The National Council of Churches USA reiterates the call for peace and an end to Russian aggression and acts of war in the Ukraine. We lament the loss of life and the unnecessary suffering that is unfolding. We stand with the Ukrainian people and urge Russia to end this pointless and unwarranted conflict. We also recognize and stand in solidarity with those protesting in Russia to try to get their government to choose a different, peaceable course of action. The unrest, uncertainty and trauma this war will cause are immeasurable and will affect the entire global village. In this moment, we pray knowing God hears our cries:
Gracious and Merciful God,
We pray today for the Ukrainian people and ask for Your intervention in this senseless war levied against them by Russia. We pray, O God, for protection and that there would be peace. We pray for restoration and renewed hope. We pray for the families, especially, the children living through the horrors of war and all the upheaval and tribulation it brings. We also pray for those protesting in Russia against these violent acts by their government. We ask that You would protect, cover and keep these protesters as they put their bodies on the line in the name of what is just and righteous. We pray for the entire world community, including the leaders in our own country. Give them wisdom and ingenuity to respond in ways that ends this war and moves us all to a world where Your peace abides. Hear the cries of Your people, O God. Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Amen.
From Dr. Tony Kireopoulos, Associate General Secretary, Faith and Order and Interfaith Relations:
Father in Heaven:
This weekend, in both Ukraine and Russia, Christians will begin their Sunday liturgies with the words, “In peace, let us pray to the Lord.” In the City of Kiev, the city of St. Vladimir, who brought Christianity to the Slavic peoples more than a millennium ago, these prayers will be especially poignant, as they will be accompanied by a sense of betrayal by their brothers and sisters in faith, even if their siblings in faith do not endorse their government’s actions. In synagogues, Jews will gather for the Sabbath haunted by memories of a previous generation’s oppression during the Holocaust, even as they plan evacuations from the country to the safe haven of Israel. In mosques, Muslims who come together for Salat Jumu’ah (Friday prayer) will fear for their safety.
Lord, Jesus Christ:
You said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you” (John 14:27a). We join our prayers to those of the people of Ukraine, who look to the heavens for peace and protection during this time of violence and oppression. And we ask for your mercy, that it may change the hearts and minds of those who have chosen the path of destruction.
Knowing that war can bring about only suffering and death, we look to you to bring about reconciliation between the peoples of Ukraine and Russia. And together with them, we pray “for the peace of the whole world…for every city and land…[and] for our deliverance from all affliction, wrath, danger and necessity…Amen.”