25th February 2022.
The escalating situation in Ukraine raises many emotions and deep concerns. We in CMJ have several links with Ukraine. I have very strong and positive memories of meeting many Jewish Believers in Jesus from Ukraine during the Lausanne Consultation on Jewish Evangelism conference which took place in Kiev in April 2014.
Ukraine is home to many Jewish people (Ukraine has the third-largest Jewish population in the world) and our special prayers are for them, especially as this crisis may well promote decisions around making Aliyah to Israel.
It is always complex to know how we should pray and act at such a time as this. However, pray and act we must! In terms of prayer, I found the prayer by our friends at the Evangelical Alliance to be helpful. I share this prayer (with two very minor changes) within this statement, and I encourage you to use this prayer alongside your own prayers and reflections at this pressing time:
“Father, today we pray for the escalation situation in Ukraine. We confess that at times of such rapid change and on issues of complexity, it can be difficult to know how to pray.
So we start with our praise and thanks to you, who remains steadfast and faithful, all seeing and all-knowing.
We re-orientate ourselves in you, your timescales, your ways and your purposes.
We remind ourselves of your love for this earth you formed and those you created in your image.
We struggle to see clearly through confusion and misinformation, yet recognise an age-old lust for power, control and violence.
We pray for those fleeing homes and livelihoods, for those who are fearful and vulnerable.
We pray for peacekeepers on the ground and those seeking to defend life and liberty.
We pray for those involved in genuine diplomatic efforts to avert further bloodshed.
We remember how Jesus resisted being co-opted into the religious and political uprisings of competing empires. We remember how Jesus spoke to heal the sick, calm the storm and raise the dead. We too pray for powerful words and miraculous actions – for de-escalation, peace and justice, repentance and restoration.
On earth, as it is in heaven, and for our faithful witness until then,