How to Pray Through Infertility

God’s timing is perfect. God’s timing is perfect. God’s timing is perfect. This mantra that has been ingrained in my mind throughout most of my life only proves itself true to my heart on a rare occasion. This unfortunate reality can lead me to start to question it, that is, if I am not spending time in prayer. 

Coincidentally (or not?), this past year of fertility treatment paralleled a journey of spiritual motherhood for me. I decided to ask God what His mission was for me during my prayer time one day in August 2018. I entered into a prayer dialogue with God in my journal. Since He did not have biological children for me, what mission did He have for me? 

His response was simply the call to “feed my sheep” through the service of spiritual direction.

Let’s be clear here. The Lord did not audibly say this to me like a booming voice from above. He gently showed me this in my heart. He reminded me of the journey He had me on from a young child into high school, then evangelization, youth and young adult ministry, mission work, a Master’s in Pastoral Ministry, full time ministry, etc. He reminded me that He had been preparing me for this my whole life. He reminded me that this was truly my heart’s content – to share the love of God with others. 

It was a very humble and intense experience as I did not think that I was ready for this call into spiritual motherhood or to “mother” souls in this way. I then remembered the verses in Jeremiah 1:7-9: “But the LORD answered me, Do not say, “I am too young.” To whomever I send you, you shall go; whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you—oracle of the LORD. Then the LORD extended his hand and touched my mouth, saying to me, See, I place my words in your mouth!”

I prayed with this scripture for a while and it helped my soul to be more peaceful and to start the program for spiritual direction certification. I will graduate in June 2020 and couldn’t be more excited about it! 

God’s timing is perfect…

Currently in the spiritual direction program, we are required to take prayer time each day for 30-60 minutes as “homework.” The first theme that we were asked to pray with was “God provides for me” and we asked for the grace for a “deeper trust in the Father’s care for me.” These themes and scriptures were taken from a great text Prayer Companion’s Handbook by John Wickham, S.J. There are some scripture prompts from this book at the end of this post that may help you in your own prayer time.

I did not realize how much I needed to pray for the grace to trust that God the Father was taking care of me. This helped me to focus each day, even when I didn’t want to pray or wasn’t feeling well, to remember He was taking care of me. It helped me to remember how important I was to God the Father. He does have a mission for me and I am not forgotten. You are not forgotten. He has a mission for you as well, even if it is not biological motherhood or fatherhood.

I did not realize how much I needed to pray for the grace to trust that God the Father was taking care of me.

If you are in a place of discernment right now, I encourage you to take some time to sit with the Lord and dialogue with him regarding the mission He has for you. Our call as women doesn’t necessarily boil down to having children or not having children or biological or spiritual motherhood. It is much more complex than those options.

The discernment and prayer is to understand where God is calling us in our mission to be mothers because He created us all to be mothers in some way. This could mean adoption, fostering, getting involved with a community youth organization, ministry, etc. We need to be open to perhaps the unexpected ways in which God is activating our motherhood and leading us.

I want to share some of the scriptures with you as an aid especially if you are also experiencing a similar struggle with prayer during your infertility. It may also be helpful to ask a friend to be a prayer partner. As prayer partners, you will agree to pray for each other and be available for prayer if need be. I have offered some prayer intentions below for prayer partners. I pray that this will help you draw near to God’s love, to trust in Him more deeply, and realize how truly perfect is God’s timing. 

Bring yourself before the Lord with a bible, pen and notebook. Think of how He loves you. Ask Him to bless your time of prayer and ask Him for the grace you’re seeking. Prayerfully read the scripture passage using your imagination. Speak to Him freely. Note the movements within and record them at the end of your prayer.

Week #1

Theme: God Provides for Me:

Grace: Deeper trust in the Father’s care for me.

  • Day 1: Lk 11:1-11 Lord, teach us to pray.
  • Day 2: Lk 12:22-32 Why are you anxious?
  • Day 3: Is 43:1-7 You are precious in my eyes.
  • Day 4: Eph 3:14-21 Paul’s prayer: to grow strong.
  • Day 5: Ps 23 The Lord is my shepherd.
  • Day 6: Ps 62 Hope in God alone.
  • Day 7: Jn 14:1-7 Let not your hearts be troubled.

Week #2

Theme: God Provides for Me:

Grace: Deeper trust in the Father’s care for me.

  • Day 1: Is 41:8-14 Do not be afraid, for I am with you.
  • Day 2: Ps 91 God’s protection.
  • Day 3: Ps 89:1-18 God’s faithfulness.
  • Day 4: Matt 10:28-31 Our hairs are numbered.
  • Day 5: Heb 11:8-19 Abraham’s faith.
  • Day 6: Phil 4:4-13 Have no anxiety about anything.
  • Day 7: Jer 17:5-14 Blessed the one who trusts in God.
  • Bonus Deut 7:6-11 It is because the Lord loves you

Here are some examples of more specific intentions for you or a prayer partner: that God reveals the mission He has for me/my marriage; that God will teach me patience, humility and trust in the face of infertility; that the Holy Spirit would bring peace to my soul and help me to not blame or second-guess myself over choosing, or not choosing, fertility treatments; that Jesus would nail my tendency toward jealousy to His Cross when I see women who are pregnant or have many children; that the Father will reveal His plan for motherhood to me, whether through fostering/adopting a child, more active participation in my parish and community, or in being more aware of the needs of others whom I encounter.

Andrea Mahoney is a lifelong practicing Roman Catholic who dwells in central Pennsylvania with her husband of four (almost five) years. You can find more about her here

Meet Andrea and the Springs in the Desert team at our Seasons of Infertility one-day retreat for women, December 7 in Philadelphia. Go to our retreat page for more information. Email us with questions about the day and how to register, We hope to see you there!

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