Prayer to the Mother of Us All

We all have one.
She goes by different names:
mom, mama, mummy,
my mother, my birth mother,
the woman who bore me.
We may know her intimately,
or she may be just a name.
But it was she who carried us,
nurtured us with her body,
gave birth to us
and launched us into this wide world.

Some of us have experienced her love and care.
The deep gaze of tenderness and
the long slow work of constant love
evident in thousands of meals
and clean clothes and a ready ear
and picking up and dropping off
and watching and helping
and being tucked in
and a hand on the forehead when we are sick.
A mother’s love.

Others have felt other things;
putdowns, ridicule, judgement,
cruelty and abuse,
neglect and abandonment,
made all the more bitter since it comes
from one whose love we so crave.

And then there are the bereft,
torn from their mother’s embrace too soon,
when war or sickness or death
blighted a life-giving relationship.

Together we come to you for a blessing,
Mother of us all.
Bless the loved and the unloved,
the cherished and the orphaned.
Surround us with your tender care,
that forms us, kindness by kindness
into your family of peace.

New Book Coming Soon!

Carol Penner has written a devotional book for Lent that explores the challenges of repentance and forgiveness. Forty reflections and prayers to deepen your walk with God as you prepare for Easter.  

You can order it here!

About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at

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