The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) called for prayer.
“On this day of independence, we want to declare our dependence on God,” it stated on behalf of Ukraine, “the One who can bring true peace to the hearts of each individual person, each family, and even entire peoples.”
Joined by the affiliated European Evangelical Alliance, the WEA petition specified prayers to end the suffering, to spare the world from further repercussions, to strengthen the church’s response, and to marshal peace not through weapons, but through prayer.
Ukraine must defend itself, the WEA clarified; but Christians have a deeper hope.
“Throughout history, God has changed hopeless and dire situations in surprising ways,” stated the petition. “Let us also pray for healing and for reconciliation, and that Russia and Ukraine could live in peace as independent, sovereign nations.”
An accompanying guide for parents offers similar prayers for children.
It will not be easy. An Orthodox priest who performed last rites for the 116 people found in a mass grave in Bucha reflected on his spiritual calling.
“Saying the word forgive isn’t difficult,” Father Andriy told The Associated Press. “But to say it from your heart—for now, that’s not possible.”
As a followup to its March survey of the wartime prayers of Ukraine’s evangelicals, Christianity Today asked a sampling of Christian leaders to explain how the ongoing war has changed how they pray and what they pray for, how they understand unanswered prayers in difficult times, and how fellow Christians around the world can best pray for them now:
Denys Kondyuk, head of the missiology department at Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary, Kyiv:
My prayers were more scheduled and structured before the invasion. Now they are dominated by requests for health and life, for obvious reasons. And I have seen God answer through many stories of deliverance from very dangerous situations; but of course, there are still many that suffer and die.
The prayer for the war to end is still unanswered.
Ukrainians have focused on verses that emphasize God’s justice, especially those which emphasize there is not much we can expect from people. Others, meanwhile, have found hope in the scriptures that promise our suffering is temporal, awaiting the kingdom of God.
Please pray that God guides us to serve where it is needed, and to be bold in what we do. And ultimately, for the victory of Ukraine—bringing justice to those who suffered and died.
Yuriy Kulakevych, foreign affairs director of the Ukrainian Pentecostal Church, Kyiv: We are all called to grow in Christ, which includes our prayer life. As pastor of God’s Peace Pentecostal Church in Kyiv, I am encouraging our people to…
This article was originally published at Christianity Today on August 24, 2022. Please click here to read the full text.