The 10th Sunday after Trinity.
The Mothers’ Union (MU) was founded in 1876 by Mary Sumner, who died on the 11th August 1921. The MU, at least initially and possibly due to a mistake, listed the 9th August as her date of death. It is this date that is called Mary Sumner Day each year, in honour of their founder.
This prayer celebrates Mary Sumner Day and concludes with Mary’s personal prayer, which is equally applicable to MU members and non-members alike.
Our God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, who sent Your Son into this world to be our saviour and redeemer, we offer You this prayer in His name.
We give you Thanks O Lord for the Mothers’ Union and especially for its founder, Mary Sumner, whom we commemorate today.
As Mary Mother of Jesus gave birth to Your Son, whose teaching would span the globe, Mary Sumner gave birth to more than her own son and daughters, also to the Mothers’ Union spreading not just Your word but practical aid to places on this planet.
As Mary fostered mutual support amongst mothers of her community, strengthen and guide those who try to follow her example today, weather or not they are members, providing mutual support to one-another and helping those in need, of any faith or none.
Father, as we are each a part of Your spiritual family, Mary brought practical, emotional and spiritual support to mothers and families of all social groups. Bless the MU today as it upholds this legacy.
The women and men of the MU help in areas of conflict and poverty. They aid literacy and numeracy with teaching, so that the impoverished can improve their situations. Bless the Mothers’ Union as its members today seek to touch lives everywhere for You as Mary did generations ago, more than a lifetime for us, perhaps just a heartbeat for You, our Father.
Jesus tells us of the mustard seed, that grows into a tree. We thank you Lord for tending the seeds of faith that Mary Sumner planted. By your grace that tiny seed, planted in a village in Hampshire has been nurtured by generations of gardeners, grown strong roots and it’s seeds carried throughout the world to be sown far afield. We pray for today’s gardeners who continue to tend and nourish the seeds as they grow.
Father God. the Mothers Union has been called the church’s secret weapon. We pray that You will give Your soldiers the armament of compassion the strength of Your word and the protection of shield that cannot be breached, prayer in the name of Your Son.
We ask for Your blessing on the church and all it’s affiliate organisations. We pray for its leaders nationally and locally and for each MU branch leader.
The Mothers’ Union was begun with hope for the future. Oh Lord, help us to keep that hope alive in ourselves and to bring hope to families who feel they are in hopeless and dangerous situations and places.
Healer and comforter, although we must never forget that true healing comes only from you, let us remember the men and women, like those of the Mothers’, Union who bring comfort and support in Your name to wherever You send them.
Father we ask for the healing power of Your love, the comfort of Your grace and the strength of Your Holy Spirit for those known and unknown to us who are in need or your touch and our compassion, and in a moment of quiet we each bring to You, Father, our own cares, concerns and praises.
Loving Lord, We thank you for your love so freely given.
The Mary Sumner Prayer.
All this day, O Lord,
let me touch as many lives as possible for thee;
and every life I touch,
do thou by thy spirit quicken,
whether through the word I speak,
the prayer I breathe,
or the life I live.