Ukrainians praying in the central square of Kharkiv, Ukraine. (Image: Courtesy of Ukrainian Bible Society)
How can we pray for the ongoing war in Ukraine?
Here are some suggestions how you can pray on your own or with others:
Pray and meditate on Psalm 46:
1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. 4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. 5 God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. 6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. 7 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. 8 Come and see what the LORD has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth. 9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. 10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” 11 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Ukraine’s chief Rabbi invited Christian leaders to recite Psalm 31 together
Prayers prayed for Ukraine at our Sunday service on 13 June:
Lord Jesus, you are our Prince of Peace, the Captain in our Storm. When circumstances are overwhelming and you seem far away, remind us that your presence is with us.
Father, we pray for the War in Europe, and cry out to you for peace in the Ukraine. We ask for your grace to shine upon the citizens of Kiev, Kharkiv, Sumy, Mariupol, Kherson, the Donbas, and all other areas facing the sheer and unthinkable terror of war:
- As artillery fire rains down, keep them safe Lord, as they shelter.
- As missiles lay waste to property and businesses, give them refuge Lord, until they can rebuild.
- As cities are besieged, nourish them Lord, when they feel hungry.
- As bombs kill and maim, comfort them Lord, as they grieve for their losses.
- As lies and disinformation are sown, reassure them Lord, as they seek the truth.
We pray Lord for the refugees who have been forced to leave behind their lives and loved ones. We trust that you are close to the brokenhearted, and you save those who are crushed in spirit. In the same way, protect these people from aggression Lord, and guide their safe passage out of the Ukraine. May they be welcomed by countries across the continent with open arms and avoid encountering bureaucratic challenges or hostility as they seek refuge. Revive, guide and empower the organisations working tirelessly to enable this evacuation, and direct aid to where it is needed the most – and we pray that refugee needs for food, shelter, clothing and love can be expedited wherever they are needed.
We pray that you can use the leaders of western governments to be instruments of peace. Guide them away from pride and partisanship, and towards unity in common purpose. Give them strength and wisdom through their negotiations as they seek to ensure enduring peace, fill them with compassion and empathy for those in need.
We pray for President Putin and the Russian leadership. Your light leads us out of darkness, and in the same way we pray that you can lead and guide his decisions over the coming weeks. We pray Lord that you can soften his heart away from decisions that might cause further destruction or hurt others. Lord, only you can make the impossible possible. Amen.
Other Prayers for Ukraine
God of peace and justice,
we pray for the people of Ukraine today.
We pray for peace and the laying down of weapons.
We pray for all those who fear for tomorrow,
that your Spirit of comfort would draw near to them.
We pray for those with power over war or peace,
for wisdom, discernment and compassion
to guide their decisions.
Above all, we pray for all your precious children, at risk and in fear.
that you would hold and protect them.
We pray in the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.
Archbishop Justin Welby
Archbishop Stephen Cottrell
Father, today we pray for the escalating situation in Ukraine.
We confess that in times of such rapid change and on issues of such complexity, it can be difficult to know how to pray.
So we start with our praise and thanks to you, who remains steadfast and faithful, all-seeing and all-knowing.
We re-orientate ourselves in you, your timescales, your ways and your purposes.
We remind ourselves of your love for this earth you formed and those you created in your image.
We struggle to see clearly through confusion and misinformation, yet recognise an age-old lust for power, control and violence.
We pray for those already mourning, those who are fleeing homes and livelihoods, for those who are fearful and vulnerable.
We pray for intermediaries on the ground and those seeking to defend life and liberty. Blessed are the peacemakers.
Amidst the political posturing and frightening military action we pray for those involved in genuine diplomatic efforts to avert further bloodshed.
We remember how Jesus resisted being co-opted into the religious and political uprisings of competing empires. We remember how He spoke to heal the sick, calm the storm and raise the dead. We too pray that the name of God would not be invoked in destructive nationalistic ways. We pray for powerful words and miraculous actions – for de-escalation, peace and justice, repentance and restoration.
On earth as it is in heaven, and for our faithful witness until then,
David Smyth, Head of Northern Ireland Evangelical Alliance.
A Prayer for Peace in Ukraine
God of compassion,
Have mercy this day on the people of Ukraine.
Restore to them the gift of peace.
Grant wisdom to the governments of the world.
Bring good in the midst of evil and suffering,
For the sake of Jesus Christ your Son,
Who gave his life to bring peace to your world
Bishop Steven Croft
A Prayer by Christian Aid
Borders, barricades, bewilderment…
When the bargaining begins,
God please protect peace.
Sanctions, security measured in minutes and it’s scary…
When safety scatters,
God please protect peace.
War dresses up in peace-keeper’s clothes,
Troops amass, the ground trembles and so do people…
When the future feels fragile,
God please protect peace.
The littlest, the least likely to have a say, those
who lives are sanctioned and bargained over
Violence always finds them first.
And the ‘oh-so important’ political manoeuvres
mean nothing to them. They just want to live.
When the winners want to wipe them out of
the way, God please protect peace.
We will not turn away. We will stand together
God, give us the strength to protect peace.