The extraordinary events of this past week have been overwhelming for us all. Despite the build-up of the military around the Ukraine over recent months and the expectation that something significant has been a possibility for many years, the sight of a Russian attack on Ukraine has come as a shock to us all.
While the conflict is 1000 plus miles away, seeing the war on our screens and on our continent leaves us with a mixture of emotions. There will be sadness and mourning, shock and disbelief, along with understandable worry about escalation.
This weekend I want to highlight a few thoughts I shared on Monday evening at Firefall where we spent much of that time praying for the situation in Ukraine
When faced with such circumstances, sadness and lament are the proper response. Yes, we need to have faith that God is sovereign and that justice will eventually come. The Psalms are also filled with this expectation as well, but the Psalms also have cries of lament.
The Psalms are filled with the question asking ‘why?’ They ask for ‘justice’ too, as well as reflecting what it means to ‘mourn’ before God.
So in the midst of this tragedy, let lament be our prayer
War is Terrible
Let’s never forget that war is a terrible thing. In the end I believe that the outcome is always the destruction of human life and humans are made in God’s image. This means that any form of destruction is a ‘marring’ of God’s image in humanity.
Let’s remember that Jesus calls us to be ‘kingdom peacemakers.’ We are those who are called to pray and seek to build peace.
Please don’t stop praying for a miracle! Prayer is urgently needed and we join with the world-wide church as we pray for peace.
Guarding Our Hearts
We must guard our hearts against hatred of any nation or people group.
In any conflict it is very easy to develop a hatred for a people group. We must remember that it is Vladimir Putin who has ordered these attacks and we must not assume that ordinary Russians support them. In fact, if the demonstrations within Russia are anything to go by, it would seem that many are opposed.
As we pray let’s ask the Lord to help us guard against stereotypes, slurs, slanders and any evidence of hatred, that might emerge from our hearts via our words.
I suspect that something else we all need is more resilience – a resilience that is continual.
The truth is, that for all of us, the past two years have pushed and stretched us on a number of fronts. We have been challenged mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically
Seeing a war and it’s devastating effects so close at hand, could have a potential destabilising effect on us and perhaps push us all even further into despair.
We need to be praying for and keep developing a ‘Holy Resilience.’
How do we do that?
I think we develop it in our walk with God, in prayer and meditation, by reflecting on Scripture, as we try and hear what God is saying, by worshipping and taking communion.
When we’re feeling overwhelmed, it is about having times of rest and relaxation, as well as being aware of what is dominant in our thinking and mindset and trying to keep our eyes on God and maintaining His perspective
The reality is that none of us knows what lies ahead. This however, has always been the case! In his epistle James ‘warns of plans that fail to acknowledge this.’
This may end quickly or it may develop and protract over many years, it may lead to the Coming of Xt. The truth is we just don’t know!
So we keep praying as Jesus taught us to pray:
- Seeking to honour God
- Asking for His reign and will
- Seeking His provision
- Walking in His forgiveness
- Praying that we would be delivered from evil