On Ash Wednesday, we want to join with churches all over the world in response to a call to prayer and fasting for the country of Ukraine. As Pope Francis said, Jesus taught us that “the diabolical evil of violence is answered with the weapons of God, with prayer and fasting.”
We invite you to spend time in prayer and fasting on Ash Wednesday, raising prayers that God may influence political leaders to serve common humanity rather than partisan interests.
In addition to our Ash Wednesday service in the evening, the COS sanctuary will be open from 9 am-3 pm for anyone who wishes to use this space to pray. There will be a page of prayer prompts available to pick up in the sanctuary, on this page, or you can access a pdf of the prayers here. Through our prayers, may we embody the way of peace.
The prophet Micah (4:2-3) envisaged a time when nations will come and say:
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the temple of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us his ways,
so that we may walk in his paths.”
The law will go out from Zion,
the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
3 He will judge between many peoples
and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide.
They will beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation,
nor will they train for war anymore.
The Lord Almighty has promised these things.
We pray that the God of peace will dismantle all barriers obstructing the pathway to peace in Ukraine.
We pray that all nations involved in this conflict will be freed from the bondage of fear and rise above selfish ambition and become flexible to Your direction.
We pray that if negotiations are able to occur, they will be protected from mistrust and pride which only serve to divide and confuse.
Jesus, You were born into a world of oppression – be with those in oppression.
Jesus, you were born into a world where the innocent were killed, be with families of those who have been killed in innocence.
Jesus, you were a refugee in Egypt, be with those who have to flee.
Jesus, you were broken on the cross, be with the broken in body.
We pray with Resonate missionary in Ukraine, Rev. George de Vuyst:
Heavenly Father, we come to you with heavy hearts as we see movements toward war in Ukraine. We pray that you would be merciful to the people of Ukraine and Russia and prevent this war. Grant wisdom to world leaders to effectively stop evil. Allow for the truth to be known, for lies to be shown for what they are, and for evil-doers to be thwarted. Lord, we pray for those who have already lost loved ones, homes, and livelihoods. Comfort and provide for the needs of those who have been displaced. Lord, we ask for mercy and we seek justice. We pray that you would be at work in both.
We pray for the day when all wars will cease and when your peaceful reign will come fully. But in the meantime, we pray that you would use us to facilitate the coming of your kingdom here and now. Help us to take action to bring peace, to care for the victims of war, and to work for justice. Help us to live according to the principles of your Kingdom today, and to remain faithful until your Kingdom comes fully at your return. Grant courage to your church in Russia, in Ukraine, and here to speak truth to power and to prophetically proclaim the truths of your Kingdom as well as the day of grace that still remains for those who repent. Lord, we pray for Vladimir Putin. We pray that you would change his heart and work your miracle of salvation in his life. If he continues in his wicked ways, we pray that you would restrain his evil and have mercy on those who suffer because of it. In all these things, we trust you, because you are our loving Father. We ask that you would keep us faithful by the power of your Spirit and that you would be with your church in Ukraine—that in times of war it would faithfully follow you and represent you before the nations. Heal the wounds, we pray, both physical and the wounds of the heart. Reconcile the nations with you and with each other by the power of the cross of our reigning Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.
Lord God Almighty, shaper and ruler of all creatures, put injustice far from Ukraine.
We pray for the powerful who impose their will on the weak; May they come to know your defenseless love.
We pray for those who seek revenge; May they come to know your defenseless love.
We pray for those who have lost limbs or loved ones; May they come to know your defenseless love.
Shield the people of Ukraine today against their foes seen and unseen.
Into your hands, we place all that has been: Lord have mercy.
Into your hands we place all that will be; Christ have mercy.
Wounded Christ, touch those wounded souls; Lord have mercy.
Bring us to eternal light; Christ have mercy.
We leave this place renewing our own commitment to peace:
Make us channels of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let us bring love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is sadness, joy.
Where there is death, life.
Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand.
To be loved as to love with all our soul.
Francis of Assisi, Italy