Prayer for Ukraine
The news about Ukraine and Russia has been inescapable. The first war of this scale in decades.
Many calls to prayer but…how are we to pray? What are we to pray for? Let Psalm 2 inform us how to pray.
 Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
 The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying,
 “Let us burst their bonds apart
and cast away their cords from us.” (ESV)
Now, the Anointed here is capitalized. It is God’s King and points to the future King Jesus. Ultimately the world rages against Jesus and refuses to bow the knee to him. But the rage of the nations and plots of the nations affect everyone and everything on earth. Brutality, suffering, and injustice flourish on the earth as a result.
We pray knowing the nations rage in rebellion.
And yet, there is hope...
 He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord holds them in derision….
 “As for me, I have set my King
on Zion, my holy hill.” (ESV)
The King of the universe is set on his throne and no one will unseat him. Even when news headlines flash and uncertainty abounds and gas prices rise, the King is on his throne and we need not fear.
We pray knowing the King is on His throne.
In light of his kingship each ruler and nation and even each person has a choice:
 Now therefore, O kings, be wise;
be warned, O rulers of the earth.
 Serve the LORD with fear,
and rejoice with trembling.
 Kiss the Son,
lest he be angry, and you perish in the way,
for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him. (ESV)
Only God can see through the fog of war down to each individual action. And fundamentally each person has a choice whether to bow the knee to the King, and to pursue justice, or to refuse and face the justice of God. How then do we pray?
We pray longing for the justice of God.
The actions of evil rulers, the actions of individual soldiers, the unseen actions of all, are exposed to God. And we pray for God’s justice to come.
But we pray longing that all would find refuge in God.
In times of turmoil, we find an invitation – to see that what we thought was secure is not and to turn and find true security in God.
So let’s pray for Ukraine:
- We grieve the effects of sin and sinful decisions that have resulted in loss of life and violence.
- We rejoice and acknowledge that You are still on the throne. That you bend history to Your will and the culmination and restoration of all things.
- We pray for justice. We ask that those who have made sinful decisions or committed sinful and violent acts not be allowed to continue. Restrain evil. Bring justice.
- We pray for refuge. We ask that you protect civilians and the Ukrainian people. We pray for the protection of refugees and those fleeing. We fundamentally pray that the people would find refuge in You.
- We pray for the Ukrainian church. We ask that those believers there stand unafraid and unshaken. We pray that you would hold them fast. We pray that their faith would be a light to others in a dark time.
- We pray for the Russian church. We ask them to be a light to their nation.
- We pray for ourselves that we would be unshaken and full of trust in you. May we turn to you with any anxieties. We pray especially our service members and their families who may be anxious at what this could mean in deployments or the future. In these days of turmoil may we not be divided by cultural currents or along partisan lines. May we see ourselves as people of the King who holds the only banner that will be victorious and undefeated at the end of history.
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