By Veronica Neffinger, Crosswalk.com
Pregnancy is an exciting time--you’re about to embark on the journey of parenthood and you are probably busy preparing to meet your little one. There are many ways we prepare to welcome a baby into our lives--by choosing a care provider and place of birth, by creating a baby registry, by decorating a nursery, packing a hospital bag, installing a car seat, and the list goes on.
All these are important (and usually fun!) milestones we go through as new parents to prepare for the day we will get to meet our little one. What can easily get overlooked amidst this exciting and busy season, however, is preparing for our baby spiritually.
I know I have found myself sending up hurried prayers for the health and wellbeing of my baby sporadically throughout my busy days. Although your prayers certainly don’t need to be elaborate for God to hear them, a more focused, intentional approach to praying for your baby can be grounding and lead to greater peace and trust throughout the pregnancy journey.
Here are five beautiful Scripture passages that you may want to use to pray over your little one while you eagerly await their arrival.
These passages are certainly not only for expecting moms, either. I encourage you to share them with your partner, parents, friends, and family so they can pray through them during your pregnancy as well.
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1. Psalm 139:10-13 (NLT)
This passage provides a beautiful description of how God was involved in creating your baby’s life from the moment of conception. His creations are good, and they are truly miracles.
I love how this passage encourages us to ponder the mystery and marvel of how a baby is formed in the womb. Though it can be explained by science, there remains a strong element of wonder that makes the process even more amazing.
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
This passage assures us that God knows what he is doing in growing babies. You can rest in the knowledge that he is intimately involved in the details of your baby’s life, even before you have met him/her yet. As in love as you are alredy with your little one, we cannot even fathom God's love for every hair on their head.
We have a God who is invested in the details of our lives; he is not distant and does not leave us to our own devices, but he delights in creating each intricate part of us--and our babies.
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2. 1 Samuel 1:26-27 (MSG)
The context of this passage is important to note. Hannah, the wife of a devout man named Elkanah, is unable to have children.
She prays to the Lord and petitions him for a child while she and her husband are visiting the Lord’s temple at Shiloh. Hannah fervently prays that God would give her a child and vows that, when he does, she would dedicate his life back to the Lord.
God hears and answers Hannah’s prayer and she gives birth to Samuel, who would become a prophet. Later, Hannah returns to the temple at Shiloh and to Eli the priest and says:
“I prayed for this child, and God gave me what I asked for. And now I have dedicated him to God. He’s dedicated to God for life.”
Then and there, they worshiped God.
Though we will not likely physically dedicate our child to God’s service at a young age like Hannah did with Samuel, this passage is an important reminder that children are gifts from God, entrusted to us for a time.
God has important work planned for each child, and we can be instrumental in praying for that calling even now while they are yet in the womb.
Additionally, this passage can serve as an encouragement to any women who struggled to conceive or perhaps those who are carrying rainbow babies (babies conceived after a miscarriage). You can be sure that God sees your sorrow and hears your prayers. It's so encouraging to read stories of other women struggling with pregnancy--God knows how important it is to our hearts.
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3. James 1:17-18 (NLT)
This passage reminds us that all good gifts come from the Lord (certainly including the precious baby in your womb!) It also provides a helpful birth analogy: like a woman gives birth to her child, the Lord gave birth to new life in us through Jesus.
As pregnant women, this analogy may also encourage us to feel a greater connection with the Lord; although Jesus never experienced birth in the physical sense we experience it, he created the birth process and is intimately familiar with it.
Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.
This may be an especially good verse to meditate on if your baby came to you in an unexpected way. There are many women like Hannah in the above section whose deep desire for many years has been to have a child, but you may be in a different situation.
Perhaps you were surprised to find out you are pregnant, and you may not feel prepared, either financially, relationship-wise, or in any number of other ways. This passage affirms that God counts us, his children, as his prized possession, and you can be confident that he will provide you with what you need--physically, emotionally, spiritually--to be a mother to your baby.
Just as he has chosen you as one of his children, he has chosen you specifically to be the mother for your baby.
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4. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (MSG)
This passage talks about the paradox that, as Christians, we are strong in God’s strength even when we are at our weakest from a human standpoint.
There will likely be many times during the pregnancy journey when you feel weak, whether that is from a physical limitation, a greater need for rest, anxiety about things that are out of your control, or the overwhelming responsibility of carrying and caring for a new life.
This passage is a great reminder that you can safely trust in God’s strength. This Scripture may even be a good one to focus on in labor as a birth affirmation:
Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,
My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.
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5. Psalm 127:3-5 (MSG)
This passage reminds us what a gift children are. Pregnancy is a long process with ups and downs, but these verses are grounding.
This is a wonderful passage to read and meditate on during times when being pregnant just feels hard and heavy. The aches and pains, the worry, all the preparing--it will all be worth it when you experience the blessing of meeting your baby.
Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift?
the fruit of the womb his generous legacy?
Like a warrior’s fistful of arrows
are the children of a vigorous youth.
Oh, how blessed are you parents,
with your quivers full of children!
Whether you just received a positive pregnancy test or you are nearing the end of your pregnancy journey or are anywhere in between, I hope these Scripture passages will encourage you.
The Lord knows and loves you and your little one intimately, and he is with you on this journey of pregnancy, birth, and parenthood.
Babies come to us in different ways--some women have children very young, while some pray for years to become a mother, and yet still others are able to have children through the aid of modern technologies or through the adoption process.
Whatever your story of pregnancy and the journey to motherhood, know that God sees you and desires you to draw closer to him through this time.
What Scripture passages have encouraged you during pregnancy? What verses do you like to pray over your baby?
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