“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.
For peace among nations where war and violence rage, especially Palestine and Israel, Syria, Myanmar, Russia and Ukraine, and Sudan…
For those facing infertility…
For safe and just resolution to protests in India, South Korea, and Poland…
For the memory of Nex Benedict, and for all who face bullying and violence…
For those who suffer abuse…
For those experiencing continued flooding and mudslides in California…
For all victims of gun violence, especially in Burnsville, MN; Tooele, UT; Allentown, PA; Overland Park, KS; Colorado Springs, CO; and Hollywood, FL…
Events and observances:
February observances: Black History Month, American Heart Month
Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, martyr, died 156 (Feb 23)
Elizabeth Fedde, deaconess, died 1921 (Feb 25)
Prayers from ELCA resources:
A set of worship resources for the crisis in the Holy Land is now 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
The Churches Beyond Borders 2023 Advent Cycles of Prayers is now available. The prayer resource calls for justice and peace, especially for churches impacted by the war in the Holy Land, and for lifting up Palestinian Christian communities and ministries and the congregations and institutions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land and the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem.
A prayer for social justice (ELW p. 79)
Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may move every human heart; that the barriers dividing us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; and that, with our divisions healed, we might live in justice and peace; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A prayer in the face of prejudice (ACS p. 51)
O God, you divinity transcends distinctions of gender, and through the generations you widen our awareness of human diversity. We gather here before you in our various expressions of gender identity, all of us one in Christ Jesus. Bring our society to peacefulness concerning a wider understanding of gender. Give courage and healing to those who express outwardly the gender they testify as gift from you. Open the church to their witness. We ask that with your creative Spirit you cultivate new relationships, mend old wounds, and nurture communities of respect, for the sake of the one who embraces all persons in love, Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.
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.