Philippians 4.4-7 “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Today’s New International Version)
As I write this column my family is awaiting the birth of our fourth child. This period of waiting should be rather routine; we’ve been down this road before. But I find myself thinking anxiously, is today the day? I find my activity ping-ponging between a great flurry of activity making sure everything is set and a state of paralysis where I can’t seem to think or do anything.
I’m aware that this experience is shared by many from all walks of life. In the present season it is known by those who are graduating from High Schools, Colleges and Universities. It’s also known by those who are in job transitions, or those with parents who are ebbing toward needing more assistance in life. There is much to be anxious about, there are great responsibilities to be borne, great doors of opportunity to be opened, and they all contain great unknowns.
It’s here that we find Paul’s words helpful, “Rejoice in the Lord, don’t be anxious about anything . . . the peace of God . . . will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
Nine years ago Anna and I found ourselves awaiting Moses’ birth, in some of those familiar patterns we wait now. Paul’s encouragement and the invitation offered, to present our requests to God, prodded me to write the following prayer. I share it with you because this is our prayer now, and you may need a prayer that helps to express your own waiting and expectation to the Father.
May the peace of God guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
A Prayer For Expectant Parents
O God, our Father,
You instructed Adam and Eve
To be fruitful and multiply;
To fill the earth
We are on the verge of carrying out that command in our own day
We’ve waited, for what seems like years
Yet it has been a few months,
A few weeks,
A few days
A few hours
WHEN WILL THIS BABY COME?
Mary must have shared our anxious hearts:
“WHEN WILL THIS HOLY INFANT COME?”
Comfort us as we wait, give us patience for
Receiving the blessing to come
May this remind us of our wait for the day
When we will all be brought to life in the resurrection of the dead
When the earth, like the womb will give way
To the reality of glory.
In Jesus’ Name. Amen.