“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, Burkina Faso, and South Sudan…
For all people who must leave their homes to preserve their safety, especially in Rafah…
For synods of the ELCA as they gather in their assemblies, that the Spirit would enliven and guide them…
For the people, plants, and animals harmed by flooding in Afghanistan…
For safety, good government, and an end to violence in Burkina Faso in the midst of civilian killings and media banning…
For aid workers in every place whose work risks harm and danger, especially for workers at the UNRWA in East Jerusalem after arson damage…
For the family of U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Roger Fortson, and for the community of Fort Walton Beach, Florida, as they grieve his loss and process their anger after a police shooting…
For US high schools, colleges, and universities in their graduation ceremonies, and for all who are graduating…
For the people, plants, and animals affected by wildfires in Canada, and for all firefighters…

Events and observances:

May Observances: Mental Health Awareness Month, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (May)

Matthais, apostle, May 14
Helena, mother of Constantine, died c.330, May 21

Prayers from ELCA resources:

A prayer for peace (ELW p.63)
Almighty God, all thoughts of truth and peace come from you. Kindle in the hearts of all your children the love of peace, and guide with your wisdom the leaders of the nations, so that your kingdom will go forth in peace and the earth will be filled with the knowledge of your love, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

A prayer in times of despair (ACS p.52)
Lord of hope, I am so depressed, sinking where even my own shadow won’t stay by me. I don’t know where to go, how to get help, or what to do. There is no one that I trust. I’m afraid. I’m so tired of all this. I’m ready to give up. Is there help for me? Send me help. Lift me out of this heavy fog. Is there any hope? Show me a reason to hope. Don’t give up on me. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

A prayer after pregnancy loss (ACS p.53)
Creating God, you formed us in our mother’s womb and, in Jesus, welcomed children to come to you. Today we grieve the untimely end to a life that would have delighted you and us. Our hearts are torn, and we are burdened by our grief. Be with us as we walk this shadowed valley. Receive our tears. Hold space within us for hope’s return. In Jesus’ name we pray. 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.