I wanted to share with you the prayer requests that I have as I prepare for Elijah's labor and delivery and for the actual day. I've also included the scripture I've been praying and meditating over. My hope is that you will not only join in by praying for me, baby Elijah and my family, but that you would use these prayers and scriptures for yourself, your family members and your friends when needed. One of the many things I love about the church is that we are called to pray for one another and that we get the honor of doing so! Thank you for your prayers and petitions.
The one major difference I've noticed about my attitude toward labor this time versus when I was pregnant with Isaac is this: with Isaac I believed I would be able to get through labor on my own because my body was made for it. I felt that because my body was designed to give birth, all I needed was to trust it to see me through (with the help of some basic preparations, of course). What I discovered in my labor with Isaac is that 1. that is only partly true and 2. I can't do it alone. I needed to also trust in the one who designed and created my body to give birth.
As women, our bodies are created and designed for pregnancy, labor and birth, but we have to always look to the One who created and designed them that way.
Many of the scriptures I've been praying over in preparation came from this post and this site. I highly recommend both.
The simplest but most important prayer I've been praying is: Lord, be my focus and my strength during my labor and may all of it be for Your glory.
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. ~ 2 Timothy 1:7
I ask the Lord to help me use the spirit of self-discipline He has already given me to focus on my breathing, to focus on relaxation and to focus on God in prayer and petition while in labor. I know I have a spirit of power and of self-discipline, but I need to focus on Him to maintain it. And I need both in order to get through labor successfully.
Commit to the Lord whatever you do... ~ Proverbs 16:3
My prayer is that I would commit this labor and birth entirely to the Lord- that it would give Him honor and glory. I pray that I would humbly submit to His plan and purpose for my labor, because I know He has a provision for it. And that I would also commit my role as a mother to Him as well and that He would use me mightly in this child's life.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. ~ Matthew 11:28
Lord, help me to find my rest in You and to relax in the knowledge that You are completely in control and can fill me with the strength my mind and body need. I know labor will be, well, laborious, but I know that I can rest in You in the midst of the work it requires. And that I can find peace of mind in the moments when I need it most. I know you give peace.
You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you because he trusts you. ~ Isaiah 26:3
I trust Your words whole-heartedly; that You will keep me in perfect peace during my labor because I trust you. You are the source of all peace and strength and I will seek You alone for both. Please Lord, grant me that peace of mind. I'm also praying this in the days before labor so that I begin labor in the right state of mind. Free my mind of any frustration and stress so that I don't take those feelings into labor.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. ~ Psalm 139:13-14
The Lord has made me and created my body. Help me to trust in its ability to do what You have made it to do. Help me to follow its lead and trust my instincts, all the while knowing that You strengthen me in those moments. Help me to work with my body and not against it. And thank you that I am so wonderfully made. Thank you for the new life who You have knit together in my womb. Give me the desire and motivation of a mother's love to get through his birth. I cannot wait to meet him on the other side of it!
In the end, as I said above, my focus and desire through and through is that the Lord will be glorified and honored in this. I trust Him for strength, for peace, for patience, for self-discipline, for power and for love. He will provide as He always has. He is faithful and I know that full well. I am incredibly grateful that He has placed this child in my life and I look to Him to see me through baby Elijah's birth.
Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one's youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; They will not be ashamed When they speak with their enemies in the gate. ~Psalm 127:3-5
You can also read here on other ways I've prepared for this labor and how God answered my prayer.