Holy God, 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 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 you, O God, to grant wisdom to the leaders of nations, calling them to end provocation on all sides and from the Gospel of Luke, that we invest instead in “the things that make for peace” as called for in all our faith traditions.
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 the steps toward peace, inviting others to reciprocate. Now is time to invest in conflict resolution, diplomacy and international cooperation.
Be with those suffering. Protect them from devastation in ways those positioned in authority will not or cannot. Shield and comfort them – men, women and children, the abled bodied, those with disabilities and those already on the brink of poverty or those who have lost everything. Be with all in harm’s way as they confront the terror of violence that surrounds them. Hold them close to your heart. And grant that peace come to warring nations by the hands of those courageous enough to stand and study war no more (Isaiah 2:4). Let Thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.
[adapted from prayer written by UCC National Officers: 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/ Feb 24, 2022]