The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America



When we make intercession, we stand for and with those for whom we pray

Even if you’re not an attorney, chances are you’ve pleaded a case for someone. Maybe you insisted that a health-care bureaucracy take notice of an elderly or ill friend whose care was being neglected; you wrote a letter supporting certain legislation; you spoke up for a co-worker unjustly accused of wrongdoing. And who hasn’t asked for something on behalf of a child too shy to ask?

To ask on behalf of someone else, to plead or beg for the well-being of others—especially people unable to ask for themselves—is a noble act. When we do so in prayer, it’s called “intercession.”

In worship we offer prayers of intercession for the world; leaders of nations; the church and its ministry; our bishops and pastors; the community and those who suffer—the poor, sick, bereaved, lonely; and for the care of creation, for peace and for justice.

The readings in our liturgy proclaim and present God’s reign. We hear that with the coming of God among us the blind will be able to watch the lame dance, the mute will sing and the deaf will hear the song, children will be safe from all harm, no one will be without life’s necessities and joys, the earth will be tended with care, and all creation will live in harmony. Before God we admit that this isn’t happening everywhere for everyone—a consequence not of God’s will but of human choices and sin, both social and individual.

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February issue


Embracing diversity