(In honor of the release of our new book, all other titles are on sale — up to 50% off — through Ash Wednesday)
Emmanuel Press is pleased to announce the reprint of Starck’s Motherhood Prayers for All Occasions, available now in a special freestanding volume more than two hundred years after these prayers first flowed from the quill of Lutheran pastor Johann Friedrich Starck.
It is inevitable that one may question the relevance of such prayers, written in antiquated language for a woman many generations before. Yet through the beauty of carefully-crafted meditations interwoven with Scripture and hymns, Starck reminds all of us –not only expectant mothers – that children are not merely a product of nature but are a gift bestowed by God Himself. Every one of us who believes that life begins at conception will benefit from these prayers, marvel at the miracle of life, and be strengthened to support and encourage other women, whether they be our daughters, sisters, neighbors, or fellow parishioners. What better gift could we offer an expectant mother than a book meant especially for her during her time of pregnancy, labor and delivery, and the enigmatic haze of the weeks to follow.
Our modern culture has drastically shifted its focus, encouraging a mother to obsess over maternity fashions, nursery themes, and prenatal superfoods rather than to call upon her merciful Father for the mere survival of herself and her child. These prayers were written before our modern age which offers methods aimed at influencing the sex of a child, prenatal music stimulation, and legalized abortion as a viable alternative. Starck does not mince words. He speaks often of the reality of physical danger to both mother and child; he refrains from glossing it over with empty statistics and politically correct phrases. Ask any mother of a stillborn child whether 1 in 200 is a comforting statistic, or whether the pain of a miscarriage is lessened by referring to her child as a fetus.
These prayers help give voice to a mother’s faith when her own words falter, when she needs to hear that God will grant her peace and perseverance and will not abandon her in her hour of pain and sleeplessness. It is no coincidence that the longest portion of prayers in this book is for women in labor, an especially trying time when words of comfort and mercy are most needed. Starck reminds us that it is God in His mercy and grace who permits a mother to rise in good health in the morning, to keep her mind upon Him throughout the day, and to commend herself and the fruit of her womb to God at every hour of the day.