Today is March 2. In many traditions, it is Ash Wednesday.
On this first day of lent Christians all around the world will say, “Repent, and believe in the Gospel”, or “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
This is a sober reminder of how precious life is, but also how precarious living is for so many persons, and for our planet.
It is a reminder that the good news of God’s Kingdom is a matter of “righteousness and peace and joy” (Romans 14:17).
Today many leaders of Christian communities around the world invite Christians to fast and pray for peace in Ukraine. The public witness of the Christians (indeed persons of all religious traditions) for righteousness, peace, and joy is of great importance.
Please join me in praying and fasting today. A helpful passage to read as you go to prayer is Psalm 46
When faced with a large-scale situation, it can be difficult to know how to pray. Let me suggest a simple model of praying for 3 Ps.
- The Problem: We ask God to intervene in challenging and difficult circumstances, and for God’s kingdom to break out.
- People affected: We ask God to comfort those who’ve suddenly found their lives torn apart by grief, fear and trauma, and those acting to help those in need.
- Peacemakers and politicians: We ask God to give clarity and wisdom to government agencies and peacemakers, blessing and supporting their efforts to bring peace, breakthrough and lasting solutions.
Pray for peace in Ukraine and an end to war.
- Pray that troops from Russia will withdraw; that attacks on cities and towns will cease; for a de-escalation of the crisis.
- Invite God’s peace to reign across Ukraine; for miraculous breakthroughs to bring an end to war.
- Ask for God’s protection for all people; that there will be minimal loss of life.
Pray for the many people whose lives have been impacted by this crisis:
- For God’s safety, shelter and protection for those who are living in Ukraine, those who are being or are displaced, and for refugees, as they seek safe passage to other nations.
- Pray for God’s healing for those wounded by attacks, and comfort for those who are mourning the loss of those they love.
- For capacity and resilience for soldiers and emergency services; those with practical skills who are working on the frontlines of both sides of the crisis.
- Pray for those living in Russia who have also been plunged into the reality of war; who are now facing uncertainty, financial insecurity and hardship,
Pray for world leaders and those who are striving for peace in Ukraine:
- Invite God’s breakthrough in talks between Russia and Ukraine; that a peaceful solution will be proposed and accepted.
- Pray for wisdom and discernment for world leaders as they try to find peaceful and long-term solutions to this crisis
- Ask for supernatural assistance and breakthrough for diplomats and peacemakers who are working behind the scenes, guiding and working to create solutions.