Call Me Mara (a bitter prayer)

Call me Mara Today,
God Because I am bitter,
and the back of my throat aches
from too much crying,
as the grief hits me again,
and again

And the place I call home
is a nation that likes to “protects” the unborn,
but locks up immigrants
& Black and Brown kids,
and cannot
strike that will not feed thousands of children,

Corners the the market on formula
and then doesn’t regulate it properly,
stops the payments for vulnerable families,

totally and actively
destroys queer
and families,

and reopened the nation
before any babies could receive vaccinations.

Call me Mara,
God, Embittered
that people want “young families” don’t come to church
in a culture where parents,
especially mothers, are expected to do every single thing on their own,
and are judged for every imperfection*

Call me Mara, God,
For I am broken;

When there is a market for bulletproof backpacks,
and its somehow acceptable for THIRD GRADERS learn Tourniquet techniques, God no!

when the news is about the latest, becomes background noise
domestic violence
and white supremacy is acceptable
And there are no warning signals are put out for terrorism

Lord God Almighty, Seems we that we are stunned..unable respond to violence.
Call me Mara, God. Because despite voting, and letters, and marching and the sobs of countless families…






us Mara

Because, these too are our Children
And tomorrow, my throat will still be sore from crying and I will still taste the bitterness of tears–that’s what home tastes like now.

I bet you want to be called Mara too, God. Because they are your children too!

We are all Mara.

Selah! Mara, Selah! Amen.

*And then we say Happy Mother’s Day as if its a “Good” thing and not further gender violence

Feel free to use/share/adapt with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

2023 version

Anti-Mother’s Day Prayer

CW: abortion, rape, gender violence, miscarriage

This is a prayer for the ones aren’t mothers

The ones who claimed their bodies

and said, not right now,

or no,

Or whose babies couldn’t,

wouldn’t be–and so they wept a thousand tears, and said goodbye

before they had an abortion.

Here’s a prayer for those for whom the decision was quick,

and definite, because there was no time for anything else–and no room for any other decision to be made. And you know that God.

Here’s a prayer for those who felt too young or too old to bring a child into their lives; there are reasons why Sarai laughed folks,

This is a prayer for those who had too many children–do we know why Abraham and his coat of many colors and his stepmother died– and those who work too many hours, and those who do not feel like they would make good parents–Abraham I’m looking at you.

This is a prayer for those who were raped–like Bathsheba , whose bodies were violated who then had to make a hard decision afterwards.

Here’s a prayer for the widows or those hungry or alone or in hard situations like Naomi and Ruth. Here’s a prayer for those who choose sex work, who cannot be pregnant right now, the Rahabs who work in good faith.

This is a prayer those who might have wanted a child, but were definitely too unsupported–the would be Marys if they could have been–but they would have gotten thrown out, or who would have been in danger if they had said child–the ones who gave up their child, physically or medically because was just not to be–the Moses’s mothers of the world.

Here’s a prayer for the trans and the nonbinary people for whom healthcare and pregnancy or cost or some other piece was just too dangerous, I’m so sorry.

Here’s a prayer for the black and brown women, for whom birth control and abortion has become a tool of white supremacy to poke into their sex lives and to make them feel dirty–for all the Hagars of the world.

Here’s a prayer for all those who are not mothers, for whom abortion was healthcare, may you feel affirmed and blessed,

and know that there is no excusing faith becoming a weapon, to hem you in or to beat you up.

This is a prayer for all those who had moments of not-being mothers,

because Jesus knows that are beautiful, you are important, your choices are valid.

And he greets you by the well, and understands and affirms your decisions, and calls you lovingly, by name.

This is an anti-mother’s day prayer for you.

May you hold this prayer close when things get hard,

and know that God loves your full self,

the part that said no,

to say yes to a thousand other things–

God knows you and loves you.

May you feel blessed.


Feel free to use/adapt/share with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta