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A Prayer for Ukraine

By: President Matt Proctor

Father God,

In Hebrews 13:20, you are called “the God of peace.” You created a world of shalom, a place of perfect peace where your people could live together in unity, and in Genesis 4, before Cain ever raised his hand against Abel, you spoke a word of warning. But he did not listen. We did not listen. Shalom has been shattered, and our sin has led to war, unceasing war—friendships severed, marriages broken, churches split, nation against nation. Forgive us, Lord, for all our enmity and strife.

We know, in this broken world, that you do allow governments to bear the sword, that at times you do allow war to restrain wicked men. But we also know that when brothers take up arms against brothers, your heart breaks. We know, Proverbs 11:5, that you hate “the one who loves violence.” We know, Proverbs 6:17, that you hate “the hands that shed innocent blood.” You long for peace.

And so, you sent Christ. You sent him to be a willing victim of violence, to shed his own innocent blood, to die at the hands of soldiers, to take away that sin, and to usher in again that kingdom of shalom. And we thank you. We thank you for the great promise of your word: that a day now awaits just over the horizon when nations will beat their swords into plowshares, when tanks and missiles will be cast into the furnace and melted down and reshaped into swingsets and slides, tractors and grain bins, bicycles and park benches. We thank you for the promise of that day when nation no longer takes up sword against nation, when brothers dwell together in unity, when children shall play without fear, when the sound of weeping is no more, and when the lion lays down with the lamb.

We long for shalom. But until that day, Father, in this warring world, we ask these things: would you bring a just and peaceful end to the fighting in Ukraine? Would you guide the hearts of rulers like water in your hand? Would you give your protection to the innocent? Give safe travel to refugees as they flee war? Father, would you give comfort to those who lose loved ones? To those who grieve, who’ve been displaced, to those who are shaken by anxiety and fear, give your calming presence. Be their rock, their refuge and fortress in times of trouble.

Father, we have brothers and sisters there, in Ukraine and nearby nations, and we ask you give them wisdom as they labor to show your love. We pray that, even in the midst of suffering, you would open doors for the gospel. We know that kings who make war are no match for the Prince of Peace, so we pray that Jesus Christ would prevail. We pray that the one and only kingdom which advances in this war is the kingdom of our Lord, and we pray that many hearts are invaded by his grace.

In the words of your servant Paul in 1 Timothy 2, please hear our “petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving.” We make these, Lord, for “all people, for kings and all those in authority, so that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness,” and so that all people might be “saved and come to a knowledge of the truth.” We pray these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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