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. Jay on 27 July 2016 at 8:26 am

    I’m 6 weeks pregnant and psalm 139 keeps coming up for me. I have an anxiety disorder and suffer from depression so this is so hard. I’m so scared I will lose my baby. My husband is so supportive. This is our first child at 24 years old. This is all just so scary and I’m praying God will allow us to hold our baby in our arms and raise them for His glory. Please pray for me in this difficult time. My anxiety is ruling me

  2. Ovatini on 30 September 2016 at 6:08 pm

    Hi there, im ovatini and i am 23 years old, i have suffered anxiety at the start of this year due to my best friends mum that died of a sudden death… Surely she was sick because i knew my friend told me shes been having back pains…. And when she died they had to investigate what happened and they said they couldnt find anything…. I was so scared and i blamed God fot taking her and then i started getting panic attacks.. Ever since then it calmed a little bit, but now i found out im 4weeks pregnant i feel like my anxiety has become worse…. I dunno if thats part of the pregnancy symptoms or im just really anxious about dying… I just wanna look after my baby… I was wondering if you could pray for me? It would be a blessing 🙂

  3. Keran on 19 March 2018 at 5:05 pm

    I am 33 with one child that will be 13 in two weeks. My childs father & I were just married in January and I am now pregnant. Everyone is really excited and I was kind of excited but today I have doubts and worries about starting over with a new baby. I understand babies are a blessing and some people struggle to have babies. Reading the prayers and post have calmed me down a bit but my emotions are all over the place. I can’t help but think how this baby will affect me the most! My life changes more than anybody in the equation. I just need encouragement!

  4. Shaday on 2 January 2019 at 8:23 am

    I am thankful that I found this page and this scripture. I am currently 14 weeks along following a miscarriage of my first pregnancy in 2017. The anxiety with this pregnancy is surely magnified but I am doing my best to keep calm. It is reassuring to see the comments here and to have come across this site.

  5. Mary on 26 November 2019 at 1:29 pm

    Please pray for me. I am almost 8 weeks pregnant and this will be our first baby. I am 34 and husband is 38. I did not expect i’d be pregnant this soon, though at my age i should be atleast ready. I know i should be filled with happiness and excitement on this new journey but can’t help to feel worried about the future, my baby and financials. Gives me anxiety and i feel guilty for baby for being like this. Grateful for your prayers as I go along this pregnancy and may God give me the courage to be a mom. I want my baby to be safe and healthy. Thanks

  6. Wallis. on 9 July 2020 at 8:03 pm

    Thank you for writing this. I struggle with anxiety and it flares up with pregnancy. I Have a healthy son and a miscarriage in 2019. This pregnancy in 2020 is filled with worry (Especially with each test). They found a possible heart issue on my 20 week scan, your post helped me calm down and stop crying.

  7. Lisa on 4 December 2020 at 12:22 am

    I am due in one week and have the anxiety kicking in for labor and delivery. I’m working on resting and sleeping yet my body and mind are on two different pages almost- my body wants rest and my mind is anxious. Prayers appreciate <3 thank you for this simple yet loving post- the Scripture even spoke for itself!

    -Lisa

  8. Anna on 18 March 2022 at 6:24 am

    Just what I needed to hear as I’m the woman googling “unplanned pregnancy prayer” in the wee hours of the morning. The past two years have been the darkest of my life due to extreme depression triggered by a particular circumstance. I couldn’t think of a worse time to bring a child into this world but here I am pregnant with my 5th.

    Though I’m currently uncovering many of the wounds I carry from my fundamentalist Christian upbringing, one gift I was imparted with was scripture memorization. When I was young, my dad had our family memorize this psalm. I hadn’t thought about it in awhile, but the words are so fitting as I struggle to believe that God is with me and “hems me in, behind and before.” It’s also a wonderful prayer to pray over the little girl in my womb, that she will know God’s presence even now despite the circumstances of her conception and birth.

    Thank you for this.

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