“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 among nations, especially between Israel and Palestine, Russia and Ukraine…
For relief and recovery efforts following an earthquake in western China and a landslide in southwestern China…
For political protests in Germany and France, for primary elections in the United States, and all areas of political deliberation and tension…
For those suffering severe storms and flooding in southern California and for all areas of the country experiencing storms, ice, and other difficult weather…
For all victims of gun violence, especially in Joliet, IL; Tinley Park, IL; Moody, AL; Oakland, CA; Covington, KY; and Tampa, FL…
For safety and provision for all migrants…
For all facing unemployment and underemployment, and for all seeking fair wages and equitable employment opportunities…
For collaboration and hospitality among people of faith, across denominations and across faith traditions…

Events and observances:

January observances: National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month

Conversion of Paul (Jan 25)
Tu Bishvat (Judaism, Jan 25)
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (ends Jan 25)
Timothy, Titus, and Silas, missionaries (Jan 26)
Lydia, Dorcas, and Phoebe, witnesses to the faith (Jan 27)
Thomas Aquinas, teacher, died 1274 (Jan 28)
Presentation of Our Lord (Feb 2)
Ansgar, Bishop of Hamburg, missionary to Denmark and Sweden, died 865 (Feb 3)

Prayers from ELCA resources:

A set of worship resources for the crisis in the Holy Land is now available on ELCA.org. 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. PDF DOC

The Churches Beyond Borders 2023 Advent Cycles of Prayers is now available. The prayer resource calls for justice and peace, especially for churches impacted by the war in the Holy Land, and for lifting up Palestinian Christian communities and ministries and the congregations and institutions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land and the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem.

A prayer for Christian unity (ELW p. 61)
God our Father, your Son Jesus prayed that his followers might be one. Make all Christians one with him as he is one with you, so that in peace and concord we may carry to the world the message of your love, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

A prayer for those who suffer gun violence (ACS p. 49)
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 with us in our sorrows, 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.