When you’re praying for a baby, you may feel overwhelmed with a variety of emotions! Yearning, frustration, excitement, hope, fear…your feelings are mixed, intense, and complicated. These thoughts and prayers for pregnancy will help you stay focused on God’s light, love, and will for your life.
In the Bible, Hannah’s prayer for pregnancy was answered; see 1 Samuel 1 for details. But, it’s important to know why her prayer for a baby was granted by God. I’ll share the passage of Scripture here and explain what I recently learned about Hannah’s prayer for a pregnancy. You’ll find the help and hope you need – especially if you’ve been trying to conceive a baby for a long time.
You may want to get pregnant more than you’ve ever wanted anything in your life. If you’re desperate to have a baby, your prayers may be more about your wants and needs than accepting God’s will for your life. This can be a dangerous place to be, because you’ll be devastated if you don’t get pregnant quickly…or at all. Do you already feel this sense of desperation? Here’s what you need to know about praying for a baby…
First, I’ll share Hannah’s prayer for a pregnancy in 1 Samuel 1. I’ll explain what I learned about praying for a baby from a recent Tim Keller sermon podcast. Then, I’ll share a Centering Prayer for Pregnancy, which I originally posted eight years ago when I was praying for a baby.
Remember that prayer isn’t about getting what you want – no matter important it is to have a baby.
Rather, prayer is about spending time with God so you get to know Him better. Praying for a baby isn’t just about getting pregnant; it’s about taking your relationship with Jesus to a deeper, more personal and healthy level. Praying is about learning how to be stable, secure, and peaceful no matter what happens in your life.
Hannah’s Prayer for a Pregnancy
So Hannah ate. Then she pulled herself together, slipped away quietly, and entered the sanctuary. The priest Eli was on duty at the entrance to God’s Temple in the customary seat. Crushed in soul, Hannah prayed to God and cried and cried—inconsolably.
Then she made a vow:
If you’ll take a good, hard look at my pain,
If you’ll quit neglecting me and go into action for me
By giving me a son,
I’ll give him completely, unreservedly to you.
I’ll set him apart for a life of holy discipline.
It so happened that as she continued in prayer before God, Eli was watching her closely. Hannah was praying in her heart, silently. Her lips moved, but no sound was heard. Eli jumped to the conclusion that she was drunk. He approached her and said, “You’re drunk! How long do you plan to keep this up? Sober up, woman!”
Hannah said, “Oh no, sir—please! I’m a woman hard used. I haven’t been drinking. Not a drop of wine or beer. The only thing I’ve been pouring out is my heart, pouring it out to God. Don’t for a minute think I’m a bad woman. It’s because I’m so desperately unhappy and in such pain that I’ve stayed here so long.”
Eli answered her, “Go in peace. And may the God of Israel give you what you have asked of him.”
“Think well of me—and pray for me!” she said, and went her way. Then she ate heartily, her face radiant.
Up before dawn, they worshiped God and returned home to Ramah. Elkanah slept with Hannah his wife, and God began making the necessary arrangements in response to what she had asked.
From 1 Samuel 1 – The Message.
Why God granted Hannah’s prayer for a pregnancy
Look at the parts that I bolded: Hannah didn’t just “give” her baby to God – she vowed to completely and totally set her son apart for a holy life. Then, Hannah became radiant, and she worshipped God — even before her prayers to get pregnant were answered!
Hannah didn’t worship God radiantly and fervently after she got pregnant. She was a woman after God’s own heart before she conceived her baby. She released her grip, she loosened her grasp, she let go of her desperate yearning to get pregnant. She prayed for a baby, but she didn’t make it the center of her life, her heart, and her worship.
Hannah loved God for who He is, not what He could give her.
It wasn’t that Hannah said the right things when she was praying for a baby, or that she recited a centering prayer for pregnancy that convinced God to open her womb! It was that she released her desperate grip to get pregnant. She let go of the neediness, the yearning, the clawing frenetic desire to have a baby.
Worship God for who He is when you pray for a baby
Praying for a baby can be a beautiful act of worship – if it comes from a heart that is completely submitted to God’s will for your life. When your spirit is open and accepting to whatever God has in store for you, you become free from the desperation that many women feel when they’re depressed because they can’t get pregnant.
It’s good to pray for a baby – God wants us to ask Him for the desires of our hearts! But, if you set your heart, mind and soul on having a baby, then you’re not open to God’s holy and perfect will for your life. Basing your happiness on a child is a mistake. God may still grant your prayer for a pregnancy, but your happiness will always be tied up with your kid. And that, my friend, will eventually break your heart.
“Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays.” ~ Søren Kierkegaard.
Allow God to change your heart as you keep praying for a baby. Trust Him. Learn what it means to really, truly be open to whatever He has planned for your life and family. Learn how to worship God for who He is — even if you’re not pregnant. Even if you’ve been saying prayers for a pregnancy for years.
Below is the “centering prayer for pregnancy” that I originally shared eight years ago, when I was praying for a baby. Remember that it’s one way to pray for a baby, but it’s not a miracle prayer that guarantees you’ll get pregnant.
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It’s important to trust God to prepare your body for pregnancy, and it’s also important to take care of your health! God gave us doctors, research studies, and brains to help us get and stay healthy. If you’re not taking good care of your body – or if your husband isn’t taking care of his fertility and sperm health – then you are delaying your chances of getting pregnant.
If you’re praying for a baby because you’re coping with fertility issues, you might also add a prayer for healing for your and your husband’s body. Always remember that prayer isn’t about getting the pregnancy you want…it’s about finding the strength, hope, and peace to live with what God allows into your life.
You’ll find Yes, You Can Get Pregnant: Natural Ways to Improve Your Fertility Now and into Your 40s helpful if you’re worried about your ability to conceive a baby or if you’ve been trying to get pregnant for a long time.
Health and fertility expert Aimee Raupp has helped hundreds of women optimize their fertility and get pregnant, even after age 40. In this book she shares her complete program for improving your chances of conceiving and overcoming infertility, including the most effective complementary and lifestyle approaches and the latest nutritional advice. Her remedies help you how to get in tune with your body, eat the best fertility-enhancing foods, and avoid environmental toxins to achieve a healthy and stress-free pregnancy.
Centering Prayer for Pregnancy
Centering prayer is an ancient meditative art that involves silencing your heart and mind. Take a deep breath, and allow God’s peace, love, joy and freedom to fill your life. Ask the Holy Spirit to descend upon you, to give you the peace that passes all understanding.
Centering prayer is a way to calm your mind and still your spirit, to instill your body with a sense of peace and health, and to create a heart of acceptance towards what God wills in your life.
These four steps will guide you through a centering prayer for pregnancy. Remember that your goal isn’t just to get pregnant. It’s to get closer to God, and to align your will with His will for you and your family.
1. Choose a sacred word or phrase that symbolizes your prayer for pregnancy
The focus of centering prayer is to consent to God’s presence and action within. Choose a word or phrase that helps you remember that you are consenting to God’s work and power in your life – whether that means getting pregnant or not getting pregnant. For instance, your sacred word could be “Trust” or “Hope” or “God’s will be done” or “Acceptance.” Note that it’s not necessarily “praying for a baby” or “increased fertility” or “conception”! The idea is to be open to what God has in store.
2. Find a comfortable position and quiet space when you pray for a baby
Where can you pray comfortably for 20 minutes? Try not to pray in a place where you’ll fall asleep or be distracted. Close your eyes and let go of everything happening within you – all your hopes and yearnings and wishes to be pregnant. Your prayer to get pregnant is meant to soothe your mind, heart, and spirit.
When you’re praying for a baby, be prepared for distractions, such as images, feelings, reflections, physical sensations, and unexpected thoughts…and use your sacred word to ease those distractions.
3. Use your sacred word in your pregnancy prayer
Whatever disruptive thoughts or emotions come to you, lay your sacred word over them. For example if you start to feel scared you’ll never get pregnant, repeat “Trust” or “Acceptance” until you feel calm and focused on God. If you keep frantically thinking about getting pregnant or what will happen if you don’t get pregnant, savor your sacred word: “Faith” or “God’s will be done.”
Practice saying these words and phrases at different times during the day. Worshipping God for who He is – not what He gives you – goes far beyond a set time of centering prayer for a pregnancy.
4. Rest in silence after you pray for a baby
Taking two or three minutes to transition from centering prayer to back to your everyday life. This helps set and cement your intimacy with God in your heart, mind, and soul. A huge and exciting benefit of learning how to pray for a baby is that it helps you feel peaceful, hopeful, faithful, and able to accept of whatever God allows into your life.
No prayer to get pregnant will guarantee you’ll conceive a baby, but prayer can may you spiritually, physically, and emotionally stronger to deal with whatever happens.
The purpose of pregnancy prayer is to give you peace, hope, and acceptance – whether or not you get pregnant. Knowing how to pray for a baby is important – and so is knowing when it’s time to get medical advice from fertility specialists.
Is it taking longer than a year to get pregnant? Read Find Out Why You Can’t Get Pregnant – 4 Fertility Checklists.
Help With Pregnancy Prayers
In Praying Through Your Pregnancy A Week-by-Week Guide, Jennifer Polimino Carolyn Warren share fresh spiritual insight for pregnancy.
Each chapter reveals what is happening with the baby’s development that week, starting with the very first moment of conception, when God begins the creation of either a boy or a girl.
You’ll learn how the confidence you place in God affects the healthy development of your precious growing baby, and how to reduce your own stress and anxiety by looking to the Creator.
In this interactive guidebook, Jennifer shares excerpts from her pregnancy journal as an encouragement for women to write their own thoughts and feelings. Each chapter ends with a Mother’s Prayer and Scriptures for Meditation.
I welcome your baby prayers, hopes, and intentions in the comments section below. If you have any thoughts on how to pray for a baby, please share. I can’t give advice, but you may find it helpful to share your thoughts on prayers and babies.