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Dear COA Family,

How can we pray for the ongoing war in Ukraine?

This question is not as simple as it looks.

While it is obvious that we can pray for God’s protection for the civilians’ lives, God’s provision of food, shelter and clothing through the humanitarian aid agencies for the refugees and God’s peace upon the country, there is another aspect of prayer that resides in the depths of our consciousness.

And that is the prayer for justice.

It is here that we become uncomfortable.

Do we pray for God’s removal of the leader (or leaders) of the nation who is (are) bent on continuing these unprovoked aggressions? Or, more severely still, do we pray for God’s judgment to come upon the orchestrators of this war that has taken so many innocent lives?

The word of God gives us space to pray such prayers.

The psalmist prays,
Bring to an end the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure.” (Psalm 7:9)
If only you, God, would slay the wicked! Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!” (Psalm 139:19)

We can pray for God’s divine intervention to remove wicked leaders and even for God’s righteous judgment to be meted out on them. Yet in our human zealousness for justice, let us also remember that our God is a God of mercy.

God has mercy on all people of this world, not wanting any to perish but that all should come to repentance. And he works out all things according to his sovereign plan and will.

So we can (and should) pray for God’s righteousness and justice to prevail in this ongoing conflict, but we must also trust God to act rightly and sovereignly against evil.

Let’s pray for the people of Russia who are suffering to come to the knowledge of God’s truth too.

God bless,
Revd Ian