We are now in the 4th month since Vladimir Putin began his aggression against Ukraine. Putin, and many analysts expected the war to be over quickly with Ukrainian forces overwhelmed, the President removed and a speedy surrender. Things have not turned out as he planned. Many of the things that we prayed for have happened as fearsome weapons have not done their job and tanks have got bogged down in the mud. Yet, the conflict continues and the death toll rises.
There was an immediate response to the invasion, an outpouring of prayer. Significant time at conferences was given over to intercession and lament, impromptu prayer meetings were organised. Ukraine dominated all the news headlines. And there was the rush to offer help for refugees too.
The risk is however, that as the conflict grinds on, that we increasingly lose that first zeal. We will give less and less attention to what is happening and apart from whenever there’s a scary headline about Putin’s allies threatening nuclear Armageddon Ukraine will retreat to the back of our minds and the bottom of our prayer lists.
Please don’t let that happen. We need to keep praying for Ukraine. The need remains as great as ever. Why?
- As I mentioned above, the conflict is continuing to rage. It’s at its most fiercest in the Donbas region but there are still missile attacks against Kiev and western cities. This means that there are still many soldiers on both sides who risk serious injury or even loss of life. Still many grieving families.
- Many refugees remain uprooted from their homes and continue to seek safe haven.
- Although there has been a significant migration of refugees out of Ukraine looking for safety, many families have either chosen to stay or been unable to leave. They are suffering both directly from the threat of war through injury, loss of life, loss of home. They are also suffering the economic consequences of a country where normal work and trade is not possible.
- The conflict is having a knock on affect around the world due to its impact on fuel and food supply and cost.
- Russians who seek to speak up for peace and challenge Putin risk arrest and imprisonment. Ordinary Russians are also suffering the consequences of his decisions.
- The Russian Orthodox Church continues to support Putin and in Russia it is hard to be an evangelical believer.
- Christians continue to seek to serve Christ and speak for him in Ukraine and Russia as well as those who have become part of the Ukrainian diaspora due to the war.
So, let’s redouble our efforts. Let’s continue to pray for peace, a peace that arises out of defeat of evil and justice for the victims of war. Let’s particular keep praying for Ukrainian brothers and sisters in Christ, both those who have become refugees and those who stayed that by their words and deeds they will continue to be a powerful witness to the hope of the Gospel.