prayers for anxiety in pregnancy

One of the best things about blogging is seeing what brings perfect strangers to your writing. Everyday I can see the list of searches that bring people here. What brings more visitors here than anything else?

Prayers for pregnancy.

Over time many of these searches were phrased in ways that broke my heart, that found me wondering about the back stories, even sending a quick prayer out to whomever searched and arrived here. Things like: prayer for anxious pregnant woman, prayers for pregnancy help, prayers for unexpected pregnancy.

The growing number of searches I see for “prayers for anxiety in pregnancy” reaffirmed for me how worried, even desperate, women (and men) can be in the face of pregnancy. It’s not always the blissful nine months of joy and expectation that the baby industry paints in pretty pastels.

There are lots of reasons to be anxious and troubled during pregnancy.

Medical reasons: previous miscarriages, a history of infertility, underlying health concerns, unexpected prenatal diagnoses, prepartum depression.

Financial reasons: an unplanned pregnancy, the loss of a job, the added strain of one more mouth to feed.

Emotional reasons: uncertainty about parenthood, fears for its effect on a marriage or other relationship, stress about the responsibilities it brings.

To say nothing of the run-of-the-mill pregnancy worries:

Is my baby healthy?

Am I healthy?

Will my baby come too early?

Can I handle the pain of childbirth?

So when I was reading through the Book of Psalms and I came across this familiar one, I read it with new eyes and realized that Psalm 139 is a perfect prayer for anxiety in pregnancy.

We’ve all heard those reassuring words, the comforting images of God’s hand holding us wherever we go and the beautiful idea that God has known us intimately from our first days in our mother’s womb.

But I had never before reflected on the fact that the psalmist unites the two – comfort in anxiety and the experience of pregnancy – in a way that speaks directly to those who are facing anguish during this time of waiting and worry.

So today I offer this prayer for all of you who stumble onto this page searching for some word of peace in an anxious time.

May the God who knows us from the darkness of the womb bring us comfort in the light of day.

O Lord, you have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from far away.
You search out my path and my lying down,
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
O Lord, you know it completely.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is so high that I cannot attain it.
Where can I go from your spirit?
Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
If I take the winds of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me fast.
If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light around me become night,’
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is as bright as the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
For it was you who formed my inward parts;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; that I know very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.
In your book were written
all the days that were formed for me,
when none of them as yet existed.
How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
I try to count them – they are more than the sand;
I come to the end – I am still with you.
(Psalm 139: 1-18)

All will be well and all will be well; all manner of things will be well.

– Julian of Norwich

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46 Comments

  1. Ginny Kubitz Moyer on 15 June 2011 at 4:07 pm

    What beautiful sentiments — and what a gorgeous psalm. I too love the Bible passages that relate to childbirth or pregnancy. (And now I’m singing “Yahweh, I Know You Are Near” in my head — I’m one of those post- VII Catholic kids!).

  2. LKF on 15 June 2011 at 10:03 pm

    Thanks, Ginny! I agree – I love the Scripture passages on pregnancy and birth (and nursing), too. I have a few of those I’ve been musing on for another post.
    And yeah, that song has been in my head all.day.long now. Too catchy, that one!

  3. Lauren on 16 June 2011 at 9:25 am

    As I prayed this morning, these were the words from the gospel that I ruminated on: “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

    Your post blends so well with that concept. Reading through this psalm again was the perfect mid-morning reminder of my early morning prayer.

  4. Angela on 28 January 2012 at 5:09 am

    Just recently found out I am pregnant and having terrible anxiety attacks, I’m so glad I came across this page! Plus it’s also nice to know your not alone in this other people have been there too. Loved the prayer, thank you!

    • mothering spirit on 28 January 2012 at 1:34 pm

      Thank you for stopping by, Angela. I’ll be praying for you – anxiety & pregnancy are a tough combo, I know. But you are definitely not alone. I continue to be surprised as I learn how many women go through this. My prayer is that we can support each other – peace.

    • Hannah on 18 January 2021 at 5:34 pm

      Thank you for this :-). Struggling a lot with processing the news of our unplanned pregnancy (first baby) and reading this was really helpful.

  5. belle on 28 January 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Thank U.i feel so much better after readin ths, im due any moment from now and I find myself worrying abt so many things, I know God is with me all the way. I ask for ur hand in prayers for me and my baby- tx Belle

  6. […] starts during pregnancy or flares during the teenage years, worry goes hand-in-hand with being responsible for a […]

  7. harriet on 21 October 2012 at 5:30 am

    i think i like to be part of what God is doing in other peoples lifes

  8. harriet on 21 October 2012 at 5:35 am

    am 5months pregnant and am going through a separation with my husband and i have a 3yr old girl , am really anxious about how life is goona be , plz pray for me

    • Jennifer on 26 October 2012 at 9:57 pm

      @ harriet, I will pray for you! God loves you so much and you can find so much comfort and peace in Him. I will send up many prayers for you tonight! I have anxiety because it has been two years of trying to conceive and we just found out we are pregnant. I want this so much and I have such a fear of loosing this baby. I know it is Satan trying to steal my joy. I will not let him win. God bless all of you reading this & peace and joy those trying to conceive and having anxious thoughts. Don’t borrow trouble from the future!

      • Laura @ Mothering Spirit on 27 October 2012 at 10:35 am

        Praying for you both, harriet & Jennifer. For peace and comfort and hope for all that lies ahead…



      • Jennifer on 28 October 2012 at 9:46 pm

        Thank you Laura! Prayer is so powerful!



  9. Marnie on 21 December 2012 at 11:53 am

    My 17 year old daughter and her 17 year old boyfriend recently came to me and told me they were pregnant. It has been a struggle for the whole family to come to terms. I have prayed daily for them. I knitted her boyfriend a prayer shawl and as I was looking for prayers to say over it as it was made and before it was given I came across this site. It has been a help for me, and inspired me to hold both my daughters shawl and his shawl to combine the prayers and love and hope I have for them together and to hope the strength of those prayers will combine so they always know they are not alone.

    • Laura @ Mothering Spirit on 30 December 2012 at 5:08 pm

      Marnie – thank you for sharing your story. Please know that my prayers are with you and your family. I hope your daughter, her boyfriend, and their baby will be wrapped in love with that beautiful shawl.

      • Naomi on 25 July 2018 at 12:35 pm

        anxiety is a terrible thing may God help us to overcome it.



  10. Lourdes and baby girl on 24 August 2013 at 2:09 am

    I want to thank you for this prayer i havent had the best pregnancy my partner left me and is having another child i had to get a cerclage because i almost lost my baby and now i’am back again in the hospital for bleeding i’m alone but i know god is with me and all i have is to search for prayers to relieve my anxiety thank u so much

    • Laura on 24 August 2013 at 2:55 pm

      Praying for you and your baby, Lourdes, and for peace amidst your anxiety.

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