October 1, 2022

October Prayer Ventures

 In 1 Peter 5:6-7 we read: “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.” The Apostle Peter assures us that God will hear our humble, honest, and trusting prayer, made in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Thanks be to God!

 

PRAYER VENTURES:  October 2022

These petitions are offered as guides 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. Thank you for your continued prayers for the life and mission of this church.

1 International Day of Older Persons  Give thanks for our older neighbors and siblings in Christ! Ask God to help us value, engage and nurture the skills, wisdom, faith and spiritual gifts of older adults and to respond to their diverse needs, circumstances and stages of life.

2 Praise God for the work of the Spirit that equips us for lives of faith and service, gathers us in communities of faith and enables us — individually and together — to engage in vital ministries for the sake of the world.

3 Pray that we will respond generously to the immediate and long-term needs of people and communities impacted by flooding and wildfires, and that we will bear hope, encouragement and care to those grieving the loss of loved ones and neighbors and rebuilding their own lives.

4 Feast of Francis of Assisi (1181-1226)  Pray that we will greet each day with a sense of awe, gratitude and respect for creation, for the organisms and creatures that inhabit the earth and for humanity in all its diversity and complexity — the handiwork of God. Ask the Spirit to inspire us to live with greater simplicity and to manage wisely all that God has entrusted to our care, use and enjoyment.

5 We are living in times of economic uncertainty, a continuing pandemic, unresolved racism, political turmoil and human suffering. Pray for God to renew our spirit, calm our anxiety, strengthen our resiliency, draw our attention to the needs of our neighbor and help us make healthy choices.

6 “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you” (2 Timothy 1:5). Praise God for mothers, stepmothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters and others who invite us to believe in the life-giving love we have in Jesus Christ and who help us become fearless, faithful and compassionate disciples of Christ.

7 Thank God for our special relationship with the Reformed Church in America, a full communion partner with the ELCA since 1997. Pray for the church, its members and its leaders, that together we will find strength and resources for the work of sharing the gospel and serving our neighbor, especially in these challenging times.

8 Pray that the wisdom and knowledge of physicians, health care workers and medical researchers will continue to grow and be applied for the health and well-being of all people, especially those who suffer illnesses and conditions lacking effective treatments or cures.

9 Praise God for the example of Jesus pausing on his way to Jerusalem to heal the 10 lepers, which encourages our faith in the power of God to heal and renew and calls our attention to the needs of people around us.

10 Pray for rostered ministers and lay leaders who serve congregations in part-time or multiple-ministry contexts, that through their faith, energy and creativity those congregations might discover and use the assets they have, responding to God’s call to serve their community, share the gospel and give witness to God’s love and mercy.

11 Give thanks and pray for the ELCA Justice for Woman program and for the unique voices and experiences of women and girls — across race, ethnicity, ability, class, sexuality, gender identity and age — who raise awareness of and advocate for gender justice.

12 The ELCA Fund for Leaders helps provide scholarships for seminary students responding to God’s call to follow Christ as congregational leaders, campus ministers, missionaries, mission developers and more. Give thanks for the fund’s 25 years of helping seminary students continue their journey to ministry debt-free and for the generosity of ELCA members committed to encouraging and preparing new leaders.

13 Pray that we will live and serve with confidence in God’s promises, listen to and respect one another, and reflect the love and ways of God in all that we do and say as people of faith and disciples of Christ.

14 Remember in prayer young adults who are working, serving in the military or engaged in nontraditional education opportunities, that they might know that God has purpose for them and that their gifts, knowledge, interests, life experiences and work are valued by the church, their communities and the world.

15 “Praise the Lord! I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart” (Psalm 111:1). Give thanks for God’s trustworthy grace, activity in the world and daily blessings that renew and sustain us.

16 Rejoice in the promise that God hears the cries of those who suffer injustice, inequality and persecution; pray for the Spirit to help us persist in our prayers for our neighbors in need and our endeavors to make our church, society, institutions and laws just, equitable, inclusive and compassionate.

17 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty  Supplying immediate relief for those who suffer poverty and hunger is critical, and the work we do together to address the underlying causes and eliminate poverty is essential. Pray that the Spirit will grant us wisdom, resolve and faith, that our efforts to end poverty will bear abundant fruit for the well-being of our neighbors in need.

18 Give thanks for this year’s Churchwide Assembly and pray that we will continue to create opportunities for mutual encouragement, prayerful discussion of difficult issues, Spirit-led decision making and recommitment to the work we do together to share the gospel, serve our neighbor and bear light and hope into the world.

19 “From where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1-2). Pray that our faith in God’s love and care will be resilient and that we will be aware of people near us whom God works through to assist and accompany us in times of need and distress.

20 Pray for abundant autumn harvests and for agricultural workers, farmers, ranchers and those who serve in distribution chains around the world as they strive to feed themselves and nourish people everywhere.

21 Remember in prayer the people affected by catastrophic flooding in Pakistan over the past months — about 33 million people, including millions who have been displaced from their homes and communities.

22 Give thanks for Lutheran Services in America, an alliance that includes the ELCA and 300 health and human service organizations and serves the diverse needs of more than 6 million people each year in the United States and the Caribbean.

23 Ask the Spirit to ground our faith and service in humility so that we regard others as equal in humanity, children of God receiving the same grace, mercy and promise of eternal life in Jesus Christ that we have.

24 Give thanks for the ELCA Youth Ministry program, ELCA Youth Gathering and ELCA Youth Ministry Network, and for leaders of children, youth and family ministries. Pray that their work supporting and equipping leaders and developing faith formation programs and initiatives will thrive.

25 “Happy are those whose strength is in you” (Psalm 84:5). Give thanks that we find true strength and comfort through faith in God, who enables us to endure every difficulty and crisis in life, no matter how complex or consuming.

26 Ask God to strengthen our relationships with the Lutheran World Federation, National Council of Churches of Christ and World Council of Churches for the work we do together to share the good news of Jesus Christ, grow the church, share resources for ministry and leadership development, and promote ecumenical and interreligious understanding.

27 Pray that the Spirit will stir our determination to challenge ideologies that set us against one another through fear, hatred, untruths and mistrust. Ask God to help us hold to what is true, exercise love and mercy, seek justice and equity, care for one another and strive for unity.

28 Give thanks for school counselors, social workers and psychologists who care for students and their diverse needs. Pray that all children and youth will have access to affordable, effective and supportive mental health services.

29 Pray that our generosity will be driven by our desire to honor God, share the blessings and resources we have received, ease the burdens and suffering of neighbors in need, help others become self-sufficient, and strengthen communities.

30 Reformation Sunday  We receive God’s grace — undeserved love and forgiveness — through the gift of faith in the risen Christ, who restores our relationship with God. Give thanks for Martin Luther, for theologians and for siblings in Christ who inspire us to study Scripture, embrace God’s gift of grace and salvation, deepen our faith and love for God, connect our faith with daily life and spread the good news of Jesus Christ.

31 Zacchaeus’ life changed forever when he came down from a tree and met Jesus face to face. Pray that our lives will be transformed and filled with joy because of our encounter with Jesus, who reveals God’s gracious love for humanity.


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July 5, 2022

August Prayer Ventures

 In 1 Peter 5:6-7 we read: “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.” The Apostle Peter assures us that God will hear our humble, honest, and trusting prayer, made in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Thanks be to God!

 

PRAYER VENTURES:  August 2022

These petitions are offered as guides 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. Thank you for your continued prayers for the life and mission of this church.

1 Pray for musicians and worship leaders as they develop and broaden their skills and explore existing and new worship resources at the Augsburg Fortress Summer Music Clinics.

2 Pray that we will look to God’s wisdom as we ponder the world, our purpose in life and how we might live with one another in global community.

3 Give thanks to God for the ELCA International Leadership Development Program, which provides financial support for the short- and long-term academic training of established and emerging leaders in global companion churches and institutions.

4 “Now you must get rid of all such things — anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another” (Colossians 3:8-9a). Give thanks that, through our baptism and the ceaseless work of the Spirit, we are being transformed in every way to reflect the image of God in which we were created.

5 Pray for the leadership, wisdom and well-being of our presiding bishop, Elizabeth A. Eaton, as we and our siblings in Christ try to unify this church in a world of ever-evolving complexity, conflict and division.

6 Give thanks for the chance to combat hunger around the world through ELCA World Hunger’s Global Farm Challenge, and for the generous donors matching our gifts to reach the fundraising goal of $525,000.

7 Praise God that we find our true treasure in God’s love and mercy given through Jesus Christ, a relationship that endures for all eternity.

8 Pray for voting members, leaders, guests and staff of the churchwide organization participating in the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in Columbus, Ohio. Ask the Spirit to guide and inspire their decision-making and spiritual discernment together on behalf of the entire church and to strengthen and unify them for doing God’s work in the world.

9 International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples  There are over 476 million Indigenous people living in 90 countries around the world. They have unique languages, traditions, cultures, knowledge systems, worldviews and systems for governing themselves. Pray that we will value them as children of God; respect their rights, freedoms, dignity and lands; and ensure their right to participate fully in political and economic activities. With repentant hearts, ask God’s forgiveness for our harmful and unjust actions and policies throughout history, for taking what was not ours, and for forcing our own language, culture, religious beliefs, worldview and authority upon Indigenous peoples. Pray that we will work to rectify injustices and inequities, develop new relationships of trust and respect, and do the work necessary for reconciliation and healing.

10 Ask the Spirit to bolster us in praying for worldwide peace and reconciliation and in supporting people, ministries and organizations committed to making peace, providing relief, bearing hope and defending the vulnerable.

11 Pray that God will equip, inspire and sustain new synod bishops for serving in diverse contexts across the ELCA, and pray that they will find support, care and encouragement for their ministry and personal lives.

12 International Youth Day  Give thanks for the gifts, wisdom and perspectives of youth around the world, and remember in prayer young people who live in areas of war and conflict, suffer poverty and hunger, long for educational opportunities, provide care for their siblings and parents, and live in hope for a better future.

13 Remember in prayer and give thanks for nurses, who use their gifts and skills in global mission, responding to disasters and serving their communities. Pray for the Evangelical Lutheran Parish Nurse Association and its work supporting and equipping parish nurses, helping congregations develop new health ministries and encouraging people to pursue nursing as a vocation.

14 Followers of Christ can suffer criticism and opposition. Ask God for courage, boldness and patience to share the gospel and serve our neighbors in need; pray that, when people oppose or criticize us, the Spirit will give us the confidence to respond with respect, love and humility.

15 Give thanks to God that, following a two-year pause due to COVID-19, Young Adults in Global Mission will send 25 new volunteers into the world to serve alongside our global companions and churches.

16 Ask God to help us discern between those who speak and teach God’s word faithfully and those who deceive others by preaching and prophesying for personal gain, recognition or power.

17 Give thanks for the chance to enjoy the awe and beauty of God’s creation in wilderness areas and city, state and national parks. Pray that, working together, we will make these treasures more accessible to people of all ages, abilities and economic circumstances.

18 Remember and give thanks for people now and throughout history who have inspired and strengthened our faith, helped us to understand God’s word and ways, encouraged our service and witness in the world, and influenced our lives and actions through their fearless pursuit of justice and healing for all people.

19 Give thanks for the gifts, leadership, service and generosity of the laity of our church, who respond to God’s call to serve our communities of faith, our society and our world.

20 Pray for companions and care providers who help people deal with illness, disability or the demands of aging. Ask that they will find the spiritual, physical and emotional strength necessary for their work, and that they will be renewed by rest, sabbath, self-care and the support they receive from others.

21 Ask God for forgiveness when, intentionally or not, we have discouraged total inclusion and involvement of all people in the church or society. Pray for an open mind and a willingness to listen to the stories and needs of those who are excluded or feel unwelcome; ask the Spirit to unite us in changing our practices, traditions, facilities and institutions to remove all barriers and deterrents to full inclusion and participation.

22 Pray for the young people gathering from a variety of backgrounds, churches and geographic regions for the World Council of Churches Stewards Program assembly in Germany. Ask God to bless their time together, nurture ecumenical unity and understanding, and inspire them to bring their experiences and ecumenical enthusiasm back home to their local contexts.

23 Give thanks for the ministry of the Christian Education Network of the ELCA, which supports and encourages professional and volunteer leaders who advance lifelong faith-formation ministries through congregations and partner organizations.

24 Express awe, reverence and thanks for the new covenant God has made with humanity and sealed in Jesus Christ, an enduring covenant of unconditional love, forgiveness and restoration of our relationship with God.

25 Pray for students beginning the new school year, especially those feeling uncertain, hesitant, insecure or fearful. Ask the Spirit for opportunities to care for students with tutoring, mentoring, counseling, family support and safe programs before and after school.

26 “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love” (Psalm 103:8). Bless the Lord and give thanks!

27 The end of summer is a time of transition for many people in seasonal jobs. Pray that they will be appreciated for their skills and service, find employment and housing, have consistent and affordable access to insurance and health care, and be welcomed and supported by communities and congregations wherever they go.

28 Pray that we might not rate ourselves above others because of their life circumstances, race, ability, appearance, education, income, religion, social status or political affiliation. Ask the Spirit to fill us with respect, thoughtfulness and compassion for our neighbor, no matter who they are.

29 Remember in prayer teachers, classroom assistants, student teachers, counselors, coaches, school staff and school administrators. Ask the Spirit to sustain their enthusiasm and inspire their wisdom, creativity, patience and concern for students and their parents.

30 Paul’s instructions to the Hebrews couldn’t be more timely: “Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it” (Hebrews 13:1-2). Pray that we will turn to Scripture and the wisdom shared by our communities of faith for guidance on how to live and serve our neighbors in these times of deep division and conflict.

31 Pray that the fall programs and community ministries of our congregations will flourish, welcome guests, inspire faith, spread the gospel, respond to our neighbors’ needs and equip people for doing God’s work in the world.


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