“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 all facing mudslides, floods, storms, and power outages in southern California…
For those experiencing the destruction caused by wildfires in Chile…
For elections and government transitions around the world, especially in Pakistan and Senegal…
For victims of a shooting attack in Istanbul, Turkey…
For those injured or killed in a factory explosion in Harda, India…
For those stranded by storms in China…
For all victims of gun violence, and for all areas of conflict in the world…
In thanksgiving for the gifts of BIPOC leaders in our churches and communities…
For the church, as we enter the spiritual disciplines and reflections of Lent…

Events and observances:

February observances: Black History Month, American Heart Month

Lailat al Miraj (Islam, Feb 8)
Lunar New Year (Feb 10)
Transfiguration of Our Lord (Feb 11)
Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras (Feb 13)
Ash Wednesday (Feb 14)
Cyril, monk, died 869; Methodius, bishop, died 885; missionaries to the Slavs (Feb 14)
Parinirvana (Buddhism, Feb 15)

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 those seeking deeper knowledge of God (ELW)
Gracious and holy God, give us diligence to seek you, wisdom to perceive you, and patience to wait for you. Grant us, O God, a mind to meditate on you; eyes to behold you; ears to listen for your word; a heart to love you; and a life to proclaim you; through the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

A prayer for an end to prejudice and racism (ACS)
O God, in your divine mystery you embrace difference in unity, and you call your people to live in peace with all. We pray for an end to racial and ethnic prejudice. Free us from the dread of difference. Free the church from constricting traditions. Free our society from centuries of violence against the other. Break down the walls that separate your people by color, culture, or religion. Call us to repentance for our sins of racism and prejudice, known and unknown. Transform discrimination into a passion for justice. Guide us to nurture a society that embodies reconciliation and cooperation among all, for the sake of the one who embodies your love, 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.