Prayer Requests and Learning How to Pray

6 Personal Prayers to Conceive a Baby

6 Personal Prayers to Conceive a Baby

About 10% of American women have difficulty conceiving a baby. Between six and seven million women (and couples) navigate the grief of infertility. They attend baby showers, christenings, birthday parties, concerts, programs, and games for other people’s children instead of their own. They watch news about parents who abuse their children and wonder why God doesn’t give children to people who deserve them instead of the people who don’t.

Disappointment and heartache often lead to a distrust of God’s loving will. If you’re struggling with trusting God with your infertility, there is hope for healing, acceptance, and even parenting. The Bible is filled with stories of infertile couples who prayed for children and were rewarded by God with their hearts’ desires. You can trust God with your most vulnerable and desperate longings by lifting a prayer to conceive a baby.

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7 Biblical Examples of Infertility

Sarah: She and Abraham wait 25 years for God’s promise of a son to be born to them. By the time Isaac is born, Abraham and Sarah are 100 and 90 years old. Turns out, God’s promises came through, just not in a normal timeframe (Sarah’s doubt about God’s promise to conceive: Genesis 18:9-19).

Rebekah: Isaac’s young wife Rebekah is infertile. Isaac prays for her to conceive, and she has twins, Jacob and Esau (Isaac’s prayer for Rebekah: Genesis 25:21-23).

Rachel: She gives her husband Jacob her maidservant to have children in her place, which complicates the rivalry with her sister Leah, Jacob’s first wife. As a result of the sisters’ jealousy, Jacob has 10 children with three different women before Rachel ever gives birth to Joseph. Rachel dies delivering her second child, Benjamin (Rachel’s prayer heard by God: Genesis 30:22-24).

The wife of Manoah: Monoah’s wife is sterile, but the angel of the Lord speaks to each of them and promises them a unique son, Samson (Samson’s parents’ interaction with God: Judges 13:1-18).

Hannah: Elkanah’s second wife Hannah watches her husband’s other wife, Peninnah, have many children before Hannah conceives and has Samuel (Hannah’s prayer for a son: 1 Samuel 1:10-12, 27-28).

The Shunamite Woman: She and her husband are old and childless. Because of the woman’s hospitality to Elijah, he promises that she will have a son. Her son fills her life with joy and delight (Elijah promised the woman that she will conceive: 2 Kings 4:13-17).

Elizabeth: Zechariah is the high priest; his wife Elizabeth is barren, and the couple is old. The angel of the Lord appears to Zechariah with the announcement that he will become a father; because he doubts, the angel strikes him dumb for nine months. Then Elizabeth delivers John the Baptist (God’s promise of a child: Luke 1:7-17).

To each of these women and their husbands, conceiving a child was important spiritually and culturally. Children carried on a father’s name and legacy. They inherited the family property. They supported their mothers and any widowed sisters and offspring. Children (sons in particular) represented status in Jewish society and were considered a blessing from God. Conversely, to be childless presented a greater dilemma than disappointed hopes. Infertility implied a curse from God and marked the end of a family’s existence.

With all the stories God might have included in Scripture to explain his love and care for humankind, he included seven stories of seven women suffering from infertility. In each of those stories, God is present. He literally shows up four times as the angel of the Lord (to Sarah and Abraham, Manoah, Manoah’s wife, and Zechariah) and speaks three separate times to Abraham with a promise that he will become a father in his old age. All the stories reveal a longing, prayer, or conversation with God about conception.

Seven women. Countless disappointments. Seven babies.

God Cares about Infertility

God Cares about Infertility

God listens to the grieving of those who can’t get pregnant and heats every prayer to conceive a baby. He waits to answer prayers. He is a giver of life, restoration, and blessing; his blessings include a purpose and a calling. Notice what happens with these special children who were prayed and longed for:

Isaac: God tells Abraham to kill his son and burn him on an altar in worship. While his knife is hovering in the air, God stops him and provides an alternative sacrifice.

Jacob and Esau: Jacob deceives his father and brother to steal the birthright and blessing reserved for the leader of the family. The twin brothers are separated for about 20 years before they reconcile. Jacob becomes the father of the twelve tribes of Israel.

Joseph: His father’s favorite, Joseph suffers abuse from his brothers and is sold into slavery. After becoming second-in-command of Egypt, Joseph later forgives his brothers and saves his family from starvation.

Samson: This unusual boy grows up with supernatural strength and a penchant for trouble. He avenges Israel as a prophet, killing their Philistine enemies. Eventually, he dies, blinded, in a suicide/reckoning.

Samuel: On his third birthday, Samuel’s mother takes him to live in the Temple with Eli. She sees him only once a year, but Samuel hears from God there and grows up to lead Israel as a great prophet.

The Shunamite’s son: As a child, he dies in his mother’s arms. His mother finds the prophet Elijah and brings him to her house to correct this tragedy. God resurrects the boy from the dead, and his miraculous story even reaches the ears of the king.

John and Baptist: John’s parents raise him under similar requirements as Samson’s parents; John’s evangelical ministry prepares Israel to receive Jesus, the Messiah. But Herod decapitates him at a party to impress the guests.

Each of these children changed the world around them. Each was called and equipped by God for a particular ministry. Each suffered in their calling.

Each had a parent engaged in prayer to conceive a baby:

Photo Credit: Unsplash/Cassidy Rowell 

6 Ways to Lift a Prayer to Conceive a Baby

1. A Prayer of Longing

Lord, I’m asking you for a child. Your word says you will give us the desires of our hearts (Psalm 37:4), and this is my greatest desire. I want to be a parent. I want to raise a child to love and serve you all of his/her life. Please search my heart and my motives. Root out any selfish desires or faithlessness in me. When I’m ready, God, please give me a baby. I choose to trust your will and your timing with this important request. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

2. A Prayer of Confession

Lord, I confess my anger, fear, and frustration about not conceiving. I ask you to forgive me for my lack of faith in you and your promise to walk with me through every valley. You know me. You understand how hard this is for me to wait, not knowing if I’ll ever conceive. Lord, I want to lay this fear and longing at your feet. I’m sure I will keep taking back control, but I’ll try to lay it down again. I want to trust you and not to succumb to the devil’s lies that you’re not fair, that you don’t care about me, and that I won’t be happy if I can’t conceive. I know I can trust you. I ask you to wash me of these lies and confirm my belief that nothing is too hard for you. You are God Almighty, and you know what’s best for me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

3. A Prayer of Grief

Lord, I’m heartbroken over my inability to conceive. Whether it’s infertility or a lack of relationship, I’m aching to become a parent. You know this about me, and you put this desire in my heart, so I’m asking you to fulfill it or remove it. Comfort me and guide me into a deeper relationship with you. I ask for your peace to smooth out the agony in my heart. You are my Heavenly Father, so hold me and comfort me. Hear my prayers and answer me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

4. A Prayer of Thanks

Lord, you have not answered my request for a child. I don’t know if your answer is “no” or “wait,” but while I wonder and hurt with longing, I will thank you for all the blessings I have. Thank you for being my Heavenly Father. Thank you for your love and grace. May I grow in an awareness of your presence and be satisfied with all that you are teaching me about trust and obedience. And Lord, if you give me a child, I will thank you every day for this precious life. I will not take control of my life, for it is yours. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

5. A Prayer of Dedication

Lord, if you will give me a child, I promise to give him/her back to you. I will guide and teach this child about you and your love. I will demonstrate your faithfulness and mercy in my parenting. I will not selfishly hold onto this child for my own fulfillment, but I will trust you to guide and protect this child’s life according to your purpose. I pray for your calling on this little life, and I ask that you entrust me with a baby. I dedicate myself to follow your word and your will. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

6. A Prayer of Destiny

Lord, I don’t know what your will is for me. Even when life is hard, I want to follow you. Even when I’m disappointed, I believe that you are good and you only do good. I ask for your blessing over my life. Give me a destiny beyond my largest dreams. Enlarge my territory. Make me a molder of lives, even if I’m not molding a child of my own. I trust that whatever your purpose is for my life, your purpose will exceed my goals and aspirations. God, use me to love others and lead them to you. And if it’s your will, please give me a child whose destiny I will also place in your hands. I await your blessings. You are great and mighty, and nothing is too hard for you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

How to Wrestle with Infertility

How to Wrestle with Infertility

In Scripture, God calls himself a father (Psalm 68:5) and a husband (Isaiah 54:5). He calls Jesus his one and only Son (John 3:16). These metaphors help describe God’s commitment to legacy and connection with us. God uses adoption as another metaphor of connection when he says that he has adopted us as his sons (Ephesians 1:4-6). These Biblical comparisons provide a context for us to understand who God is and what he wants for us. He seeks to lead each of us into a place of belonging. Our paths and families won’t be identical, but his goal for community includes all of us.

Even so, life on this earth brings us disappointments. Here are a few suggestions for handling infertility:

Pray. Talk to God about how you feel. Ask him for a baby. But also ask him to show you your next step. What does he want you to do while you wait on his timing and calling?

Release your expectations. Trying to conceive can put a lot of pressure on you and your marriage. Even while you attempt to conceive, focus on enjoying your relationship and leave the results to the Lord.

Seek counseling. Whenever you feel grief or anxiety, it’s helpful to talk with a professional. If you ignore or suppress your pain, it will leak into all your relationships.

Study God’s promises. Increase your personal time in Bible study. Get to know who God is and what he does for you. Grabbing ahold of God’s promises will help you trust what he’s doing in your life, especially when you can’t predict the end result.

Investigate your options. Fertility treatments and adoption are viable options for couples who can’t conceive naturally. Do your homework and set up consultations with professionals to explore your options.

Minister to children. Parenting birth children isn’t the only way to be a parent. You can get involved in children’s ministry, teen ministry, foster care, mentorship programs, leadership development, and other roles that give you a path toward fathering or mothering someone who needs you to lead and love them. Even adults need spiritual parenting. God might be calling you to love someone else’s child, whether or not you conceive your own.

Trying to conceive can be stressful. Just remember “that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). Follow the Lord and trust him with the future. He never leaves us or forsakes us (Deuteronomy 31:6).

Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Jacob Postuma 

new 2020 headshot of author Sue SchlesmanSue Schlesman is an award-winning author, teacher, and church leader. In 2020, Sue won a Selah Award for her nonfiction book Soulspeak: Praying Change into Unexpected Places. Sue is a top-contributor to Salem Web Network radio ministry and She loves traveling, reading, missions, art, and dessert. Sue has a BA in Creative Writing and a Masters in Theology and Culture. Sue is agented with Karen Neumair at Credo Communications. She and her husband Shane are launching a podcast called “Stress Test: the heartbeat of healthy leadership” in late April, 2023.

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