Imagine this morning making a decision to pack your bags and flee with your children or stay in the Ukraine and learn how to make homemade Molotov cocktail bombs from government TV presentations. This is a time in history once again when we are in the presence of the pain of those across the globe we do not know by name and have not met. When we pray, “Our Father,” we immediately acknowledge our spiritual siblings and begin to weep for them.
I read this morning an open letter from Pastor Vasyl Ostryi, “In recent days, the events from the book of Esther have become real to us in Ukraine. It’s as if the decree is signed, and Haman has the license to destroy an entire nation. Ukraine is simply waiting. How should the church respond when there is a growing threat of war? When there is constant fear in society? I’m convinced that if the church is not relevant at a time of crisis, then it is not relevant in a time of peace. During this critical moment, our church, which has about 1,000 people attending on a normal Sunday, is also a place of service. We’ve recently conducted several trainings on performing first aid. People are learning how to apply a tourniquet, stop bleeding, apply bandages, and manage airways. These lay people aren’t going to become doctors, but this has given them confidence to care for their neighbors if necessary”.
“pray without ceasing, ” 1 Thessalonians 5:17
The most helpless of feelings overwhelms me as I watch the reality of what’s happening in the Ukraine. I long to be one who is wrapping bandages, but I cannot. I can be earnest in my prayers, in my compassion, and stand guard against the spiritual enemy who rules this war. If the victory of the cross is true, (and we know it to be so) then we find strength in God’s sovereignty, and we fall to our knees to pray for the people of the Ukraine and the people of Russia who individually have no part in this heartless war. We pray that many will trust God in the midst of such terror and that the Christians who remain behind will be protected even as they are bold; that they will be strong in faith and gentle in compassion. It is a big prayer. Will you pray it with the women of She Loves Out Loud today? John Rachel Knight on our Facebook page and group as you do.
“(Prayer) is the rhythm of standing in the presence of the pain of the world and kneeling in the presence of the Creator of the world; of bringing those two things together in the name of Jesus and by the victory of the cross.” N. T. Wright
Diane Strack, Founder and President of She Loves Out Loud Global