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.

Responding to recent acts of violence

All Creation Sings includes several for lament including “Lamenting Gun Violence” (Leaders Edition, p. 107) and “Service after a Violent Event” (Pew Edition p. 64-66, Leaders p. 110-113) as well as several collect prayers including the one below. This content is also available on in the Library. (All Creation Sings/Prayers, Thanksgivings, and Laments/Resources for Lament)

Lord Jesus Christ, your own mother looked on when your life ended in violence. Our hearts are pierced with grief and anger at the [death of / mass shooting in_________]. We commend the slain to your wounded hands, and their loved ones to your merciful heart, trusting only in the promise that your love is stronger than death, and that even now, you live and reign forever and ever. Amen. (ACS, p.49)

Intercession prompts: 

For victims of the the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas and for their loved ones…
For all people, families, and communities affected by gun violence…
For local, state, and federal lawmakers, that justice, peace, and safety may prevail…
For students and graduates at the end of this school year (especially local institutions)
For families searching for infant formula to feed their children, and for affordable access to safe, healthy nourishment for all people…
For families and friends remembering loved ones who died while serving in the United States armed forces on this Memorial Day weekend…
For peace between nations and an end to war across the globe…

Other notable events and observances:

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (May 1-31)
Mental Health Awareness Month (May 1-31)
Commemoration of Jirī Tranovsky, hymnwriter, died 1637 (May 29)
Visit of Mary to Elizabeth, May 31
Commemoration of Justin, martyr at Rome, died around 165 (June 1)
Commemoration of the Martyrs of Uganda, died 1886 (June 3)
Commemoration of John XXIII, Bishop of Rome, died 1963 (June 3)
Vigil of Pentecost (June 4)

Suggested prayers and hymns: 

A prayer of lament for gun violence:
God, our healer and refuge, we pray for all who suffer from gun violence. With your mercy, bind up their wounds, restore their bodies, and heal their hearts. Comfort the mourners and embrace the lonely. With your might, empower us to change this broken world. Make us advocates for a stable society, alive with hope in you. We ask this through the one once wounded for our transgressions and now standing in our sorrows, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen. (ACS p.49)

A prayer for peace:
Gracious and holy God, lead us from death to life, from falsehood to truth. Lead us from despair to hope, from fear to trust. Lead us from hate to love, from war to peace. Let peace fill our hearts, our world, our universe; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen. (ELW p. 76)

A prayer for those in the armed forces:
Almighty God, we commend to your gracious care and keeping all the members of our armed forces at home and abroad. Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face the perils that surround them; and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen. (ELW p. 77)

Hymns for Memorial Day
Mercy, We Abide in You (ACS 1077)
This Is My Song (ELW 887)

Hymns for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month:
Come Now, O Prince of Peace (ELW 247)
O God in Heaven (ELW 748)

ELW = Evangelical Lutheran Worship

ACS = All Creation Sings: Evangelical Lutheran Worship

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

Follow this link to access resources to assist worshiping communities as they respond to the crisis in Eastern Europe. Several prayers are provided that could be used during the prayers of intercession or at other times, in public worship or for devotional use at home or in other settings.

Further assistance for composing prayers of intercession can be found here: Resources for Crafting Prayers of Intercession

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.