These prompts are provided for worship leaders as they prepare the prayers of intercession for weekly worship. The prompts are prepared by several leaders in the ELCA and reflect current world and national events. You are encouraged to adapt and add other concerns for your local context, including staying informed of events and concerns in your synod.

Intercession prompts:

For advocates, activists, and allies working for racial justice…
In thanksgiving for the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr…
For those rebuilding, recovering, and grieving after recent natural disasters, especially flooding in South Africa, snowstorms in Pakistan, cyclones in Australia, and wildfire risk in the United States…
For the families of those grieving victims of the apartment fire in the Bronx…
For teachers, administrators, school staff, and parents navigating the challenges of education during pandemic…
For shared ministry with our full communion and ecumenical partners…

Other notable events and observances:

National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month (Month of January)
Commemoration of Martin Luther King, Jr., renewer of society, martyr (January 15)
Confession of Peter (January 18)
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (January 18-25)

Suggested prayers and hymns:

A prayer for the commemoration of Martin Luther King, Jr. (ELW p. 59)
Gracious God, in every age you have sent men and women who have given their lives in witness to your love and truth. Inspire us with the memory of Martin Luther King, Jr., whose faithfulness led to the way of the cross, and give us courage to bear full witness with our lives to your Son’s victory over sin and death for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

A prayer for healing from prejudice and racism (ACS p. 51)
Good and gracious God, you invite us to recognize and reverence your divine image and likeness in our neighbor. Enable us to see the reality of racism and free us to challenge and uproot it from our society, our world, and ourselves. Amen.


ELW = Evangelical Lutheran Worship

ACS = All Creation Sings: Evangelical Lutheran Worship Supplement

Additional topical prayers are found in Evangelical Lutheran Worship (pp. 72–87) and All Creation Sings (pp. 46–55), as well as in other resources provided in print and online at

Crafted intercessions for every Sunday and festival are provided in the Sundays and Seasons worship planning guide published in-print and online by Augsburg Fortress.

Prayer Ventures, a daily prayer resource, is a guide to prayer for the global, social and outreach ministries of the ELCA, as well as for the needs and circumstances of our neighbors, communities and world.

Image from All Creation Sings, © 2020, Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Used with permission.