“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, Iran, Myanmar, Iraq, Haiti, Russia and Ukraine, and South Sudan…
For safety, understanding, and productive resolution to student war protests at Columbia, Yale, and other institutions…
For evacuees and all who are affected by the eruption of Mount Ruang in Indonesia…
For a fair judicial system in our nation, and for all people serving in the court system…
For people to be provided for, for animals and plants to endure, and for rain to come amidst the drought in southern Africa…
For all who grieve and work for recovery after flooding in UAE and Oman…
For those who seek justice in the workplace…
For all who take risks and incur costs when taking a stand for the sake of their conscience…

Events and observances:

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

Pesach/Passover (Judaism), Apr 22-30
Ridvan (Baha’i), Apr 19-30
Toyohiko Kagawa, renewer of society, died 1960, Apr 23
Mark, Evangelist, Apr 25
Catherine of Siena, theologian, died 1380, Apr 29

Prayers from ELCA resources:

A prayer for the commemoration of Mark, evangelist (ELW, p.55)
Almighty God, you have enriched your church with Mark’s proclamation of the gospel. Give us grace to believe firmly in the good news of salvation and to walk daily in accord with it, through 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 those who suffer for the sake of conscience (ELW p.80)
God of faithfulness, you bless those who are persecuted. Strengthen those who suffer for the sake of conscience. When they are accused, save them from speaking in hate; when they are rejected, save them from bitterness; when they are imprisoned, save them from despair. Give us grace to respect their witness and to discern the truth, that our society may be cleansed and strengthened; for the sake of our merciful and righteous judge, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A prayer for caregivers (ACS p.54)
O Lord, we are at the limits of our power to help. We place into your hands ourselves and all that we have left undone. For what you have helped us to do, we thank you. We ask you to lend your strength to what must be done by others. Now shelter us in your peace, which surpasses our understanding. Amen.

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

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.