Woman praying

Five things I pray over and over again as a mother

Nothing has driven me to pray as fervently, regularly, or desperately as motherhood. And I think that’s because motherhood is not solid ground.

Just when I get one routine or system locked down and working well, those lovely children of mine go and change again.

Just when I seem to have solved one perplexing issue, another one pops up.

And to see this reality for what it is – to be driven to prayer by this reality – is a blessing.

Because the truth is, motherhood isn’t solid ground. It isn’t the rock I can stand on.

So when I feel the ground shifting again, I’m reminded to turn to Jesus – the Rock of Ages.

He never changes, and more importantly, he has the power to change me and my children.

I’ve found over the years there are five things I keep coming back to pray for as a mother.

Of course, there are prayers for the specific circumstances and challenges of each day. But as much as the needs vary, they stay the same.

I pray that God will help me to have patience

Whenever one of us is going through a frustrating time, my friends and I like to joke with each other – “you prayed for patience again, didn’t you?” The idea being that when you pray for patience, God sends a circumstance that will teach you to be patient.

I’ve found, as much as Lord gives practical lessons in patience, he gives me His grace and the power of the Holy Spirit working in me to supply me with more and more patience.

With each new trial or challenge that arises, I go back to the Lord and ask for patience again.

He has never withheld it!

I ask God to help me be consistent in discipline

Consistency is not my strong suit in any area of life, so it has been a real challenge for me in the area of discipline.

Disciplining our kids is first about self-discipline. We need to be self-disciplined to study God’s word so we know how to raise them up. We need self-discipline to get off our butts and teach the lessons that need to be taught. And we need self-discipline to keep showing them love and meeting their needs.

So this is something I find myself praying for God to work in my heart, again and again. That I would be a mother whose children know what to expect, because I am consistent.

I pray that kindness and wisdom would be on my tongue

As my kids grow older and more physically independent, they need more emotional and spiritual shepherding. And it makes me all the more aware of my lack when it comes to knowing what to say.

I feel the weight of my position and responsibility. I feel the weight of knowing I will give an account to God one day for every careless word spoken.

This drives me to my knees in prayer.

I beg God to give me wisdom and to help me know what to say at the right time. And I ask that he will help me to season all my words with kindness and love, and that I will speak the truth, straight from His word.


I pray that I will be faithful in how I spend my time

Just as I am uniquely placed to offer words of wisdom and truth to my kids, there are no other people whom they will observe more closely than I or my husband.

Children have a close up view of the way we live, both in public and in private, and that is daunting!

What example am I setting in how I spend my time?

Too often, I am showing them laziness, self-indulgence and a skewed sense of priorities. That’s why I never stop coming before God asking him to refine me in this area.

That I will spend my time wisely first and foremost, to the glory of God. But as a close second, to set an example for my children.

I want them to see me prioritizing time in God’s word; time spent in service to them and their father; time spent loving others in word and in deed. Most of all, I want them to see me being faithful in whatever God has given me to do in that moment – whether it’s disciplining a child, scrubbing a toilet, or having a nap.

I need God’s help, because being faithful with my time does not come naturally.

I ask that God would use me to point them to Jesus

By far, the most frequent thing I pray for as a mother is that the Lord would use me to draw my children to Himself.

I think about Timothy’s mother and grandmother who faithfully taught him the Scriptures, and what a profound impact they had, not only on his life, but the whole Christian church.

And I think about my own mother and the legacy of love for God, seeking out the truth in God’s word, and being faithful to serve your family and others that shone (and shines) so brightly in her life.

So I ask again and again that the Lord would use me – despite all my failings – to draw my children to love and know Him.

It’s a heavy burden we bear as mothers.

But we don’t have to bear it alone. We were never intended to.

When we come to Jesus, he gives us rest. The rest that comes from knowing that He is with us; He is working in us; and he takes what we do in faith and uses it for His glorious purposes.

Where are you lacking in motherhood, sisters? Where are you weak?

Take it to our heavenly Father – He will graciously supply all your needs.


  1. Larah says:

    Hi Jess. This is beautiful. I’ve been making a list of good reads for me for this season of motherhood and glad to have yours. My sleeplessness as little one hasn’t started sleeping through makes me short with my girls and I am praying and reminding myself to depend on the Lord. Your article is a great reminder for me. Xx

  2. Lexia says:

    Love your writing, Jess. And I love the way these prayers focused on you as the mother, and not so much on changing your kids (which is what I was kind of expecting). Some good advice for all mums, no matter the ages of our children.

  3. Jess Harvey says:

    Thanks for your comment, Lexia!
    I certainly have some standard things I pray for God to work in my kids (and some prayers that change as they change!), but yes, for this piece I wanted to focus on what I pray for myself in my role as mother. 🙂

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