How Do We Pray with Ukraine?
When national or international tragedy strikes, we often have two responses when that tragedy feels far away and unrelated to us. One is that we “doom-scroll,” which means we become consumed by the news, the images on our screens, and the tweets and posts filling our timeline. The other is the opposite, where with a sense of helplessness we try to escape by not paying attention at all.
Our call as followers of Jesus Christ is to find a place of balance between those two responses. We are called both to weep with those who suffer and to keep ourselves grounded in hope and not despair. As we watch the pain of war unfold in Ukraine, we ask ourselves, “what can I do that will make a difference? And where do I start?” Whether you fall into the camp of being overwhelmed or wanting to escape or are somewhere in the middle, I wanted to offer a few suggestions of how to pray. I would love to hear how you are praying for the Church in Ukraine and Russia as well.
1. Visit www.everymomentholy.com/liturgies where a beautiful liturgy is available for “grieving a national tragedy.” This can be used responsively in your family or offered as a singular prayer.
2. When you read or watch a news story about the war, as soon as that segment is, press the “pause” button and offer a prayer for those you just saw on the screen or in the story.
3. An employee of Compassion International who immigrated to the US from Ukraine at the age of nine shared this powerful idea. At 5 p.m. Ukraine time, a curfew begins where everyone has to go into the shelters. Children especially are very scared at this time everyday when they must go into hiding. Set an alarm on your phone for 9AM our time (Ukraine is eight hours ahead of us, so this would be 5PM their time), and offer a prayer for the children.
4. Pray Psalm 91 (our text for this past Sunday) for the Church in Ukraine and Russia daily.
Let us not live in fear but pray in hope. Let us not isolate ourselves from chaos but engage with those who suffer with our prayers. Let us be the body of Christ.
all good things to each of you,