November 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: November 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 All Saints Day Remember and give thanks for all the saints who have influenced our lives, faith, wisdom and vocational decisions, and who have left an imprint on us through their compassion and example. Pray for people grieving the loss of someone significant in their lives, that they will be comforted by God and know that, as members of the body of Christ and communities of faith, they are not alone in their grieving.
2 American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month Give thanks for the gifts and witness of American Indian and Alaska Native members of the ELCA, and pray for the American Indian and Alaska Native Lutheran Association and for native congregations and ministries — ministries grounded in reconciliation and the building up of people of all backgrounds, tribes, regions, communities and congregations. Ask God to help us understand and express repentance for the injustices committed against American Indians, Alaska Natives and Indigenous peoples that continue to impact people today.
3 Pray for the immediate and long-term needs of people whose lives have been disrupted by severe weather, wildfires, earthquakes or flooding. Pray that the Spirit will move us to generously support and pray for the people and organizations that respond to disasters, especially Lutheran Disaster Response and its partners.
4 Ask God to look with mercy and loving care upon the Afghan people — and refugees and immigrants everywhere — who flee danger, persecution, economic crises or climate-related catastrophes, seeking a better life. Ask that we might participate boldly and persistently in God’s loving work to bring hope and relief, show compassion, respect and generosity, and advocate for justice for our neighbors who make their way to our nation’s borders.
5 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). Give thanks and praise God for being present in every circumstance to dispel our fears, calm our anxieties and stir our hope, and for helping us live with confidence as children of God — loved, forgiven and renewed.
6 Pray for people of all ages who experience loneliness and depression, and pray that the Spirit will make us observant of, attentive to and empathetic with those who suffer in our midst but whose emotional, spiritual and physical struggles may not be readily apparent to us.
7 Give thanks for the story of Lazarus’ resurrection and for the promises of God, which assure us that death, despair and human vulnerability will have no power over us in the life to come.
8 Pray for the leaders of our church gathering for the annual Lutheran Outdoor Ministries conference. Give thanks for their nationwide ministry with people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.
9 Pray that God’s word and truth, revealed to us in Jesus Christ, will provide us with hope, clear direction and purpose for doing God’s work in the world.
10 Pray for our rural communities, congregations and church leaders as they respond to changes and challenges by adapting old ministries and creating new ones. Pray that we might better understand and celebrate not only our diverse gifts and perspectives but also our interdependence and unity in Christ.
11 Veterans Day Remember in prayer women and men who serve in the military, their families, federal chaplains and those who attend to the needs of returning veterans. Give thanks for the sacrifice veterans have made on our behalf to secure freedom, justice, peace and security for our country and other nations.
12 Pray for leaders serving on the ELCA Church Council and ask God to bless their conversations, deliberations and decisions, which support, shape and further the mission of our church in the world.
13 Praise God for the diverse blessings that sustain and enrich our lives, blessings that God has entrusted to our care, respect, fairness and generosity. Pray that we will remember the psalmist’s words: “The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it” (Psalm 24:1).
14 Ask for God’s wisdom to discern who speaks the true gospel and word of God and who distracts us from our faith in Christ and our baptismal identity and purpose.
15 Pray for those planning “the tAble: Limitless,” a pre-event to the ELCA Youth Gathering that was created to bless and empower young people living with a wide range of physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities, so that they might grow as faithful, wise and courageous witnesses throughout the church and world.
16 Pray for people spending their last days in hospice care; ask God to comfort them and their families and surround them with the hope of life eternal; and give thanks for the gentle, respectful and skilled care provided by hospice professionals, pastoral care teams and volunteers.
17 “Let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another” (Hebrews 10:24-25). Ask the Spirit to empower, encourage and embolden us — as children of God and agents of change — to reflect the love of God in response to anger, discord, hurtfulness, isolation and bias in our world.
18 Give thanks for ELCA Faith, Science and Technology and the Lutheran Alliance for Faith, Science and Technology, ministries that help us understand science and technology as gifts from God. Pray that we might use them to nurture community, care for creation, ease human suffering and better understand and respect the complexity and beauty of the universe.
19 Lift up prayers of joy and thanksgiving for the presence of God, who gives us hope, comfort, guidance and refuge.
20 Pray for the children, youth and family ministry leaders of our church. Give thanks for their vital, dynamic and creative service and for the work of ELCA Youth Ministry, ELCA Young Adult Ministry, ELCA Youth Ministry Network and related ministries of faith formation.
21 Join other congregations today in celebrating and praying for Lutheran Summer Music, a faith-forming ministry that educates and inspires young musicians to use their gifts in the church, now and in the future.
22 Pray for ELCA Justice for Women and give thanks for its work in helping us honor the integrity of women. Pray that we might work together to understand and eliminate violence, injustice and sexism against women, girls and people of diverse gender identities and expressions.
23 Give thanks for the awesome nature of God, who is not bound by time, space, borders or human constructs.
24 Pray for the pastors of our church, who have responded to God’s call to serve communities of faith in a multitude of contexts. Ask the Spirit to invigorate and sustain their faith and equip them for the challenges of ministry; ask for guidance and insight on how we can best support, encourage and care for them.
25 Thanksgiving Day Give thanks today — and every day — for the undeserved blessings we receive from God for our sustenance and well-being. Ask God to help us live with gratitude, recognize the true source of our food and other blessings, responsibly manage our resources, and exercise generosity and love with our neighbors in need, here and globally.
26 Pray for the work we do together through ELCA World Hunger to respond to the daily needs of our neighbors, address the root causes of hunger and poverty, and work toward a just world where all people are fed.
27 Pray that we will raise up new leaders in the church who will ground us in God’s love and forgiveness, renew our congregations, grow our existing communities of faith, equip us to share the good news of Jesus Christ and inspire us to use our unique gifts to do God’s work in the world.
28 First Sunday of Advent Pray that we will not live in fear of the future but will anticipate with hope, joy and gratitude the day when we will be welcomed into the kingdom of God because of what Jesus has done for us out of pure grace and mercy.
29 Give thanks for the church’s Mission Support network, through which our 65 synods and 8,900 congregations pool resources to love and serve the neighbor as no individual or congregation could alone.
30 Give thanks and praise to God for knitting us together as siblings in Christ, so that we might encourage and strengthen each other’s faith, exchange care and support in times of need, and share our gifts, passions and wisdom to do God’s good work in the world.