Let us pray:
May we who have the luxury of working from home
remember those who must choose between preserving their
health or making their rent.
May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close
remember those who have no options.
May we who have to cancel our trips
remember those who have no safe place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market
remember those who have no margin at all.
May we who settle in for a quarantine at home
remember those who have no home.
As fear grips our country,
Let us choose love.
During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other, let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors. Amen.
The weekly prayer meeting held Mondays at Noon has resumed. The group meets in the Social Hall, practicing social distancing, and masks can be worn if desired. Participants are asked to enter through the elevator and proceed directly to the Social Hall. Only visit the office floor if you have business to conduct.
We hold the congregation, our community, friends and family, our nation and the world in prayer.
Please consider joining us for a time of prayer. You may choose to come weekly or from time to time. All are welcome. If you are unable to come to the church at that time please consider praying with us from wherever you are at noon on Mondays. If interested you may speak with Harriett Miller.
New Prayer Opportunity
The Prayer Group that has been meeting on Mondays at noon has begun a new prayer opportunity. Actually, they are reviving a previous prayer opportunity offered here at First a number of years ago.
The group has placed “Prayer Baskets” in the narthex, the Lounge and the Social Hall. Each basket has small prayer cards nearby that people can write their prayer concerns/requests on and leave them in the basket. Each week before their meeting the group will collect the requests and bring them to their gathering to lift up any prayers and concerns that have been requested.
Remember prayers may be requested for any number of reasons, for those in need, for healing and wholeness, in celebration, for those we love, for those whom we may have difficulty with, for those who we know and those who we do not know. Please take a few minutes and leave a prayer request in the basket knowing that it will be lifted up to God who knows all of our needs and desires.
The Power of Prayer
The Lord God Almighty hears the prayers of His children. He commands us to pray, and He promises to listen when we do. “In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From His temple He heard my voice; my cry came before Him, into His ears.”
According to the Bible, the power of prayer is, quite simply, the power of God, who hears and answers prayer. First Lutheran has a faithful group of members who support our Prayer Chain ministry. These members regularly offer intercessory prayers on behalf of others. They offer prayers for many needs – health and wholeness, comfort, joy, grieving; Prayer requests may be specific or general.
Specific requests may be made at any time to the Prayer Chain by calling Harriett Miller (288-2203) or the church office.
Prayer Ventures for May 2021
1 Remember in prayer the leaders, voting members and others gathering online for the assemblies of the Rocky Mountain, Northeastern Minnesota, Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana, Pacifica and Greater Milwaukee synods, that the Spirit will strengthen, guide and encourage them in choosing leaders, proclaiming the gospel, growing the church, serving our neighbor and doing God’s work in an ever-changing world.
2 Remember in prayer the leaders, voting members and others gathering online for the assemblies of the Oregon and Arkansas-Oklahoma synods, that the Spirit will strengthen, guide and encourage them in choosing leaders, proclaiming the gospel, growing the church, serving our neighbor and doing God’s work in an ever-changing world.
3 Throughout Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, give thanks for the rich heritage, gifts, cultures and contributions to our nation and church of our Asian and Pacific Islander neighbors and siblings in Christ. Ask God to bless and further the work and witness of ELCA Asian and Pacific Islander Ministries and the ELCA’s Association of Asians and Pacific Islanders.
4 Pray for an end to the gun violence that has become commonplace in our country, and ask God for the wisdom, will and courage to advocate and work for laws and solutions that honor and protect God’s gift of life, for the sake of our neighbors and communities.
5 Pray that we will be fearless, selfless and generous in our love and concern for one another because of the love God has revealed to us through Jesus Christ and the work of the Spirit within us.
6 Pray for leaders of outdoor ministries and congregational summer ministries as they ponder how to safely share the gospel, nurture faith, and serve children, youth and families this summer.
7 Remember in prayer the leaders, voting members and others gathering online for the assemblies of the New Jersey and Sierra Pacific synods, that the Spirit will strengthen, guide and encourage them in choosing leaders, proclaiming the gospel, growing the church, serving our neighbor and doing God’s work in an ever-changing world.
8 Remember in prayer the leaders, voting members and others gathering online for the Southeastern Minnesota Synod Assembly, that the Spirit will strengthen, guide and encourage them in choosing leaders, proclaiming the gospel, growing the church, serving our neighbor and doing God’s work in an ever-changing world.
9 There is so much talk of love in the gospel message! Ask God to help us live fully the love we know in Jesus Christ, and pray that it will shine brightly in the world so all may know that God is love.
10 Ask God to grant an extra measure of faith, strength, hope, resourcefulness and resilience to those recovering and rebuilding after natural disasters and severe weather. Pray that we will listen carefully to them and respond helpfully to their immediate and long-term needs.
11 “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises,” for God has done amazing and wonderful things!
12 Pray that we will not forget nations or regions where conflict, civil war or other turmoil spread violence, displacement, suffering and despair; pray that leaders will seek just and peaceful solutions and reconciliation and attend to people needing safety and relief. Ask the Spirit to help us respond to these crises, especially through supporting Lutheran Disaster Response, ELCA World Hunger and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.
13 Ascension of Our Lord Give thanks that we have not been left alone in the world to fend for ourselves, but that Jesus gives us purpose and that the Spirit equips and guides us to participate in God’s work in the world.
14 Remember in prayer the leaders, voting members and others gathering online for the assemblies of the Northern Great Lakes, East-Central Wisconsin, Southwestern Washington and Saint Paul Area synods, that the Spirit will strengthen, guide and encourage them in choosing leaders, proclaiming the gospel, growing the church, serving our neighbor and doing God’s work in an ever-changing world.
15 Remember in prayer the leaders, voting members and others gathering online for the assemblies of the Northwest Washington, North/West Lower Michigan and Southeast Michigan synods, that the Spirit will strengthen, guide and encourage them in choosing leaders, proclaiming the gospel, growing the church, serving our neighbor and doing God’s work in an ever-changing world.
16 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Set aside time each day this week to join Christians around the world as we pray for unity. Let this year’s theme verse, from the Gospel of John, inspire you: “Abide in my love, and you will bear much fruit.”
17 Give thanks and praise to God that, through the Spirit, we find words to proclaim the good news of Jesus, that all who listen may believe and experience new life, joy and freedom in Christ.
18 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 will find strength and new resources for the work of sharing the gospel and serving our neighbor, especially in these uncertain and challenging times.
19 Ask God to renew our self-discipline, patience, empathy, and spirit of community concern and care as we continue to fight the spread of COVID-19 and respond to its impact.
20 Give thanks that, at some point in our lives, the Spirit opened our hearts and minds to the testimony and invitation of our siblings in Christ, that we might be baptized into a new life in Jesus, follow the ways and commandments of God and experience the joy of eternal life.
21 Remember in prayer the leaders, voting members and others gathering online for the assemblies of the Northwestern Minnesota, Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast and Southeastern Iowa synods, that the Spirit will strengthen, guide and encourage them in choosing leaders, proclaiming the gospel, growing the church, serving our neighbor and doing God’s work in an ever-changing world.
22 Pray for teachers and school staff who continue to adapt to changing education dynamics and requirements because of the pandemic. Ask God to grant them wisdom, creativity, patience, strength and renewed passion for their vocation as they serve students of all ages and abilities.
23 Day of Pentecost Praise God that the Spirit is present in our lives, helping us remain faithful, equipping us for our baptismal journey, inspiring us to share the gospel, filling us with love and compassion, and guiding us in everything we do.
24 Give thanks for the gifts, traditions, perspectives, insights and leaders of our global companions, which enrich our church, ministries and leaders.
25 The Spirit of God moves and works throughout the world, through every language, culture, human gift and life experience, to spread the good news of Jesus Christ and of God’s amazing love for humankind. Praise God!
26 Pray that the Spirit will renew and equip us for the difficult work of understanding, bridging and mending the differences and schisms in our communities and nation. Pray that God will make us bold in our witness as people of faith, yet humble, empathetic and caring as we listen to and talk with one another.
27 Give thanks for the Spirit, which helps us when we are weak, sustains our faith when we are uncertain and pleads for us “with sighs too deep for words” when we aren’t sure how to speak with God.
28 Mission Builders is a ministry related to the ELCA that provides opportunities for retired people to use their skills and gifts to help congregations, schools, camps and social ministry organizations construct or improve their facilities. Give thanks for Mission Builder volunteers who travel the country to serve the church, share their faith and inspire others to service.
29 As we return to restaurants and other places where we socialize around food, remember in prayer those who suffer hunger and food insecurity across our nation and world. Ask the Spirit to strengthen our commitment to end hunger, advocate for our neighbors in need and bring hope and relief.
30 Trinity Sunday Pray that God will help us live with and value the Holy Trinity and other mysteries of our faith that far exceed our ability to comprehend.
31 Memorial Day Remember, mourn and give thanks for men and women in the military who gave their lives for justice, peace and the freedom of our country and all nations.