A Prayer for Ukraine

Prayer for Ukraine under invasion
by Maren Tirabassi

God of plowshares, pruning hooks,
and peace-making,
translate such old archaic words
into hope today in Ukraine
that your promise to shatter
bows and swords, spears and shields,
may mean now
an end of missile strikes
and long-range artillery,
the silencing of Kyiv’s air-raid sirens.
We pray for those who flee the capital 
and those who shelter in place
and in fear in Kharkiv to the east.
We pray for troops already exhausted
from their long watching.
We pray for NATO land and air forces,
knowing that means people,
and we pray for Germany and Poland
as they open borders to fleeing refugees.
God, we have studied war for so long,
let it be no more, no more.
Teach us a new peacemaking,
guiding the leaders of nations,
and holding gently in your heart
the many who live and die
because of their decisions,
for we pray in the name of Jesus
who wept for our great needing
of the things that make for peace.


Dearly Beloved,

This week, I have found myself hard pressed not to simply turn off the news, to stop thinking about Ukraine and Russia and real actual war. I read recently that our brains are not made for holding all of the world's problems, but only those of our own little communities. That may be so, but in today's globalized world, we are all intimately connected. We go to the grocery store and purchase goods shipped from faraway lands. We have been watching the price of gas rise as tensions have heightened in Eastern Europe. And so, we cannot help but be impacted by the invasion of Ukraine.

We weep for all who fear for their own children and their nation's children. We worry for Ukrainian civil servants, reporters, doctors and nurses. Our hearts fill with fear as we consider the possibility that we too will be drawn into war -- that our own loved ones will be deployed. 

And so, even though I'd rather not think about any of this, even though I'd rather focus on the immediate tasks, worries, joys and pleasures of life right here, I am taking a moment to pause and reflect and pray.

I hope that you will join me. To simply pause. To say: God, we do not know what will happen. God, we are heartbroken. We are afraid as we imagine what it is like for Ukrainians fleeing their homes or staying put, missiles raining down all around. And yet here we are: pausing. Here we are saying, even just for this moment, break our hearts open and let us pray.

This war will affect us all in different ways, please know that I am here to listen, to talk, to simply be present with you whatever is coming up.

With love and prayers for peace,