth

When waiting for a child to be born, here are five prayers of hope and expectation for family and friends.

Prayers waiting for a child to be born
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
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Few people enjoy waiting, and fewer still find it easy to await the arrival of a child into this world—whether as parents, grandparents or other family and friends. But such moments are rich with possibility if we use them to pray. In the spirit of the season of Advent, here are five great ways to pray while awaiting a birth:

1)  Pray like Manoah
Before Samson was born, an angel appeared to his previously childless parents to promise a son. Manoah, who would become Samson’s father, asked the angel, “What is to be the rule for the boy’s life and work?” (Judges 13:12, NIV). That’s still a good basis for our prayers today, asking God to guide and shape our hopes and dreams for a newborn family member.

2)  Pray like Hannah
Hannah prayed passionately and repeatedly for a child, and promised that when he was born, she would dedicate him to the service of God (see 1 Samuel 1). She fulfilled her promise, and her prayer is recorded in 1 Samuel 2. It begins, “My heart rejoices in the Lord” (1 Samuel 2:1, NIV). So, another way to pray when a birth is imminent is with prayers of joy and celebration, like Hannah.

3)  Pray like Mary
When Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth, they rejoiced together at the favor God had showered on them both (Elizabeth would become the mother of John the Baptist, and Mary would, of course, give birth to Jesus). Then, Mary, in one of the most famous prayers ever (which may have begun with a reference to Hannah’s prayer), said, “My soul praises the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has been mindful of the humble state of His servant” (Luke 1:46-47, NIV). She went on to praise God for His holiness, mercy and more. Mary’s example suggests that praising God is a great way to pray while awaiting a birth.

4)  Pray the Jesus Standard
The Gospel writer Luke, after recording the events of Jesus’ birth, presentation in the Jerusalem Temple and more, tells us that “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52, NIV). Using that verse as an outline for prayer while awaiting a birth can help us to pray for the newborn’s intellectual, physical and spiritual health and well-being.

5)  Pray the Fruits of the Spirit
Another way to pray while awaiting a birth is to pray through the fruits of the Spirit, as listed in Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV) for the child to live a life characterized by and filled with “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

The above are all good prayers for the awaited child—and for a newborn’s parents, grandparents and others. In fact, there’s no reason to stop praying them after the child is born, so keep these on hand and ready to pray for all of those you love, at all times and on every occasion.

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