This week, as we continue to watch the violence unfolding in Ukraine, I wanted to pass along a prayer written by the Officers of the United Church of Christ. This is the prayer that I shared with those gathered at the Interfaith Prayer Service for Peace held at St. Andrew Church yesterday here in Colchester. I don’t know about you, but sometimes it’s hard to come up with adequate words for all we may be feeling. Hopefully these words will offer some solace.
The UCC has also issued an appeal for Ukraine, working with ACT Alliance and the Reformed Church of Hungary to bring aid to Ukraine. If you would like to donate (it’s always important in humanitarian crisis situations to make sure our donations go to reputable organizations), you can follow the links on the UCC website. There are some options to choose from to direct your donation.
Let us remember this week, as Lent has now begun, that prayer is an act of love.
We pray for peace. We act with compassion.
We remember Jesus’ words, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)
Hear our prayers for all those who will die today because of war in Ukraine and other war-torn countries all over this world. Grant them an end to the suffering of this world and eternal peace that is only found in You.
We pray for the people of Ukraine, Russia, and all nations — that war and bloodshed can be avoided and a new, just peace can be forged out of this crisis. We ask God grant wisdom to the leaders of nations, calling them to end provocation on all sides and invest instead in “the things that make for peace” as called for in all our faith traditions (Luke 19:41-2).
We pray for an end to the deep insecurity and mistrust on all sides, and call on leaders to build trust, based not on military might or alliances, but on the basis of our shared future and common humanity. Now is a time in which past harm should be acknowledged and addressed, and new partnerships can be envisioned.
We pray for and call on our leaders to have the courage to take small, verifiable, and independent steps toward peace, inviting others to reciprocate. Now is time to invest in conflict resolution, diplomacy and international cooperation — not more weapons which only escalate tension in the region.
Be with those suffering in ways that we cannot.
Protect them from devastation in ways those positioned in authority will not. Shield and comfort them as they confront the terror of violence that surrounds them. Hold them close to your heart and stay the hand of the enemies against them. Give us the courage and the strength to cry aloud against wickedness in high places that dare to harm others made in your image.
Comfort the children and heed their cries to be saved from harm in this world.
Make us a people who love our children, all of our children, more than we love greed, power, and control. Overturn governments of tyranny wherever they are found. Disrupt the intentions of evil and give us power to stand against demonic forces of greed and control. Grant that peace and justice come to warring nations by the hands of those courageous enough to stand and study war no more. Let Thy kin-dom come on earth as it is in heaven, we pray.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.*
The National Officers of the United Church of Christ
- The Rev. John C. Dorhauer — General Minister and President
- The Rev. Traci A. Blackmon — Associate General Minister
- The Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson — Associate General Minister
*UCC officers share prayer for Ukraine, February 24, 2022, https://www.ucc.org/ucc-officers-share-prayer-for-ukraine/?inf_contact_key=a47da18b4ec634abe6c84a6219aa38067e470d92b8b75168d98a0b8cac0e9c09
Photo by Олександр К on Unsplash
Thursday Thoughts 3/3/22