“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 justice and peace among nations where war and violence rage, especially Palestine and Israel, Myanmar, Iraq, Haiti, Russia and Ukraine, and South Sudan…
For relief and recovery efforts following the earthquake in Taiwan, and for those injured and those grieving the loss of family members and friends…
For all aid groups who risk their own safety as they deliver food and supplies, especially World Central Kitchen as they grieve the killing of 7 workers in Gaza…
For health care workers and epidemiologists as we continue to understand, treat, and prevent COVID, bird flu, and other diseases…
For high school and college seniors as they discern where God will lead them after graduation…
For all people in recovery from alcohol abuse in this Alcohol Awareness month…
For all communities grieving gun violence, especially Vantaa, Finland, after a school shooting…
For journalists in places where the press’s freedom is threatened, and for consumers of the news in places where misinformation is rife…
For our praise to rise at the wonders of creation, especially for the solar eclipse this week…

Events and observances:

April Observances: Autism Awareness Month, National Poetry Month, Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Ramadan (Islam, continues through Apr 10)
Benedict the African, confessor, died 1589 (Apr 4)
Albrecht Dürer, died 1528; Matthias Grünewald, died 1529; Lucas Cranach, died 1553; artists (Apr 6)
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, theologian, died 1945 (Apr 9)
Mikael Agricola, Bishop of Turku, died 1557 (Apr 10)
Vaisakhi (Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Apr 13)

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 creation’s praise (ELW, p.81)
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ, who in your self-emptying love gathered up and reconciled all creation to the Father. Innumerable galaxies of the heavens worship you. Creatures that grace the earth rejoice in you. All those in the deepest seas bow to you in adoration. As with them we give you praise, grant that we may cherish the earth, our home, and live in harmony with this good creation, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

A prayer for addiction, recovery (ACS p.53)
God our source, our hearts are restless until we find our rest in you. As Jesus once offered living water to a Samaritan woman at the well, so we ask you to meet our deepest needs with your eternal life. Help us to honestly name the desires that have power over us. Forgive us our injuries to self and other. Give us the strength we need to face each day. Direct our thoughts and actions toward the life that truly is life. This we ask through Christ our 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.