In the hubbub of modern American life, when we are running the carpools and taking out the trash and trying to keep tabs on our teens, things like the war in Ukraine can feel so far away. We feel removed, and therefore helpless, but God never leaves us without a way to love the body of Christ, even when some of our members are half a world away. All God’s people can pray with and for God’s people all the time. We thank God for our brothers and sisters in Ukraine (and in Russia) and pray for them to sense our Father’s presence and strength in the midst of intense and horrific suffering.
Here is a list of 5 things to pray for Ukraine either alone or with your family right now.
- For physical and spiritual protection: Psalm 91, 2 Cor 1:3-4, Lev 26:13
God of angel armies, we ask that you would work mightily for the spiritual and physical protection of our brothers and sisters in Ukraine. We pray that you would keep your people safe from harm, command your angels to guard them, and hide them in the shelter of your wings. Where there is fear, oppression, death, and spiritual warfare, we ask in the perfect name of Jesus that you would trample Satan and his schemes. You are the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort; comfort them in their afflictions. You are the Lord our God. As your brought Israel out of their oppression in Egypt, so, Father, we pray you break the yoke of oppression over the peoples of Ukraine (and of Russia).
- That God would supply every practical need: Phil 4:19, Psalm 104:27-28, Prov. 3:27
God, you are able to supply every need of every one of your children according to your riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Our brothers and sisters are looking to you now, to give them their food, their shelter, the protection, their medicines, their everything. When you open your hand, your people are filled with good things. We pray that we would not withhold good from those to whom it is due, but that by your Spirit we would give and do where it is in our power to act.
- For the Growth of God’s Church: Col 4:2-4, Psalm 43:3, Psalm 40:3
Father, as awful and tragic as this war is, we pray that you may use it to open doors for your word, to declare the mystery of Christ to those who do not yet know him. Even in this deep darkness, Lord, send out your light and your truth; let them lead unbelievers to you. May your light and truth bring those who are far from you to your holy mountain, to your dwelling place. Give believers (and unbelievers!) a new song of praise to you, so that many will see and fear and put their trust in you.
- For the hearts of the persecutors: Mat 5:44, Psalm 54:4-7
Father, we are praying that our Ukrainian brothers and sisters will be able to love their enemies, to pray for those who are persecuting them. May they trust that you, Father, are their helper, and you are the upholder of their lives. You will return any evil upon their enemies; you will deliver them from every trouble.
- Deliverance from evil: Jer. 15:21, Gal.1:4, Matt 6:13, Rev. 22:20
Rescue our brothers and sisters in Ukraine from the hands of the wicked and redeem them from the grasp of the violent. Jesus, you gave yourself for our sins so that you might rescue us from this present evil age; deliver your children from evil, for yours is the power and the kingdom and the glory forever. You are coming soon! Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
How to Talk to Kids About the War in Ukraine by Justin Whitmel Earley (TGC)
A Prayer for Ukraine by Katie Polski
Discussing the War In Ukraine with Students by Jason Engle (Youth Pastor Theologian)
Go Ahead. Pray for Putin’s Demise. by Tish Harrison Warren
Every Moment Holy Liturgies by Douglas McKelvey; two liturgies relevant to the war are available for download: see Liturgy for Widespread Suffering and Liturgy for a National Tragedy (you will have to give your email address).