By Pr. Rhoda Klein Miller
You will not see a “Pray for Ukraine” image on my social feed. Don’t get me wrong, I am praying for the people of Ukraine but I feel our prayers need to be much bigger and broader than for one single country. This is war and the devastation ripples across borders. Many Russians feel ruined by the actions of the madman at the helm of their nation. Foreign workers in the Ukraine from African countries have faced racial discrimination when trying to flee the chaos. And while our attention is arrested by this recent assault, conflicts in Myanmar, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Sudan have each generated casualties exceeding 10,000 over the past few months.
The ongoing horrors of a protracted war matter as much as the horrors of a new one. We should be on our knees and lifting hands in prayer more frequently than ever with Biblical counsel to guide us; “Is anyone among you suffering? Then pray” (James 5:13). “I urge God’s people to pray. They should make their requests, petitions and give thanks on behalf of all humanity (1 Timothy 2). Jesus taught us to pray for our enemies (Matt 5:44) and prayed for the forgiveness of those who didn’t fully understand their actions (Luke 23:34).
Let’s pray for safety and peace now but don’t neglect to pray for knowledge of Jesus that leads to eternal salvation. Thank God for the unity that prevails among Christians on both sides of political conflict. Pray in repentance of hatred that harbours in your heart. Confess to abuses of personal power. Pray for your own increased generosity to aid organizations like ADRA. Pray for the perpetrators of violence and oppression here and abroad, against individuals and populations. May the agents of evil realize there is a God who shows no partiality when it comes to divine justice.