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 meBy 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.”
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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.
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!
These steps to healing prayer are powerful; they focus on acceptance and surrender to God’s protection, love and will for your life. Learn how to pray, to heal, and to grow upwards in freedom and joy. Learning how to pray is itself healing – even if your prayer for healing isn’t answered the way you expect.
If you need a prayer for healing because of infertility or pregnancy issues, read How to Pray for a Baby. Take time to scroll through the comments section, and feel the prayers of women who are praying for healing and the blessing of a family. Below, I share what I’ve been learning about how to pray to be healed from an affliction, ailment, or addiction.
What is your prayer for healing; who or what are you praying for? Feel free to share your written prayers in the comments section below. The more you pray, the more comfortable you’ll become with the idea of praying for healing.
My husband and I struggled with infertility, and I have ulcerative colitis. We prayed for healing from infertility resulting from azoospermia. God didn’t bless us with a baby, but I don’t feel like He didn’t answer our prayer for healing.
Sometimes God heals us in ways we don’t expect. Sometimes we find ourselves healed from emotional issues when we prayed for physical things. God does heal in powerful ways…and we have to be open to accepting and surrendering to His healing. Knowing how to pray isn’t as important as being open to His will for our lives and circumstances.
Here’s what I’ve learned about praying for healing…
How to Pray a Powerful Prayer for Healing
Every morning I write to God in my journal. Here’s what I wrote yesterday:
“Father God, You are so compassionate, caring, patient, loving and powerful! Your infinite patience and grace amazes me. You wait and wait for me to come back to You, You give and give…and You never run out of love. Jesus, You are a never ending river of love and freedom, safety and shelter. You don’t insulate me from the pain of the world or my own mistakes…You carry me through. I feel the suffering, but I am not alone. I am strengthened, energized, buoyed up by You. Thank You Jesus, I love You and will never let You go! Amen.”
Share your wonder and awe at His power, love, and majesty
Before you fall into your prayer for healing, take a few moments and think about who God is.
This isn’t about how to pray; it’s about recognizing how amazing and awesome He is! We are so tiny and vulnerable, so fragile and weak. We wouldn’t be alive without Him. Our first prayer shouldn’t be for healing, it should be a prayer of wonder and humility at His amazing power, love and grace.
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What amazes you about God? I’m astounded not just that He created the mountains, oceans, and solar system. Everything that exists is full of wonder and mystery. Did you know that bumblebees have ticks? I can’t imagine how tiny a bumblebee tick must be.
Start your prayer for healing with a simple acknowledgement of how great and good God is. Humble yourself before the Lord of the earth. Don’t focus on “how to pray” – rather, just allow your heart and soul to bow before him.
Offer a prayer of gratitude for what God has given you
How has God answered your prayers for healing, courage, strength, or faith in the past? He has blessed you in many ways. Take time to marvel at what He has done for you, and to thank Him for what He has given you.
Most of all, thank Him for hearing your prayers. He loves you and knows everything about you. He listens to You and works all things together for your good. He know exactly what is happening to you, and He will walk you through it. Every step of the way, He will be there for you. This, then, is how to pray: start with a grateful, humble heart.
Are you coping with the end of a relationship? Read A Prayer for Healing After a Breakup.
Surrender to God’s wisdom before praying for healing
My friend’s eight year old daughter died last week. They fought leukemia with harsh toxic chemotherapy cocktails and bone marrow transplants for 18 months. It was a terrible ordeal, filled with pain and heartache and endless nights of emotional and physical suffering. There are no words to express how painful and heartbreaking it is.
She died, regardless of our prayers for healing. She didn’t die because we didn’t know how to pray. She didn’t die because we sinned or didn’t spend enough time praying for healing. She died for reasons we know nothing about.
Before you pray for healing, surrender to God’s supreme wisdom and will. God isn’t in our lives to answer our prayers; He’s in our lives to walk us home. Surrender to His presence, His love.
Know that regardless of how your prayers for healing are answered, He loves you deeply and unconditionally.
Make your prayer for healing an ongoing process
“The correct concept is to think of prayer as the breath in our lungs and the blood from our hearts,” writes Oswald Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest. “Our blood flows and our breathing continues ‘without ceasing’; we are not even conscious of it, but it never stops.”
He adds that prayer isn’t an exercise – so there is no one formula for “how to pray.” Rather, prayer is the life of the saint. Chambers exhorts us to maintain the childlike habit of offering up prayer in your heart to God all the time.
Pour out your fears, doubts, anger, and deepest longings
You’re searching for healing prayers because you’re anxious, scared, or even furious at this illness or affliction. Maybe it’s the worst thing that has ever happened to you. Or maybe something even worse has happened in your past, and you dread the thought of going through it again.
What would it feel like to be free? Part of learning how to pray for healing is sharing your worst fears, anxieties, and doubts with God. Take time to write down how you feel and what you fear. Don’t allow it to continue going round and round in your mind – it’ll just get darker and scarier and heavier to carry. Instead, get your journal or a piece of paper and write down everything you’re scared of.
You can include whatever is on your mind – including your prayer for healing. This is a powerful prayer because it’ll help you process your feelings…which will help you heal.
Take a deep breath and let go of your expectations
A Godly powerful prayer for healing must include the possibility that you won’t get what you want. It’s even more possible that you don’t know what you really want, because you actually don’t know what’s best for you. You may think it’s best for a child to live, but maybe the life would’ve included years of pain and suffering. You may think healing is the most desirable outcome, but maybe the alternatives have blessings within them.
When you pray for healing, let go of what you expect God to do. Pray for what you want to see happen in your life…but allow His will to be done. Remember Jesus on the night He was betrayed? He didn’t want to go to the cross. He sweat blood. He was anxious and alone. And yet He submitted to God, because He knew that Father knows best.
What to Do Next
Remember that prayer is an ongoing process, not a one-time thing. Your prayer for healing might change over time. This is good! It might mean you’re in touch with His Spirit and will. Allow God’s still small voice to help you overcome whatever is holding you back from surrendering to the life He has planned for you.
Read The Essential Guide to Healing: Equipping All Christians to Pray for the Sick by Bill Johnson and Randy Clark. They teamed up to equip all Christians to minister healing. They share inspiring and exciting stories – grounded in Scripture – and offer practical, proven, step-by-step guidance to ministering healing.
This book will help you:
- Understand your authority in the ministry of healing
- Walk out the ministry of healing with anyone you meet and in your personal life
- Receive and relay words of knowledge
- Implement and apply the five-step model of healing prayer
Praying the “right” prayers for healing isn’t just for pastors or priests. All believers can learn how to become powerful conduits for God’s healing power!
Share your thoughts and prayers. What is your prayer for healing? Who are you praying for, and what do you want to see healed or changed in your life?
What would it feel like to let go of your need to see that thing happen? While I can’t offer advice, I do read every comment. I encourage you to respond to other readers’ comments if you feel led, and to share your experience of learning how to pray.
If you get anxious and afraid when your healing prayers aren’t answered, read 6 Tips for Trusting God Despite Your Unanswered Prayers.