Tonight I visited a Lutheran church which, I'm pretty sure, was using the "Sundays and Seasons" prayers put out by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. These ELCA prayers regularly ask God to protect the environment and waterways. In the past, a prayer asked God to protect the manatees, today it was for "the wolverine and all endangered species." Nothing is wrong with these prayers, I suppose, except for the fact that in recent years I don't recall one prayer asking God to protect unborn human beings. Nor do I recall one prayer asking that He would bring lost people to saving faith in Christ. I'm am afraid there is a reason for this. The ELCA pays for abortion (for any reason) in its healthcare plan for pastors and their families, and this is funded by offering dollars. It is hard to pray for the unborn if church offerings can be used to kill them. And why no prayers that lost people will come to Christ? My guess is because the heresy of universalism (the teaching that all people are saved) has made much headway in the ELCA. In fact the New England Synod of the ELCA recently passed a resolution asking the ELCA to drop the language of "bringing people to Christ" from the ELCA constitution. This was in order to be sensitive to Muslims and Jews and also because we are not sure that people of other religions are indeed lost. So, if everyone is saved, lets pray for manatees and wolverines.
The Missouri Synod branch of Lutheranism is much more Biblical and conservative than the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, but the church that used these prayers today was a Missouri Synod congregation. I attend a different Missouri Synod church which gratefully finally dropped these ELCA prayers. I had complained about the ELCA prayers and finally, after an ELCA prayer was made to God as "Mother", the prayers were dropped for good.
So if you go to a church that regularly prays for the environment but never mentions the lost or the unborn, you might want to have a talk with your pastor.
Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor Tom Brock