Persistent Prayer Needed.
War is a terrible thing. It is evil, inhuman, barbaric, and unjustifiable.
In wars, there are no winners – only losers – those who lose lives. The civilians and innocent people are the victims of war and the damage and pain caused to them by war are irreparable.
As already seen in Ukraine, millions of innocent people are displaced. Hundreds are killed or injured. It does not matter whose side they are, they are valuable lives to God. History proves that war is only a means to escalate and intensify human suffering, misery, pain, and destruction of lives.
Therefore, war is more than due to political, ideological, ethnic, or even economic factors.
War is a spiritual reality where Satan tries to capitalize to maximize the destruction of innocent lives.
This is why we need to pray persistently!
Intercessors are involved in a different type of warfare and our prayer engages with the unseen realm to prevent forces of darkness that motivates war.
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds. 2 Cor 10:3-4
How do we respond?
With the news about war coming in daily, it is easy to lose heart and be frustrated because of the impunity of evil leaders who insist on war. We should continue to pray earnestly because the Bible exhorts us to be persistent in our prayer. For evil rulers do not last forever – only the Lord is the everlasting and just Ruler of the World.
Jesus illustrated this by saying that even when evil judges denied justice to a poor widow, persistent prayer worked:
“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up“ Luke 18:1
The Christians and Church leaders in Ukraine are appealing for prayer because they know that it is the only solution for their dire situation. Evangelical Christians risk both discrimination and persecution in the event of a Russian invasion. It is like a David and Goliath situation. The enemy has come against them like a giant who needs to be confronted spiritually as David did.
“You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied” 1 Samuel 17:45.
We encourage you therefore to continue to pray earnestly using the following Scriptures as the basis for your persistent prayer:
- “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;” Col 4:2
- “Pray without ceasing...” 1 Thes 5:7
- “Constant prayer was offered to God for him (Peter in prison) by the church. Acts 12:
- “Continuing steadfastly in prayer.” Romans 12:12.
- “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.” Ephesisans 6:18
How to Pray Earnestly for Ukraine?
When evil people prevail and the wicked prospers, it seems that God is silent and His people are helpless. The ungodly seem to challenge God’s sovereignty and one may find it difficult to pray and begin to fret and lose heart.
King David was a warrior King who in his lifetime saw many wars where wicked rulers rose up against the innocent. However, David wrote Psalm 37 specifically to show us how to respond to evil contexts where evil is prospering and righteous are denied justice. It encourages us not to lose sight of God’s sovereignty and to ‘trust,’ ‘delight,’ ‘commit,’ and ‘rest’ in the Lord which enables us to sustain Persistent Prayer. It warns us repeatedly ‘do not fret,’ which can only lead to discouragement and loss of faith.
We use this Psalm to help us Pray for Ukraine and her suffering people.
a. Do not fret or be angry in your prayer.
Having the right attitude is important to nurture our confidence in the Lord in prayer because of the fact that we ‘do not wrestle against flesh and blood‘.
Do not fret because of evildoers, Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.Psalm 37:1-3
For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, And wither as the green herb.
Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
b. Focus your confidence on the Lord.
Waiting on the Lord to intervene in situations is an important attitude in prayer. Our confidence in Him will allow us to wait and see what God does in desperate situations.
“Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him;Psalm 37:7-9
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.
Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret–it only causes harm.
For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the LORD, They shall inherit the earth.
c. Believe that God will determine the final outcome.
We should not rush to presumptuous conclusions about what is happening immediately. The aspect of ‘Waiting for the Lord‘ brings hope amidst despair. The Lord will respond to those who wait for Him!
” Wait on the LORD, And keep His way, And He shall exalt you to inherit the land;Psalm 37:34-37.
When the wicked are cut off, you shall see it.
I have seen the wicked in great power and spreading himself like a native green tree.
Yet he passed away, and behold, he was no more; Indeed I sought him, but he could not be found.
Mark the blameless man, and observe the upright; For the future of that man is peace.
Pause and Pray.
- Pray for the protection of innocent civilians – women, children, elderly and the sick- who are caught up in war.
- For Refugees who have lost everything to find places of safety away from war.
- Pray for families who are separated and those who have lost family members.
- Pray for Soldiers and their family members of both sides of the war.
- Pray for Political Leaders of both nations and for peaceful negotiations.
- Pray for an early solution that the fighting will cease and there be no more destruction.
- Pray for the Pastors and Churches in both nations that God bring reconciliation and hope.
- Pray for nations who are receiving Refugees that they will be able to provide care and support.
Destruction in war – Photos by BBC.