Prayers from the Island A Mother’s Day Prayer

A Mother’s Day Prayer

By Sandy Ratliff

Dear Heavenly Father–There are many similarities between St. Mary and most mothers. She had high expectations for her child’s success, she worried about His ‘disobedience’ when He remained at the temple, she questioned when He would begin his real ministry, she was concerned about His circle of friends, and she suffered agony at His death.

However, perhaps the most revealing sentence in the Bible that connects Mary with all mothers is this—“Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Yes—from the moment a woman discovers her pregnancy until the final breath she draws, she is never entirely without the awareness of being a mother. It is inevitable that motherhood never ends despite age or distance.

For all those mothers and mother figures who taught us our prayers, who guided us into God’s ways, and particularly who brought us to this church on such a special day—we give thanks.

May we find in their love a sample of the love God so richly heaps upon us—guiding, disciplining, encouraging and forgiving. Thank God for mothers and mother figures who deserve our praise and our gratitude on this special day. Amen.

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We’re Not an IslandWe’re Not an Island

When I drive over the bridge to the mainland, I am reminded that island life makes it easy to see ourselves as separate, remote from the “mainland of humanity”.  Sometimes it’s tempting to make the bridge an ideological divide and not a way of joining land to land.  Forgive me my arrogance in thinking I can leave the world’s problems behind me, that I can escape to an island.  We are all connected, if not by bridges, then by shared needs and demands.  You have insisted that we love one another, no matter how disconnected we may seem.  Please, Lord, help me stay connected with others so that I am never disconnected from you.  I pray that you direct me not to hide behind bridges, but to maintain and reinforce them with the girders of your love.


Today I attended a lunch in honor of a friend who is leaving the island, moving closer to her children.  The loss is a sad one, though I’m convinced she’ll be happier in a new setting.  As I age and watch friends leave, there is a painful sense of loss, the depletion that comes with losing those who have shared hours, experiences, and worship.  I take comfort in the assurance that in Christ we are all one flesh, joined in a spiritual union that is as real and enduring as physical proximity.  Prayer requires no bodily presence; it requires only the approach to God and the willingness to open our hearts and minds to Him.  I don’t know when I’ll see this friend again, but she will remain in my prayers as I will in hers.  That union of spirits joined in Christ is often stronger than bodies that meet.  I thank you, Lord, for the opportunity to pray for friends.  May my prayers on their behalf help us be joined in heart. Amen.

We Take Them With UsWe Take Them With Us

 My father never lived to see the ocean.  He died of cancer when he was 52, his long-postponed travel plans left undone.  Sometimes when I walk on the beach, I try to see the island from his eyes, as if I were showing it to him for the first time.  These beautiful shells, this view from the boardwalk, the dolphins at play, the pelican’s dive, the sand’s brilliance;  I name these things to myself and to him, as if he accompanied me. Surely we are the sum total of all who have loved us, and we take them with us through our subsequent life-walks.  I pray, Lord, that my father knows of my thoughts, that he enjoys our shared walks, and that the world he inhabits is a world of even greater beauty and perfection. I thank you, God, for giving me a loving father; I think you, Lord, for being a loving father. Amen.