Russia’s invasion of Ukraine holds our attention and calls for our prayers. On Sunday, we lifted up special prayers for the people of Ukraine. This coming weekend we will host an event supporting the people of Ukraine (check the upcoming e-blast and Central Union’s Facebook page for details). Today we invite you to pray for all those affected by the war.
Members from Central Union’s World Missions Ministry and the Mind, Body, Spirit, Movement Ministry, have come together to off the prayer guides below.
Oleksandr Geychenko, president of Odessa Theological Seminary located on Ukraine’s western Black Sea, has named a passage from 1 Corinthians that helps him persevere.
“If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” – 1 Corinthians 12:26–27
As the body of Christ let us lift up our voice in prayer.
Risen Christ, as we remain in silence before you, we let this ardent prayer rise up:
May the firing of weapons in the land of Ukraine cease!
Welcome into Your love those who are dying from violence and war, console the families in mourning, support those who have had to take the road of exodus.
Faced with incomprehensible suffering, we still believe that your words of love and peace will never pass.
You gave your life on the cross and you opened a future for us, even beyond death.
So we implore you: give us your peace.
You are our hope.
With reports on Ukraine often making headlines, we are given an opportunity to practice what 1 Thessalonians calls, “Unceasing prayer” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). Central Union member, Betty Ching has some helpful suggestions for how we can pray without ceasing.
Begin your morning by reading a prayer like “Risen Christ” then place the word PRAY on your lips and say to yourself, I pray. Ephesians 6:18 says,
“Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep praying for all the saints.”
An example: You may want to take one part of the prayer and pray for “those on the road of exodus.”
As you walk, or prepare meals, or clean your home, pray not only that the needs of the refugees be met, but pray for the angels of mercy who have provided food and water on their journey, taken them into their homes, shown them kindness in various way.
Pray for all the saints up and down the chain who make these acts of mercy happen.
Pray that the army of angels of mercy continue to multiply to meet the needs of this humanitarian tragedy.
If you have a moment of laughter in your day, pray that moments of lightness and brightness might be experienced by the children on this journey of terror.
All day the Spirit will provide cues for prayer.
If you have taken in too much daily news of the increasing and unrelenting horrors of atrocities in Ukraine, you may begin to feel there is no hope of the situation turning around. Anger and vengeance may begin to creep in.
If you’re at the point of giving up on prayer, remember what Jesus told his disciples in the parable of the persistent widow, (Luke 18:1-8) where “a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men and would not grant her justice for a long time, finally changed his mind.
Persist! Always pray and don’t give up.
God is our hope. – (written by Betty Ching)
Let my heart be a shield, Spirit of Mercy, that with every breath I take, I am praying for this madness of a war to be ended.
Let your justice prevail, but first let the power of your love be released on the thousands who need your help.
The mothers and children, the elders, the fragile ones and the fearless ones:
Open the doors of your grace wide to receive them, Spirit.
Give wisdom and integrity to those who lead us in every land.
Let each of us do our part in this sad and longing hour, that future generations see how love is never absent, even in the deepest conflict.
Do not let sacrifice go unnoticed or valor ever be forgotten.
Let my heart be a shield, let it cover the ones in danger, let it protect the innocent.
Do not let my words be in vain, Great Spirit, but quickly gather your people, Gather them in your strong arms.
Amen (prayer written by Bishop Steven Charleston)