The Long Prayer of Motherhood

by Brenda Bradford Ottinger September 18, 2020
“Give me the wisdom and knowledge to lead them properly, for who could possibly govern this great people of yours?” 2 Chronicles 1:10 (NLT)

Raise your hand if you thought for sure 2020 would look normal again by now.

Me too.

In this season of sheltering-in-place, yesterday looks like today looks like tomorrow, yet nothing looks like normal. While this wayward year remains seated in the principal’s office of life, it can feel challenging to lead our families into a fresh semester of uncertainty.

Perhaps you’re concerned for safety as school began amid the social distance of pandemic. Or you’re wondering how to manage a makeshift kitchen-table-classroom while working an essential job.

Maybe your college student struggles with a new normal, longing for what would have been. Or, like many of us, you’re heartsick over racial and civic tensions, craving unity and equality for the youth of your life, your community, your world.

I sense a collective refrain of prayer among mothers as we bend God’s ear, seeking favor and protection over the young and vulnerable around us.

And I’ve come to realize that motherhood is one long prayer of crying out to God for help to meet all they need with all we lack.

Nodding in solidarity, I read King Solomon’s humble prayer, “Give me the wisdom and knowledge to lead them properly, for who could possibly govern this great people of yours?” (2 Chronicles 1:10). After succeeding his father David as king of Israel, Solomon knew he needed wisdom beyond human supply to lead God’s people well.

How comforting to know that the same God who graced Solomon with wisdom to lead is still on His throne, granting wisdom to us as well.

Time and again, the Lord reminds me that the door through which wisdom is accessed is hinged with faith. Paul shares in 2 Corinthians 5:7, “… we live by faith, not by sight (NIV). Oh, for perfectly posed snapshots of tomorrow so we might parent without pressure — but faith isn’t a supplement for sight; it’s a substitute.

By faith we lean into the whispers of the One whose view is eternal. And friend, when you struggle to make sense of those whispers, and you wonder if you’ve heard God correctly, be encouraged that our human perspective is naturally limited. We can’t see the layers of detail God is crafting in our children’s lives. So let us take comfort in Solomon’s instruction: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5, NIV).

Whatever your worries, dear mama, there’s hope. We aren’t left to wander in the nearsightedness of human understanding. James 1:5a tells us, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you” (NLT).

Not a single moment of this ill-behaved year has taken God by surprise. Even 2020 kneels before a faithful God who beholds the view beyond the valley.

This school year may look different than expected, but God’s faithfulness has yet to wrinkle with time. We can trust His eternal compass to guide us as we shepherd those within our care.

Whether you’re leading students, employees, ministries or others, when you rely on the counsel of God’s wisdom, you magnify the power of His purpose in the lives of your people.

Dear Lord, thank You for being the Leader of leaders. Please keep my ears tuned to Your wisdom and my heart at peace with Your plan. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Proverbs 2:6, “For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” (NIV)

Proverbs 22:6, “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.” (NLT)


Make your home a place of learning about God and His Word! Our ABC Scripture Cards and Virtue Cards are designed to bring Scripture memory to life. Each decorative card contains a verse to memorize — and as you tuck His Word in your heart, you’ll be gaining His wisdom. Plus, both card sets are a great way to incorporate Bible-learning into your child’s remote, at-home schooling this year! Check out the ABC Scripture Cards and Virtue Cards in our bookstore.


For more encouragement, connect with Brenda Bradford Ottinger on her website.


How might seeking God’s wisdom during this time provide peace for you today? Try journaling a prayer and releasing your concerns to God.

We’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts in the comments.

© 2020 by Brenda Bradford Ottinger. All rights reserved.

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