“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 where war and violence rage, especially lifting up Palestine and Israel, Myanmar, Iraq, Haiti, Russia and Ukraine, and South Sudan…
For all who recovering, rebuilding, and grieving after severe storms and tornadoes in Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, and Illinois…
For those who are starving and injured waiting for aid in Gaza…
For our Muslim neighbors as they observe Ramadan…
For this Lenten season as we move into Holy Week…
For those who have suffered from gun violence especially in Chicago, District of Columbia, Ohio, California, Indiana, Alabama, Tennessee and Florida…
For our policy makers as they make important decisions about healthcare, education, safety, and justice…
For all those participating in the global Gaza Ceasefire Pilgrimage….

Events and observances:

March observances: Women’s History Month

Ramadan (Islam, continues through April 10)
Joseph, Guardian of Jesus (Mar 19)
Thomas Cranmer, Bishop of Canterbury, martyr, died 1556 (Mar 21)
Fast of Esther (Judaism, Mar 21)
Jonathan Edwards, teacher & missionary, died 1758 (Mar 22)
Holy Week (Mar 24-30)
Purim (Judaism, Mar 24-25)
Holi (Hinduism, Mar 25)

Prayers from ELCA resources:

A set of worship resources for the crisis in the Holy Land is 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

A set of worship resources for national elections is available on ELCA.org. Scripture readings, prayers, and assembly song suggestions are offered, to be used in settings such as prayer vigils, Morning or Evening Prayer, regular weekly worship or personal devotion in the weeks preceding or following an election. PDF DOC

A prayer for the fifth Sunday in Lent (ELW p. 29)
O God, with steadfast love you draw us to yourself, and in mercy you receive our prayers. Strengthen us to bring forth the fruits of the Spirit, that through life and death we may live in your Son Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

A prayer for all living with mental illness (ACS p. 52)
Mighty God, in Jesus Christ you know the spirits that cloud 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 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.