[Prayer Ventures for April 2019]
1 Remember in prayer the eight young people working alongside our companions in Argentina and Uruguay as part of the ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission program. Remember also Krystle Moraska and Ignacio Madrussan, YAGM country coordinators; Caitlyn Melillo, Horizon intern; and Alberto (Gustavo) Driau, ELCA regional representative for South America.
2 Give thanks for the coming of spring, with its stirring of new life, its blossoms and flowers, and its lengthening days filled with light. Pray for those who are suffering, feeling hopeless or experiencing depression, that their spirits will be lifted and refreshed by the changing season, the care and encouragement of others and the newness we have in Christ.
3 God is our source of strength and forgiveness all day long, every day. Be glad, rejoice and shout for joy!
4 Pray for the churchwide officers, synod bishops and other elected members of the ELCA Church Council as they gather for discussion, discernment and decision-making, that they might guide, support and provide leadership for the churchwide organization and our church.
5 Pray that, as the body of Christ, we are able to perceive Christ in one another, affirm each other as new creations in Christ, and venture together into our communities and the world as bearers of the gospel and as witnesses to what God is doing in the world for our sake.
6 Give thanks for those who help care for our infants and children — grandparents and relatives, nursery attendants, day care workers, preschool teachers and babysitters.
7 Pray that we resist judging the offerings and contributions of our brothers and sisters in Christ and that, instead, the Holy Spirit moves us to encourage and affirm one another in being generous in sharing what we have — time, money, resources, wisdom, skills and spiritual gifts — with our neighbor.
8 Spring and summer bring severe weather and flooding to some regions of our nation. Pray that congregations, neighbors and communities will work together to create disaster-response plans and will gather resources to share in the event of a disaster. Pray for the safety and well-being of those who face the impact of storms, and give thanks for the work of Lutheran Disaster Response, faith-based agencies and other organizations as they bring care, hope and healing to our neighbors in need.
9 Pray that we are energized to continue to work toward the goals and priorities identified in ELCA Future Directions 2025, helping our church to journey faithfully and effectively together in the years ahead to do what God is calling us to do.
10 Pray for congregations, Lutheran Services in America organizations, ecumenical partners and community agencies that support men and women in prison and those reentering society, encouraging their faith and hope and caring for their families. Pray for the development of resource networks, services and places of grace and acceptance for those seeking to rebuild their lives after prison — spiritually, socially, emotionally and economically.
11 Thank God for our special relationship with the United Church of Christ, a full communion partner with the ELCA since 1997. Pray for the church, its members and its leaders, and pray that together we find strength and new resources for the work of sharing the gospel and serving our neighbor.
12 Remember in prayer the service and witness of the 10 young people serving alongside our companions in Hungary and Serbia as part of the ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission program, and the Rev. Rachel Eskesen and Zachary Courter, YAGM country coordinators for Central Europe.
13Pray that the fulfillment of God’s promises and great love for us will permeate our thoughts and replace our sorrow and tears with joy.
14 Palm SundayPray that, in the telling and retelling of the story of Jesus’ passion, we capture a sense of God’s boundless, sacrificial love for us that renews and deepens our faith.
15 Give praise and glory to God for the humility and sacrifice of Christ Jesus on the cross, that we might know and experience true love and life, now and eternally.
16 Reflect prayerfully on what the cross means to you, what we proclaim when we make the sign of the cross on ourselves or others, and how God turns an instrument of torture and death into a symbol of God’s power and love and our new life in Christ Jesus.
17 Give thanks for our many opportunities to read, hear, study and reflect on the word of God — during worship, in Bible-study groups, at ELCA gatherings and events, in many languages, and using our dog-eared, marked-up Bibles at home.
18 Ask God to inspire and equip us, through the work of the Spirit, to be servants in the world who exemplify and follow the teaching, actions, humility and sacrifice of Jesus, who commanded his disciples and us, “Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.”
19Good FridayPray that our faith be uplifted and strengthened in the knowledge that God shows us mercy and grace, and that we understand the depths of our weakness and the darkness of humanity through the suffering and death of Jesus, son of God.
20 Pray for the relief of allin the worldwho suffer, that they might experience healing, hope and God’s presence in their life and circumstances.
21Easter DayThere’s good news for everyone — Christ is risen! Alleluia! Through the life, suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus, God has broken every human restraint of sin, hopelessness and death; we are set free to live life anew with joy, gratitude and love. Give thanks and praise to God!
22 Pray that faith in Jesus Christ, the risen son of God, will give us the courage and enthusiasm to share the good news with the world, trusting that all who believe will be transformed by God’s gift of love and forgiveness.
23 God has given us this and every day to live with purpose, freedom and boldness in the world as redeemed children of God. Search for new, prayerful words and expressions to celebrate and be glad today!
24 Give thanks for choirs, musicians, rock bands, organists, cantors and handbell choirs that share their creative gifts in praise and glory to God and invite us to express our faith and joy through diverse styles of music.
25 Pray for the work and advocacy of our church, partner organizations and communities that address the root causes of violenceand respond to the people and communities it affects. Pray that we remain committed to our convictions expressed in the ELCA social message on “Community Violence” no matter where our pursuit of justice and peace might lead us, or how long it might take to bring about meaningful change.
26 Remember in prayer the leaders, voting members and others gathered for the assemblies of the Alaska and Northern Texas‒Northern Louisiana synods, that the Spirit will strengthen, guide and encourage them in doing God’s work in the world, proclaiming the gospel and growing the church.
27 Pray for the service and witness of the Revs. Kirsten Fryer and Michael Parker, ELCA missionaries accompanying our companions in Egypt, as they work with the seminary community, refugee advocacy and support, and an international congregation in Cairo.
28 We can all relate to the apostle Thomas, who questioned Jesus and asked for proof that God was alive and well in the world. Pray that the Holy Spirit will fill us with faith in God’s loving presence and activity in the world, even when we are doubtful, curious, weak or confused.
29 When we do God’s work in the world, we share in the resources, assistance and commitment of many partners, including the Lutheran World Federation, the World Council of Churches and the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. Thank God for our partners and companions.
30 Consider how our lives manifest God’s love and mercy each day; ask God’s forgiveness for times when we have fallen silent about our faith or failed to let our witness shine brightly in the world.
Prayer Ventures for May 2019]
1 Throughout Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, give thanks for the rich history, gifts, influence and contributions to our nation of our Asian and Pacific Islander brothers and sisters. Ask God to bless and further the work and witness of ELCA Asian and Pacific Islander Ministries and the Association of Asians and Pacific.
2 National Day of PrayerEncourage individuals, congregations and communities to pray, asking
the Spirit to help us — and our nation — follow Jesus’ instruction to “Love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12).
3 Remember in prayer the leaders, voting members and others gathered for the assemblies of the Southeastern Pennsylvania, Rocky Mountain, Northeastern Minnesota and Minneapolis synods, that the Spirit will strengthen, guide and encourage them in doing God’s work in the world, proclaiming the gospel and growing the church.
4Remember in prayer the leaders, voting members and others gathered for the assemblies of the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin, South-Central Synod of Wisconsin, Western Iowa and Arkansas-Oklahoma synods, that the Spirit will strengthen, guide and encourage them in doing God’s work in the world, proclaiming the gospel and growing the church.
5How will we react when God calls us to do something or go someplace new and unfamiliar? Pray that we will follow where the spirit of God leads, find companions in ministry to work with and invite others to join in doing God’s work in the world.
6 Pray for students who are taking final exams and anticipating employment, further education, or vocations of leadership in the church or military service. Ask God to grant them comfort and reassurance in times of stress and uncertainty, and to provide supportive, attentive and loving people in their lives.
7 Ask God to bless andenergize our church’s commitment to wholeness for creation in collaboration with ecoAmerica and its Blessed Tomorrow program, which helps faith-based organizations care for creation and elevate their leadership on climate change as a moral, religious and justice issue.
8The ELCA International Camp Counselor Program, partnering with Lutheran Outdoor Ministries and ELCA Global Mission, trains up to 40 Lutheran young adults from Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Pray for these young adults, who serve as leaders and global partners in our summer camp programs. Give thanks for the faith, gifts, leadership skills and global perspectives they bring to their work with children, youth and adults.
9 God worked miraculous changes in the heart, mind and life of Saul that he might spread the gospel, grow the church and serve his neighbor as the reborn apostle Paul. Give thanks for how God calls us by name, equips us for ministry and service, and reaffirms that there is a place and purpose for everyone in the church, the body of Christ.
10 Remember in prayer the leaders, voting members and others gathered for the assemblies of the Oregon, Pacifica and Southeastern Iowa synods, that the Spirit will strengthen, guide and encourage them in doing God’s work in the world, proclaiming the gospel and growing the church.
11 Remember in prayer the leaders, voting members and others gathered for the assembly of the Sierra Pacific Synod, that the Spirit will strengthen, guide and encourage them in doing God’s work in the world, proclaiming the gospel and growing the church.
12Pray that we will trust that Jesus is the true son of God and will be faithful and fearless in following his examples and teachings revealed to us in Scripture.
13 Remember in prayer the ELCA’s work of using innovative models for starting new congregations and ministries in a diverse and changing world as we seek to grow God’s church, welcome all God’s people and equip our neighbors with both spiritual and physical sustenance.
14 Thank God for being a loving and ever-present shepherd who restores us, stirs our courage, strengthens our faith and guides us through the challenges and joys of life.
15 Give thanks for ELCA campus ministry, communities of faith that accompany students in their journeys of faith, education, service and discerning vocation at more than 180 state and private colleges and universities and at an additional 400 schools nationwide with assistance from congregations.
16 Remember in prayer the leaders, voting members and others gathered for the assemblies of the Northern Great Lakes, East-Central Synod of Wisconsin, North/West Lower Michigan and Metropolitan New York synods, that the Spirit will strengthen, guide and encourage them in doing God’s work in the world, proclaiming the gospel and growing the church.
17 Remember in prayer the leaders, voting members and others gathered for the assemblies of the Saint Paul Area, Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast and Southeast Michigan synods, that the Spirit will strengthen, guide and encourage them in doing God’s work in the world, proclaiming the gospel and growing the church.
18Remember in prayer the leaders, voting members and others gathered for the assemblies of the Northwest Washington and Eastern Washington-Idaho synods, that the Spirit will strengthen, guide and encourage them in doing God’s work in the world, proclaiming the gospel and growing the church.
19Pray that, as the body of Christ, we encourage one another and work together to follow Jesus’ words in our daily lives: “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
20 Remember in prayer people who are traveling across the country in search of seasonal employment. Pray that they find employment, fair wages, fulfillment of basic needs for housing and food, and welcoming congregations that understand the unique needs of seasonal workers.
21 Give thanks for the special skills, creativity and enthusiasm of people who write blogs, online stories, social media posts and newsletters that help communicate how congregations, synods, the churchwide organization, ecumenical partners and related organizations are sharing the good news of Jesus Christ,serving our neighbor and working together for justice, peace, mercy and healing in the world.
22 Ask God to make us bold, persistent advocates and agents in society to end gun violence across our nation, for the sake of our neighbor’s well-being and out of gratitude and respect for the fragile gift of life.
23Pray that our vision of the church and its mission will be broadened by the knowledge that the word of God and the good news of Jesus Christ are meant for all people and all nations.
24 Pray that the ELCAGuardian Angel and Welcoming Congregation programs will flourish and continue to expand across our nation as part of our church’s strategy to support and accompany — physically and spiritually — migrant children and families through their immigration court process.
25 Praise God’s infinite power, glory and presence as reflected in our life experiences and every aspect of nature and creation.
26Give thanks for the gift of the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, sent to remind us of Jesus’ teachings and God’s love, and to stir our faith, peace and courage when we are troubled or fearful.
27 Give thanks and praise God for the significant and lasting impact of Always Being Made New: The Campaign for the ELCA.Pray that we will build upon what it has accomplished and continue to be generous in supporting new and existing programs and ministries that serve our neighbor, nurture new leaders and grow the church.
28 Pray with joy and thanksgiving, for God is gracious and generous in blessing us, and God’s saving power stretches to every corner of the earth.
29Pray for more than 3,500 summer camp staff and volunteers as they prepare to serve in ELCA outdoor ministries as role models, affirming and encouraging the faith of campers — of all ages and abilities — and guiding them toward the paths and ways of God throughout life.
30 Remember in prayer the leaders, voting members and others gathered for the assemblies of the South Dakota, Nebraska, Upstate New York, Delaware-Maryland and North Carolina synods, that the Spirit will strengthen, guide and encourage them in doing God’s work in the world, proclaiming the gospel and growing the church.
31 Remember in prayer the leaders, voting members and others gathered for the assemblies of the South Carolina, Southeastern, Southwest California, Southeastern Minnesota, Greater Milwaukee and West Virginia-Western Maryland synods, that the Spirit will strengthen, guide and encourage them in doing God’s work in the world, proclaiming the gospel and growing the church.
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