A Call To Prayer

For the past couple of weeks, the news has been telling us of an impending attack on Ukraine by Russia. Troops have been moved into place, and warnings and “diplomacies” have been exchanged. It certainly sounded like trouble could be coming, but somehow it still sounded unbelievable. Then, this morning, the news is telling us that a full-scale invasion of Ukraine is taking place. It still sounds unbelievable, but now it sounds more like unbelievable horror.

My childhood years were formed by the cold war with the Soviet Union, and the end of that cold war. The scenes that linger in my memory from those newscasts were the meetings between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev and the fall of the Berlin Wall. They were stories of an impending war that never happened. They were stories of the victory of peace.

But now explosions have taken place in major Ukrainian cities. Russian troops and weapons are pouring across the borders. Armies are being talked about with numbers in the hundreds of thousands. Officials are saying that this could be the end of peace in Europe for quite a while.

We want to believe in the best in the world. We want to believe that people don’t want to hurt other people. We want to see the good that can be around us. But we have to remember that there is evil as well.

So how should we respond to that evil? Certainly, we do not want to stand idly by as the people of Ukraine are losing lives and homes. At the same time, we do not want to see violence escalate either. Every life lost in war, on both sides of the battlefield, is a victim to this evil. Every family mourning the death of a child, spouse, or parent who did not come home is victim to this evil. Responding to evil with evil only creates more evil.

But what are we to do when Satan has the ear of the man holding a gun?

I will not resort to platitudes. I personally believe in turning the other cheek, but I will not pretend that giving Vladamir Putin a second mile will stop his atrocities. I will say, however, that God has met and overturned tyrants before. God sent Nathan to David to confront him with the evil of his ways, to break his heart, and bring him to repentance. God sent Moses to lead Pharoah’s slaves to freedom and parted (and closed) the Red Sea to deliver them. Jesus brought Saul to his knees as he was headed to Damascus to seek Christians to be prosecuted and killed. I cannot find an answer to Putin’s madness other than force. But any force applied is very unlikely to reach Putin himself. It will hurt, injure, and kill others. We need God’s answer, instead.

Please pray for God’s intercession today. I would invite us to fast as well. Instead of eating lunch today, let’s remember those who are fleeing without food, and devote our lunchtime to praying for them. Pray for bullets to miss, for bombs to malfunction, for soldiers to recognize the evil they are a part of, and to turn around and go home. Pray for those who are in positions of power that they will be able to find another way. Pray for those in leadership in Russia and those close to them that they will see the horror of what they have created and will turn another way. Pray for our own leaders that they will receive inspiration on how to stop what is going on.

And let’s prepare to receive those who have been wounded as well. Let’s get ready to help where we can. May God lead us as ministers of Christ’s love. May God lead us on the ways that lead to peace.

Praying in Christ,
Pastor Daniel