Far from a last resort, prayer is a powerful way of approaching God on behalf of people who are hurting. Here are 5 specific ways we can pray for brothers and sisters in Ukraine, based on Nicole’s interactions through I.D.E.S. (International Disaster Emergency Service).
As Christians living halfway across the world, we may feel powerless when hearing stories of the injustices happening in Ukraine. We’re just itching to do something. We want to be on the frontlines battling with and for our Kingdom family, but we can’t. It can make us feel helpless and incapable. The thing is, though, we can join the battle.
We can fight for our brothers and sisters on our knees. Prayer isn’t ineffectual; it isn’t a last resort. It’s the strongest weapon we have and with this weapon, we can move mountains (Mark 11:23-34). When we pray, our requests don’t fall on deaf ears (Ps. 116:2), in fact, our prayers are like incense presented before the Lord (Rev. 5:8). Prayer is powerful and it can affect outcomes (Dan. 9:22).
“Prayer is powerful and it can affect outcomes.”
1. Pray for the war to end.
“He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire.” (Ps. 46:9)
God can end this war. He is the Creator of all things and the Sustainer of life. He is the One who parted the Red Sea, shut the mouths of lions, provided manna in the desert, raises the dead, and transforms hearts of stone. He is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. We don’t know what will come of this war, but we do know that he is powerful enough to end it, so let’s ask him to.
2. Pray for physical and spiritual protection.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Eph. 6:12)
Our Ukrainian brothers and sisters need not only physical protection, but spiritual protection as well. This isn’t just a physical battle taking place. Make no mistake, there is a spiritual battle happening, too. Our enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for somebody to devour (1 Pet. 5:8) and he is notorious for aiming his fiery darts at those who are advancing the Kingdom. Let’s cover our brothers and sisters in prayers for their physical and spiritual protection.
“Our enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for somebody to devour and he is notorious for aiming his fiery darts at those who are advancing the Kingdom.”
3. Pray for their faith to be strengthened.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1)
Radical faith makes things happen—it enables miracles to happen. Just look at the faith of the centurion whose servant was sick in Matthew 8:5-13. Instead of asking Jesus to go to his house to heal the servant, he believed that Jesus needed to merely utter the words and the servant would be healed. Jesus was astonished at his faith and did what he asked. Let’s ask God to give our Ukrainian brothers and sisters limitless faith. May we have it, too!
4. Pray that their selfless love for their neighbors and oppressors would draw many more to Christ.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.” (1 John 4:7)
In this technological age, we have isolated ourselves and disconnected from others more than ever. But real connection, real love is what reaches people. And real love in the powerful name of Jesus Christ can transform lives. It can change the world. We know that the loving service of the Ukrainian saints will provide many more opportunities for people to meet Jesus. Pray that more hearts would be touched and that many would encounter the living Messiah.
“Real love in the powerful name of Jesus Christ can transform lives. It can change the world.”
5. Pray for revival to break out in Ukraine and to spread to the ends of the earth.
Our world is in desperate need of revival and the entire world is watching what’s taking place in Ukraine. What a prime opportunity for the Spirit to be unleashed and for the gospel to spread like wildfire. May this war be the catalyst for a worldwide revival where the Kingdom family is increased exponentially.
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Rev. 7:9-10)
While we and the rest of the world watch how events unfold in Ukraine, let us not be idle. Let us pray for our brothers and sisters with radical prayers of faith, believing wholeheartedly that our prayers are heard by a loving God that hears, sees, and cares. Let us trust that the Holy Spirit is working even now in Ukraine and let us not miss what God is doing in all of this.
“Let us not miss what God is doing in all of this.”
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Eph. 3:20-21)