Lent Amid War in Ukraine

The global COVID pandemic that lasted almost two years must not have been enough disruption for the world in Putin’s estimation because he decided to invade another country, wage war with them, and watch innocent lives come under danger under his command. The deathly and destructive actions of Putin and his Russian soldiers in Ukraine stand condemned. A good neighbor would not do that!
Yesterday we stepped into Lent through the doorway of Ash Wednesday. We observe Ash Wednesday as a liturgical reminder of our mortal condition as well as our dire need for a Savior, a King who rules in righteousness and mercy.
It is not easy to predict how long this crisis will last, but we know that Lent this year has met us in the midst of it. It is common practice to give up something for Lent, or else to pick up something good and worthy. One thing to consider in this year’s liturgical wilderness season is a commitment to prayers for Ukraine and the Ukrainians.
The Ukrainian church has sent out appeals to the global church, their brothers and sisters in Christ who live in other countries, to hold them up in prayer in this moment of both distress and courage. We, the church, can stand with them as agents of God’s peace through our prayers of faith.
Here are some specific ways you can pray:
Pray for wisdom for the president and leaders of Ukraine as this crisis tests their leadership.
Pray for strength, unity and courage for the Ukrainian people and their soldiers as they seek to protect their land.
Pray for the Lord to touch the hearts of all the leaders involved (Russian, Ukrainian, NATO, etc.) to choose life over death.
As you pray for Ukraine (they are in need of it!), pray also for Russia. This conflict is affecting both sides and ordinary people on either side pay the price.
Pray for civilians who have become displaced and for families who have become separated as they sought refuge in neighboring countries.
Pray for the Ukrainian churches and the missionaries there as they strive to care for the people with the love of Christ.
Pray for the restoration of peace and for comfort to those who have suffered great loss and trauma.
Pray for the elderly, the children, and all who are at various levels of vulnerability in the face of this crisis.
Pray in other ways as the Lord leads you.
Almighty Father, whose will is to restore all things in your beloved Son, the King of all; govern the hearts and minds of those in authority, and bring the families of the nations, divided and torn apart by the ravages of sin, to be subject to his just and gentle rule; deliver us from a world without justice and a future without mercy; send help to the many who have been displaced from their dwellings and now seek refuge in foreign lands; May the design of your great love lighten upon the waste of our wraths and sorrows: and give peace to your Church, peace among nations, peace in our dwellings, and peace in our hearts: through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Donald Nwankwo
Rector, The Light of Christ Church
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