“For What Shall We Pray?” is a weekly post inviting individuals, groups, and congregations to lift up our world in prayer. This resource is prepared by a variety of leaders in the ELCA and includes prayer prompts, upcoming events and observances, and prayer suggestions from existing denominational worship materials. You are encouraged to use these resources as a starting point, and to adapt and add other concerns from your local context. More information about this resource can be found here.


Prayer prompts:

For peace and an end to violence in our world, especially between Ukraine/Russia and Israel/Palestine…
For refugees and all migrants, especially those facing threat of violence…
For recovery efforts following landslides in Indonesia…
For open access to education for women and girls across the globe…
For equitable outcomes from labor strikes in Paris, France, and for all workers seeking just working conditions and fair compensation…
For transgender siblings, especially transgender youth, in the midst of political battles, threats of violence, and diminished access to healthcare…
For those called to challenge religious, political, or institutional authority for the sake of justice…
For those suffering and dying from COVID-19 in our nation and in our world, and for loved ones fearing risk of contagion…
That the love of God so fill our deeds and words that our whole life is joyful noise…

Events and observances:

Women’s History Month (Month of March)
Purim (March 7, Judaism)
Holi (March 8, Hinduism)
International Women’s Day (March 8)
Harriet Tubman, died 1913; Sojourner Truth, died 1883; renewers of society (March 10)
Gregory the Great, Bishop of Rome, died 604 (March 12)
Patrick, bishop, missionary to Ireland, died 461 (March 17)
Joseph, Guardian of Jesus (March 19)

Prayers from ELCA resources:

Responding to Turkey/Syria Earthquakes
Prayer Resources in Time of Earthquakes

A prayer for the human family (ELW p. 79)
O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son. Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred that infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and, through our struggle and confusion, work to accomplish your purposes on earth; so that, in your good time, every people and nation may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

A prayer for those suffering abuse or violence (ELW p. 84)
Holy One, you do not distance yourself from the pain of your people, but in Jesus you bear that pain with all who suffer at others’ hands. With your cleansing love bring healing and strength to  name ; and by your justice, lift her/him up, that in body, mind, and spirit, she/he may again rejoice. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

A prayer for faithful living in society (ACS p. 50)
Sovereign God, your Son Jesus lived within the structures of society even as he spoke truth to those in power and challenged systems of oppression. Empower us to be courageous disciples and responsible citizens. Grant that our life in the public realm be grounded in love for our neighbors, care for the most vulnerable in our midst, and respect for the common life we share, following the example of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. 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 sundaysandseasons.com.

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

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.