“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 those facing the immense grief of natural disasters and their devastation: flooding in Libya, earthquake in Morocco, floods in Massachusetts, Typhoon Haikui in southern China, and those in the path of Hurricanes Lee and Margot…
For victims of gun violence, especially in Sacrament, CA; Chicago, IL; Colorado Springs, CO; Choctaw, OK; Minneapolis, MN; Kansas City, MO; and Pittsburgh, PA…
For all facing financial insecurity…
For renewed civility, grace, and commitment to the common good among political leaders and governments…
For peace in areas of war or conflict, especially in Ukraine, Myanmar, Syria, and Palestine…
For those struggling with anxiety, depression, or suicidal ideation…
For doctors, therapists, counselors, social workers, and all mental health professionals and advocates…
For Jewish neighbors who are entering a season of holy days…

Events and observances:

Monthly Observances in September: National Suicide Prevention Month, Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept 15-Oct 15),

National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week (Sept 7-14)
National Suicide Prevention Week (Sept 10-16)
John Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople, died 407 (Sept 13)
Holy Cross Day (Sept 14)
Rosh Hashana, (Judaism, Sept 15 eve-Sept 17)
Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, martyr, died around 258 (Sept 16)
Hildegard, Abbess of Bingen, died 1179 (Sept 17)
Dag Hammarskjöld, renewer of society, died 1961 (Sept 18)

Prayers from ELCA resources:

A prayer for those in affliction (ELW p. 84)
Lord Christ, you came into the world as one of us, and suffered as we do. As we go through the trials of life, help us to realize that you are with us at all times and in all things; that we have no secrets from you; and that your loving grace enfolds us for eternity. In the security of your embrace we pray. Amen.

A prayer for those living with mental illness (ACS p. 52)
Mighty God, in Jesus Christ you know the spirits that could our minds and set us against ourselves. Comfort those who are torn by conflict, cast down, or lost in worlds of illusion. By your power, drive from us the powers that shake confidence and shatter love. Tame unruly forces within us, and bring us to your truth, so that we may know peace and accept ourselves as your beloved children in Jesus Christ. 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.