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A Mother’s Silent Prayer

About the Song

I have been blessed with three “mothers” in my lifetime: A grandmother, who taught me thrift, perseverance, hard work and the dubious joys of accordion music; a mother-in-law who (bless her!) raised a wonderful husband for me and who, during her lifetime, was one of my best friends; and my own mother who… well, what does one say about one’s own mother? One (this one anyway) mostly blubbers.

At 13, I was asked to play piano for Junior Sunday School. (Gasp… my age is showing again!) I could read treble clef–slowly. Bass clef was still a mystery, and keeping up with those energetic little voices was simply beyond my abilities. I came home distraught that first week, and many weeks thereafter, declaring, “I’m NEVER going back! I’m going to DIE of humiliation!!! I can’t DO it!!!!!!!!”

Mom listened to me patiently (undoubtedly repressing gales of laughter at the melodrama–I was a melodramatic kid) and said, “Yes you can.” I didn’t believe her, but she did persuade me to go back. Week after week she persuaded me to go back, and I did not die. I believe she prayed for me privately, but I know that beyond all possibility she scrounged up enough money somewhere to buy me an old piano so I could practice.

To me, that piano was the embodiment of a prayer. So was her encouragement as I began to take an interest in composing. So was all the time she spent in patient listening. Every loving, selfless thing my mother did for me was a prayer on my behalf.

Mom isn’t a musician–though she’s better than she thinks she is. Still, she’s one of those who laughs out loud when asked to join the choir. But the song of her heart expressed in other ways–her devotion to the Lord and service to her family–is nonetheless a prayer unto God.


She calls upon the Father of creation
With every act of kindness for our sake
She seeks his grace to guard and guide her children
To raise us up in righteousness and strengthen us in faith

And as each labor of her love becomes an offering
Gifts upon the altar of her home
He hears her silent prayer and labors with her there
To mold our hearts; to shape our very souls

Every selfless deed is her petition
That bears aloft a fervent wordless plea
And like a prayer ascending into heaven
Every quiet sacrifice entreats him silently

(Repeat Chorus)

Each word of hope or counsel
Each sorrow that she shares
Each comfort that she offers
Is a mother’s silent prayer

Of high estate or poor and lowly station
‘mid mortal praise or by the world unknown
Every work of motherhood’s devotion
Rises up to plead for her before the Father’s throne

(Repeat Chorus)

If you have questions, please check the FAQ
If you don't find your answer there, feel free to post your question here. 🙂


  1. Maann Tagarao

    Thank you ma’am Sally😘🙏

  2. Beverly

    “If the Savior Stood Beside Me” is a big hit with my duet. Do you have other close harmony for High Tenor/ Bass?

  3. Susan

    I thought I saw a song about all the things mothers do. You said carpooling you couldn’t rhyme with.

    I can’t find it now.
    You tell me where to find it?

    Please answer

    • Sally DeFord

      You *could* just do a quick search for “carpool,” since I haven’t used it in all that many songs… 😀 j/k It’s this one: https://defordmusic.com/song-list/an-angel-to-watch-over-me/

  4. Ann Tapply, Congregational Church organist/choir director

    Sally – I have just come upon your lovely music which is a blessing for our small (12) choir. We will include a couple of your pieces for the Christmas season. God has blessed you with the gift of song! I so appreciate your music with the permission to copy, as it is a challenge to purchase music with the smaller church budget. Please keep writing. Blessings —

  5. Bryant Christenson

    I am now the choir director for the traditional services at Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Lake Havasu, Arizona.
    A couple years ago one of my singers found your site and started doing a couple of your solos. They were beautiful with well written music and lyrics as well as a musically realized accompaniment.
    Then I started looking through your compositions and found several moving numbers for choir or ensemble.
    It is very telling when we perform your music at a service that I do not change the accompaniments, ad lib, or alter parts. That is how well written they are.
    Thank you for inspiring Biblical texts wedded to inspired musical settings. Truly, God has blessed you with an ability to carry His praise musically to many others outside your immediate circle of family and friends.

  6. Trina Belbin

    I love what you share here about the mothers in your life……
    I was born naturally extremely shy…..and was born into a family that perhaps has become to awkwardly common,where dysfunctional,and noncommunication,or misunderstood and suppressed and silent love existed somehow…..My greatest desire has to be a Good mother.Your music inspires me always to do this and more.My mum passed near on8 yrs now and my Father has passed 3 yrs before her.I have never reached out to another musician like you,as academically perhaps I never completed more degrees…but I was born singing,and I teach piano and voice.I was trained in Trinity and Royal Conservatories of Music….And I have been teaching since I was 15….and I will be 64 on my next birthday…..My life is just beginning and I have so much to learn……there are too many things that have held me back…..but I would love to converse more with you,… about so many musical things,as I see music in evrything…..and lyrics rythmn,stories resonate strongly with me…..I am German,Chinese,Eng,Samoan etc.born in NZ.married to an Australian who’s a Scifi TEch Computer genius….and we have 3 grown children,living in NZ,,Canada and TX kingsville…..My daughter and I are extremely artistic,creative in music,and movement…and someday I would like to build an International cultural arts School,where people can explore music,art ,food,dances,and cultures……sorrry to go on…..but I love your music and seek your experience,wisdom and guidance…..I am a surviver of trauma most would not believe,….and I have died and returned because the lord needs me here……My life has always been guided and protected….My first vocal teacher found me and taught me Leider,Italian Arias and so much more when I was nearly 9…Then my mum found an amazing piano teacher,who I soared with and felt like I did 4 yrs work where I ..sat my first Trinity exame in grade 3 passing with honours…..I skipped over a few grades and completed 5 and 8 and then qualified to teach at 15 …..My first piano teacher was married to a severely hunched back woman….he also loved me so much….I believe his great compassion for God,life,and others….was music to my soul.
    And my last piano teacher was blind…..she was a child prodigy with another prodigy…They were known as the 2 Nancys …Nancy Ward ,taught me practical works,studies,scales,etc…And Nancy Wardell taught me theory….
    too much . too write,sorry…I Wish I could chat with u in person,….as its all overwhelming,but with Global warming,….our universe changing …..continual diversity and warring and satan basically basking with delight,…..Inviting Good change thru more love and unity is needed….even though I am more classically trained,I feel the history of music from it’s meagre primitive,..roots …..
    I strive to open hearts to the music that seals our path eternally…..and hopefully allows us strive for better ways to see each other as God sees us all…..I love to improvise …..knowing that living specific order and truths gives me this freedom and sureness to move like water freely and easily…..Music is Heavenly Father’s Great Gift to All his children,….Spiritually it nurtures us so Divinely with influences and Nature so sublime and ubiquitously, teaching us ,…. we are all God’s children,learning to be guided with his love and truths.God Bless You Sally Always….Thankyou for being U….
    My hubby and I arrived here in Houston TX …The Woodlands 2001….and 2 months later September 11.
    we have lived here 20 yrs.
    All my Love ,and prayers go out to you…..

    • Randal Everts

      Dear Trina Belbin: I saw your wonderful tribute to Catherine Leauga Fatu Prior who died last year. I am very sad that I missed speaking or emailing her as her husband is a member of the Prior family who is connected with my research on her husband’s father’s brother Percival Benjamin Prior (1884-1949). Percival may have been a writer who contributed phantasy stories i the 1920s from England, before moving to Australia and then New Zealand. I would very much like to contact her children: Anita, David, Evelyn, Geoffrey or Rex to see if there is a family member who might know the answer to my research question. I would appreciate whatever information you can give me to contact them.

  7. Melvin Samuel Brackett A.

    Thanks very much for sharing your great talent with us, and for uplifting the precious name of Our Lord and Savior Jesuschrist. Lots ofblessings for you!1

    • Name *Eliane Munhoz

      Gostaria do acompanhamento da música um doce canto de amor

  8. Rick Russo

    Is there a link where I can listen to this song? I am looking for a song for Mothers Day and I would
    like to listen to this song if it is available to listen to.

    Thank you Sally.

    Rick Russo

  9. Joann

    Thank you for sharing your talents. I first learned of you through our ward choir director some time ago and have so enjoyed the songs she picked and what other directors have chosen over the years. I know they are heartfelt and gifts through you. As you wrote of your three mothers, it truly touched my heart,especially your thoughts and words of your own mother, I wish words came more easily in my own expressions. So, Thank You! And may Heavenly Father continue to bless you in all the ways He knows you need.


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