A Prayer to Pray Today for Ukraine

Uncertainty.

Fear.

Sorrow.

Foreboding.

These and many other emotions could be filling our hearts these days. The invasion of Ukraine is threatening the cohesiveness of peoples and nations in a frightening way that affects all of us.

This morning I prayed for Ukraine with the blessing which the Lord gave to Aaron and his sons to speak over the people (Num. 6:23-27):

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.

“A blessing or benediction is a prayer invoking God’s power and care upon some person, place, thing, or undertaking. The prayer of benediction acknowledges God as the source of all blessing” (CCC, glossary, page 868).

Praying this blessing was a small movement of the heart, to implore God’s mercy on this poor world of ours, the people of Ukraine, the suffering on all sides, the threat to the world order this situation will precipitate. We learn from the Scriptures, that the prayer of the people of God, no matter what form it takes—pleading, complaint, argument, desire, sorrow—“is always an intercession that awaits and prepares for the intervention of the Savior God, the Lord of history” (CCC, 2584). In this spirit, I’d like to share this prayer with you so that, pleading together, we might open up the way for the Sovereign of history and Lord of the nations to act in our world today.

In a quiet place, in a still point of your day (even for five minutes!), sink into God’s presence and slowly begin to hold these phrases in your prayer. Hold them gently, lifting them up to the Lord, and allowing the silence to enfold you. May your prayers rise like incense:

May the Lord bless us.
May the Lord keep us.
May the Lord bless us today.
May the Lord keep us today.

May the Lord bless us here and now.
May the Lord keep us here and now.

May the Lord make his face to shine upon us. For the mother in Ukraine who is overwhelmed, may the Lord make his face to shine upon her. For the children who are afraid, make your face to shine upon them. For the soldiers in danger, make your face to shine upon them.

For government leaders who are making crucial decisions that will affect millions of people across the globe, make your face to shine upon them.

In Russia, make your face to shine. O God, have mercy.

O God be gracious to us. Be gracious to us. Be gracious to us. Have mercy. Have mercy on us.

Give us peace. Give us peace. Give us your peace. Fill our souls with the peace of your countenance. Bless our weary and embattled hearts with peace. Bring your peace to hearts that would hurt, destroy, take. Peace, Lord. Have mercy.

Keep us as the apple of your eye. Hide us in the shadow of your wings (Ps 17:8).

Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance. Shepherd us and carry us forever. (Ps 28:9).

Father. Our Father. Thy kingdom come. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Thy will be done on earth by me… as it is in heaven.

Thy will be done on earth by (insert the name of those whom God inspires you to pray over)… as it is in heaven.

O God be gracious to us. Be gracious to us. Be gracious to us. Have mercy. Have mercy on us.

Amen.

Image: luisspagniagua via Cathopic.

2 thoughts on “A Prayer to Pray Today for Ukraine

  1. Sr. Kathryn,
    Thank you for these prayers and reflections. The worry and sorrow we feel for our daughter-in-law’s extended family in Ukraine bring a distractedness to prayer right now. Your guided prayer and references to Edith Stein and Pope John Paul brought a calming focus and were much appreciated. God bless you!

    Like

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