10 comforting Bible verses for premature babies
I never, ever thought l would be in a place that I would be searching Bible verses for premature babies.
Thank goodness that Google understands typos because I found myself furiously typing away, looking for any Bible verse to cling onto in that moment.
I knew nothing about premature babies. Nothing. My first son was born three weeks early, and honestly at the time I thought that meant premature. It was a traumatic birth, and so I didn’t know anything different.
But then the day came.
Trigger warning: This post talks about the author’s experience of her son being in the NICU after being born premature. If you are a parent or loved one of a NICU child that is not ready to read others’ stories and simply need the Bible verses for premature babies, we have bolded the Bible verses so you are able to skim and find them easily.
It was my third child, and I was 29 weeks and 1 day along. I went to see the doctor because I was feeling worse than normal. A quick visit to the hospital turned into being admitted. Four days later, the doctor sat down in front of me, stared me right in the eyes, and said, “I know you are 29 weeks, but we need to deliver your baby.”
I stared blankly when the doctor read all risks that delivering at 29 weeks entailed. It sounded like the list went on forever of things that could go wrong, if my son survived. We outweighed the pros versus cons.
And then it was decided. 11 weeks early, my Daniel Christopher came into the world.
I was so fortunate to have stumbled upon Jessika at Praying Through Ministries, and her wonderful prayer group specifically for NICU babies, because I don’t know how I would have made it through otherwise. But until then, I was scrambling, grasping onto anything I could find.
I started writing down the Bible verses, one by one, that I felt like I could cling onto during such a hard season in my life. After each, I would write a prayer.
So I want to present them to you today. These were the Bible verses that got me through the birth of my son and the 92 days after that he was in the NICU an hour away.
Bible verses for premature babies (and their grown-ups)
1. Numbers 6:24-26
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”
This Bible verse is what our church says as a benediction at youth group. My husband was the youth director when Danny was in the NICU, and when all the youth would say this holding hands, it reminded me of what I wanted to pray over Danny.
So I turned this into a prayer and would whisper it to him. I remember vividly the first time he had to get an IV in his head. The nurses have seen this multiple times and didn’t think anything of it. I, however, watched in horror. I had to turn around when they did it so I didn’t pass out, and I remember the guilt of not being able to watch or hold his hand when they did it. I whispered this when they were doing it, and I kept repeating it as I held him after.
Out of all the Bible verses, I think I prayed this one the most over my son. I would sometimes whisper it to other babies as I left the NICU each day.
2. Genesis 50:20
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
I wondered why this was all happening when my son was born prematurely. At first, I blamed my body. It wasn’t until I met so many other NICU moms that I realized this wasn’t my fault.
Even though I wondered why this all happened, and why God would allow it to happen, I also had an opposite reaction. I would see my son, doing fairly well, and look around at the other NICU babies that weren’t doing as great. I’d ask God why my son got to be okay when other kids weren’t as fortunate.
I’ll never be able to answer why some kids make it and others don’t. But I do know that if we were supposed to know, it would have been clear in the Bible. Understanding that has helped me not linger in the “why’s” but instead focus on what good can come from it.
If this is something the enemy intended, God can take anything and turn it to good. I would never wish this on anyone, but if this hadn’t happened, I would have never met Jessika from Praying Through Ministries and this amazing organization. I wouldn’t be able to help mothers in the same situation today in support groups.
Also, a lot of people watched my family’s journey. We have a lot of friends that aren’t Jesus followers. A few admitted to us that watching our journey was the closest they came to believing in God. What a miracle!
3. Psalm 143:8
“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.”
One of the most beautiful parts of the Bible is that the Biblical Hebrew language has so many words that aren’t easily translated into English. Some people think it is frustrating, but I think it shows that God’s love is so unfathomable that it is not easily communicated into words.
One of these words is chesed. NIV translates this into “unfailing love,” while parallel Hebrew Bibles translate this word directly into “lovingkindness.” The word is too strong to be simplified/ Many best explain this as using love, kindness, and compassion to fully give themselves to someone else.
So when Psalm 143:8 says “unfailing love,” it’s not just simple human love. It is a lovingkindness that is too large to put into words. That is how much we can trust God and His plan throughout the journey of having a premature baby.
4. Romans 8:18
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”
When I wrote out the verse above for the first time, I wrote “revealed to us.” Looking back the second time, I realized it says revealed IN us.
God doesn’t reveal glory to us, He does it in us and through us. And no matter what we face on earth, it is a speck of sand compared to the riches of eternity in heaven.
5. Ephesians 2:10
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
I love thinking of us as God’s handiwork. It’s a reminder that He made us in His image, and He will always be with us. We were prepared to do good works too, so it’s a reminder to ask God what we can do to serve Him during the time in the NICU or after.
6. James 1:17
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights who does not change like shifting shadows.”
Not only does this verse remind me how our beautiful children are gifts from God, but it is also a reminder that God does not change. He knew our story before we did, and He knows how He will reveal himself through the process of having a premature baby.
7. Matthew 5:3
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
My husband has a theory. His theory is that if we are to carry the burdens of Christ for each other, we will go through seasons where we have burdens, and seasons where we don’t have burdens specifically so we can carry others’ burdens.
If you are a parent or loved one to a premature baby, this is a time of your life you’ll never forget. Take the time to let people help you. If you don’t have people to help you, reach out! Ask people for prayer. Find a therapist. Make sure you get what you need to be okay. You’ll have time again to help others, so do not feel guilty if you need to step back from things you normally do.
8. Deuteronomy 6:21
“We were slaves of Pharoah in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand.”
In the New International Version, the phrase “mighty hand” is used 24 times in the Old Testament. 16 of those times refer to Moses’ time.
God didn’t just lead the people of Israel out of Egypt. He could have snuck them all away in the middle of the night and brought them to the promised land. Instead, he used his mighty hand to save them.
To show His mighty hand, the Israelites had to see hard times. If it wasn’t hard, then His hand would not have seem mighty.
You may be in a situation where you seem like you are wandering in the wilderness, but God wants to use that to show up in big ways. Ask Him to lead where he can show His glory.
9. Luke 9:2
“And he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.”
The great thing about Jesus sending the disciples out is that proclaiming the kingdom of God and healing the sick went hand in hand.
Jesus never just healed the sick. Neither did his disciples. With sharing Jesus comes healing.
It doesn’t mean if you talk about Jesus our kids will be healed in the ways we think they should be. It means that healing doesn’t happen on its own; it happens with God. This may be your child healing, or our hearts healing after loss.
10. Psalm 103:1
“Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.”
When Danny was in the NICU, I was fighting. Here there was, this tiny miracle in front of me, (or tucked inside me as NICU moms know fully well- here’s to the parents that Kangaroo! #ifyouknowyouknow.)
But I was in shock still, even a month in. I stared at my own son, sleeping in a hospital crib instead of with me. I wanted the word of the Lord to vibrate through me and for me to be an example of strong faith, but instead I was falling apart.
I read this Psalm once while Kangaroo-ing with Danny. It is a psalm of confidence, or putting our trust in God even if it doesn’t make sense. I highly recommend reading the whole psalm if you’re in the NICU currently, or struggling now that your child is out of the NICU.
But there is something about our inmost being, the deep, dark, depths of us, praising God no matter what is happening. I repeated this a lot whenever I got super down and depressed as a way to praise God through the storm.
A Prayer for Premature Babies and Their Loved Ones
This prayer is written by Jessika from Praying Through Ministries.
Heavenly Father, You are omnipotent and omniscient. You are God over all–You see all and You know all. While the premature birth of this precious child may have caught them off guard, You are not shaken or surprised. You know this child and this mother. You know them and their needs because You created them, You knit them together.
While for us, so much is unseen and unknown in the secret place of the womb, it is not so for You, Lord. Not only is nothing hidden from You, but You see into the future with perfect vision.
God, Your timing is perfect. We trust You and the reasons for which You have ordained the timing of this child’s birth. Though the journey before them will not be easy, we pray they won’t lose heart.
Remind them of Your Truths. You go before them. Your mighty hand can make a way through anything. Your plans are to prosper and You are constantly working things together for good.
Father God, bless this mother and child. Heal what needs healing. Make Your presence known daily. Provide for their every need. Give them a testimony that not only strengthens their faith but leads others to You for Your glory. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
If you are searching for Bible verses for premature babies, you are not alone. It can feel isolating being in a NICU, but know that there are communities and people that you can reach out to. Make sure to take a moment to give yourself credit that at a time of crisis you are going to God’s truth. His truth will see you through this hard time.