April 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: April 2021
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 As Paul said, our faith in Christ may seem like foolishness to some people but we can always trust in God’s love for us through Christ because it is real, trustworthy and life-giving. Pray that God will embolden us to share our faith without hesitation or embarrassment and to invite others to believe even when doing so seems foolish.
2 Good Friday Remember the suffering and sacrifice of Jesus, the Son of God, for our sake and salvation. Give thanks that God looks upon us with concern, gracious love and mercy.
3 Lift up prayers of humble gratitude that through baptism our lives are conjoined with the life, death and resurrection of Christ, which enable us to “walk in newness of life” and be “alive to God.”
4 Easter Sunday He is risen! Praise God! Give thanks that through Jesus’ resurrection we are no longer constrained by sin and death but can celebrate salvation, new life and God’s wonderful grace, which reclaims and changes us.
5 “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Look around and give thanks for the people, community, world, wonders of creation and signs of God’s presence and work that surround you.
6 Arab American Heritage Month Remember in prayer the diverse gifts, cultures, heritages and stories of our Arab and Middle Eastern siblings in Christ, who remind us of the rich history and tradition of Christ’s church in the world. Ask God to bless and further the work, witness and advocacy of Arab and Middle Eastern Ministries in the ELCA and the Association of Lutherans of Arab and Middle Eastern Heritage of the ELCA.
7 Give thanks for the generosity shared from across our church, which helps us respond to the needs of the world, live out our faith in service to our neighbors and proclaim the gospel everywhere.
8 Jesus continues to walk with us daily and to make his loving presence known when we gather with bread and wine, remembering the sacrifices he made for our sake and for the restoration of our relationships with God. Give thanks and praise to God for being in our lives!
9 Give thanks for the empathy and support expressed by the Rev. Martin Junge, general secretary of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), in his letter to Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton and our church in a time of political and social tension. “People need to talk and listen to each other again,” he wrote. “Broken relationships need to be mended. People need to trust again so that they can live and work together. People need to heal from their pain and their wounds.” Give thanks for the LWF, a global family who accompany one another in doing God’s work in the world.
10 Pray for the humility to acknowledge and respect God’s infinite power, presence and grace for the sake of all people.
11 Jesus is with us in times of fear and uncertainty, just as he was with his troubled disciples after the resurrection. Pray for the Spirit to encourage our faith, ground us in the good news of Christ and grant us peace, reassurance, hope and direction throughout our baptismal journey.
12 Give thanks for signs of spring! Some places still have snow on the ground, yet others show signs of nature blossoming and new life emerging. Give thanks for the good, life-giving work of our Creator, who urges patience and stirs new life and hope in every season.
13 Pray for Creation Justice Ministries, Lutherans Restoring Creation and other ministries, organizations and networks that deepen our awareness and knowledge of creation and the environment and equip us to care for creation and our communities.
14 “How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!” Pray that God will help us better understand what living together in unity requires of us as siblings in Christ and as world citizens striving for peace, justice, reconciliation and mutual care.
15 Ask the Spirit to inspire wisdom, insight, compassion and boldness in the members of the ELCA Church Council as they gather online this week to guide and shape the work of our church in spreading the good news of Jesus Christ, serving our neighbors in need and supporting our congregations.
16 Pray that, as we share the gospel and serve our neighbor, we will recognize the spiritual, physical and emotional needs of our siblings in Christ who are also doing God’s work in the world.
17 Pray for our ELCA missionaries serving alongside companion churches and organizations in Asia and the Pacific region, including the Rev. Phillip Baker (Cambodia), the Rev. Chandran Paul Martin and Timothy Melvyn (India), the Rev. Charles Peterson and the Rev. Jeffrey Truscott (Indonesia), Hailey Brenden (Nepal) and the Rev. Suk Yeon Lee (Jang) (South Korea).
18 Lift up prayers of gratitude to God for the presence of the Spirit in our lives, which deepens our faith and trust in Jesus as the promised Messiah, helps us understand Scripture and moves us to respond to God’s call that we bear witness to the good news of Jesus Christ.
19 Give thanks for volunteers of all ages and gifts who serve in congregations, including teachers, assisting ministers, child care providers, committee members, greeters, singers, musicians, people who fix things and those who visit the ill or homebound. Praise God for the rich diversity of gifts, skills and passions we share in the body of Christ.
20 The Multicultural Youth Leadership Event (MYLE) is a pre-event to the ELCA Youth Gathering. Pray for the MYLE leadership team of youth, young adults and adults planning the summer 2021 event on the theme “Made Free.” Ask God to bless their work of creating a community, inclusive and accountable to all, that is inspired and woven together by the Spirit.
21 What a joy it is to be called children of God because of God’s great love for us! We may not know or understand everything about God or what lies in store for us, but we are still loved, forgiven and claimed without condition. Thank and praise God!
22 Earth Day Give thanks and glory to God for the blessings and mysteries of creation, entrusted to us to sustain and enrich all generations. Pray that God will make us wise, generous and responsible stewards of nature and Earth’s resources for the glory of our Creator and the well-being of our neighbor.
23 Give thanks for our church’s partnership with Lutheran World Relief to support pandemic emergency response projects in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
24 Remember in prayer people who are confined in our jails, prisons and correctional facilities. Pray that they will be treated humanely and justly, be renewed by the good news of Jesus Christ, and find hope and strength in God’s love and mercy. Pray for the Spirit to help us — as individuals and as faith communities — empathize with prisoners returning home and boldly extend our hospitality, acceptance and support as they do the difficult work of building new lives in our communities.
25 Give thanks that Jesus is the good shepherd who knows us, loves us, unites us, leads us through life and is willing to sacrifice his life for our sake.
26 Give thanks to God for the generosity and commitment across our church as it supports and funds global mission programs and accompanies companions in 45 countries through missionaries, companion church grants, the International Leaders Program and other programs.
27 In this sometimes lonely world, praise God that we always have Jesus, a loving shepherd who knows us and provides us with care, guidance, renewal, comfort and courage as we face the challenges of daily life.
28 Pray for the needs of people in your neighborhood and community, give thanks for their joys and recognize how their lives intersect with yours.
29 Pray that the Spirit will make us courageous and articulate in sharing the good news even in the most intimidating of circumstances, just as John and Peter did while in prison.
30 Give thanks for national and local leaders, health care workers and volunteers who continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and help us recover physically, economically, spiritually and emotionally. Pray that God will help them persevere and that we will generously express our support and gratitude.