Social media is filled with prayer requests for Ukraine. Let’s actually pause to pray for the people of Ukraine, for a cessation of Russia’s invasion, and for all those impacted by the humanitarian crisis that is ensuing.
If you’re like me and you don’t always know what to pray, here are some prepared prayers (adapted from hymnals and prayer books), followed by some additional prayer ideas to get you started.
Prayers for Peace: Heavenly Father, it is Your gracious will that Your children on earth live together in harmony and peace. Defeat the plans of all those who would stir up violence and strife, destroy the weapons of those who delight in war and bloodshed, and, according to Your will, end all conflicts in the world. Teach us to examine our hearts that we may recognize our own inclination toward envy, malice, hatred, and enmity. Help us, by Your Word and Spirit, to search our hearts and to root out the evil that would lead to strife and discord, so that in our lives we may be at peace with all people. Fill us with zeal for the work of Your Church and the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which alone can bring that peace which is beyond all understanding; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
O God, from whom come all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works, give to us, Your servants, that peace which the world cannot give, that our hearts may be set to obey Your commandments and also that we, being defended from the fear of our enemies, may live in peace and quietness; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Prayer for Ukraine: Gracious God and Father, though Your Son, Jesus Christ, came to bring us Your heavenly peace, violence and conflict still rage among Your children on earth. We pray that in Your mercy You would cause this violence against the people of Ukraine to come to an end. Bring a restoration of calm and security, and heal the wounds that have been inflicted. Restore peace so that what has been laid waste can again be planted and built up. Open Your fatherly heart and bountiful hand to help all in need. Deliver us from all conflict and strife, that we may live in harmony and safety, and finally, having gained the eternal rest of the saints in glory, may praise and bless, worship and glorify You forever; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Almighty God, I love peace and yet I now find that nations are entering into armed conflict. I know that wars come because we, Your creatures, are sinners, among whom I am chief. Grant us forgiveness and repentance for our failings in maintaining peace. You, O Lord, make wars cease to the ends of the earth. You break the bow and shatter the spear and burn the chariots with fire. (Ps. 46:9) Grant a speedy end to this conflict in Ukraine. May the horrors of war move the world’s leaders to find a just and lasting solution to the things that now separate us. War so easily spirals out of control, so check the hatred and cruelty of the aggressors. Watch over the families and children and all innocent parties in Ukraine. Instill in us all an abhorrence of war that will make us all work tirelessly to find peaceful ways to solve our world’s problems. May this war against Ukraine, and all rumors of war, remind me that Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, will soon return to bring His kingdom of peace to all who believe in Him. Amen.
Holy Father, God of mercy, God of comfort, as the darkness grows and hatred and violence seem to triumph in this world, embrace in Your tender compassion all who suffer from Russia’s attack against Ukraine. Remember all who have lost loved ones, and the many who are injured or in harm’s way. Grant to them Your mercy, Your healing, Your protection. We remember that in Your Son You have given to us the Love that no hatred can overcome, the Life that no death can destroy, the Forgiveness that exceeds all the violence that fallen humanity inflicts upon itself. Make Your Church a firm witness to this unfailing hope. We pray these things in the saving name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
A Prayer for Our Armed Forces: Lord God of hosts, stretch forth Your almighty arm to strengthen and protect those who serve in the armed forces of our country. Support them in times of war, and in times of peace keep them from all evil, giving them courage and loyalty. Grant that in all things that may serve with integrity and with honor; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
In Your Prayers, Remember …
- those who have been displaced by the fighting and are fleeing to neighboring countries
- those who cannot leave and are sheltering in subways and basements during air raids
- the children of Ukraine who are enduring the trauma of war
- President Putin and those perpetrating this war, that they be brought to repentance and justice and cease their aggression against the Ukrainian people
- national leaders around the world, that they respond with wisdom and courage, preventing this conflict from escalating further than it already has
- the elected leaders and armed forces of Ukraine as they defend their homeland
- Christian churches and pastors in Ukraine as they care for their parishioners and communities in the midst of war
- humanitarian workers, doctors, and others bringing mercy, food, shelter, and medical care to those in need
Assisting Refugees: The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and Mission Central of Iowa have established a fund for those displaced from Ukraine and for the mercy efforts of Lutheran partner churches in Eastern Europe. Click here to visit the online donation form.