“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 synods of the ELCA as they gather in their assemblies, that the Spirit would enliven and guide them…
For all mourning the loss of life, home, livelihood, or property after mudslides in Papua New Guinea…
For all mourning the loss of life, home, livelihood, or property after tornadoes, heavy storms, flash flooding, and the loss of power across the United States…
For the integrity of public institutions, for all public servants, and for good governance in our national, state, and local governments…
For teachers and educators, students and their families in these waning days of the school year…

Events and observances:

May Observances: Mental Health Awareness Month, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
June Observances: LGBTQ+ Pride Month

Jiri Tranovsky, hymnwriter, died 1637, May 29
Visit of Mary to Elizabeth, May 31
Justin, martyr at Rome, died c.135, June 1
The Martyrs of Uganda, died 1886, June 3
John XXIII, Bishop of Rome, died 1963, June 3

Prayers from ELCA resources:

A prayer for the church (ELW p.73)
Gracious Father, we pray for your holy catholic church. Fill it with all truth and peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in anything it is amiss, reform it; where it is right, strengthen it; where it is in need, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it; for the sake of Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen.

A prayer for the nation (ELW p. 77)
Holy Trinity, one God, you show us the splendor of diversity and the beauty of unity in your own divine life. Make us, who came from many nations with many languages, a united people that delights in our many different gifts. Defend our liberties, and give those whom we have entrusted with authority the spirit of wisdom, that there might be justice and peace in our land. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, our sovereign and our Savior. Amen.

A prayer for those affected by natural disasters (ACS p.49)
Save us, O God, for the waters are rising, and there is no firm place to stand. Life as we know it has been swept away. Draw near to us in this time of need and be our protection. Support us as we rebuild what has been ruined. Do no let us drown in our sorrow, but raise us to new life in your promise of rebirth, already claimed for us in Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. 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.