Prayers for Ukraine & Russia

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Pope Francis

Speaking after the Angelus prayer, Pope Francis also remembered the Ukrainians in the bunkers and those fleeing the war, especially “the elderly, those seeking refuge in these hours, mothers fleeing with their children. They are our brothers and sisters for whom humanitarian corridors must be opened as a matter of urgency and who must be welcomed.”  “In these days we’ve been shaken by something tragic: war,” he told the people in the square.  One who wages war, he said, is not and cannot be thinking about people, but is putting “partisan interests and power before everything.”
One who wages war “relies on the diabolical and perverse logic of weapons, which is the furthest thing from God’s will, and distances himself from the ordinary people who want peace,” the pope said. In every conflict “the ordinary people are the real victims” and they “pay for the folly of war with their own skin.”
“With a heart broken by what is happening in Ukraine — and let’s not forget the wars in other parts of the world, such as Yemen, Syria, Ethiopia — I repeat: Silence the weapons!” Pope Francis said.
“God is with the peacemakers,” he said, “not with those who use violence.”

From the Methodist Church in Britain

Holy and Gracious God
We pray for the people of Ukraine and the people of Russia; for their countries and their leaders.  We pray for all those who are afraid; that your everlasting arms hold them in this time of great fear.  We pray for all those who have the power over life and death; that they will choose for all people life, and life in all its fullness.
We pray for those who choose war; that they will remember that you direct your people to turn our swords into ploughshares and seek for peace.   We pray for leaders on the world stage; that they are inspired by the wisdom and courage of Christ.
Above all, Lord, today we pray for peace for Ukraine.
And we ask this in the name of your blessed Son.
Lord have mercy.  Amen

Ukranian Greek Catholic Church

Bishop Kenneth Nowakowski, Eparchial Bishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in the UK, has addressed his community and all people of good will as Russia invades Ukraine:
‘The day that we have been hoping would never come has arrived. This morning we woke up to hear the news that Russia has unleashed its troops into an invasion of Ukrainian soil as well as firing missiles into Ukrainian territory. We have been inviting people of goodwill to join Ukrainian Catholics in the United Kingdom to pray for peace in Ukraine these last several weeks. I want to thank you all for these prayers and for standing with Ukraine. Now more than ever before your prayers and your acts of solidarity with the Ukrainian people are needed. We call upon our government leaders and those in positions of power to remain steadfast in support of Ukraine against those who are waging this war upon the innocent citizens of Ukraine. We place the people of Ukraine under the protection of the Holy Family, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the Most Holy Mother of God and ever-virgin Mary, and the holy and righteous St Joseph the Betrothed.

Pastoral letter from the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of York

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not let them be afraid. John 14.27
Many of us will have troubled hearts as we watch with horror the attack by Russia on Ukraine. This attack is an act of evil, imperilling as it does the relative peace and security that Europe has enjoyed for so long. The attack by one nation on a free, democratic country has rightly provoked outrage, sanctions and condemnation.
We lament with the people of Ukraine, and we pray for the innocent, the frightened and those who have lost loved ones, homes, and family.
We continue to call for a ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian forces as well as wide-ranging efforts to ensure peace, stability and security.
These events remind us powerfully that peace is precious and it is fragile. In Chapter 14 of John’s Gospel, Jesus speaks to his disciples at the Last Supper and he leaves them his peace. This is not a mere greeting, but rather something deep and abiding. This peace is something that only Jesus gives; for it is a gratuitous gift, a way of living, something to be received for the gift of peace is the gift of Jesus himself. That is why the Lord is able to offer reassurance to our hearts, why those who receive the gift of the peace of Jesus Christ at the deepest of levels should not be afraid.
Peace, therefore, is so much more than the absence of war. It is a gift, and it is also a decision, a gift that must be received. It is a choice we make that shapes the way we live well alongside each other. It characterises our relationship with God. It comes into being by seeking justice.
In these days of uncertainty and fear, we pray that each of us might again turn to the Lord and receive God’s gift of peace, work for God’s justice, know God’s reconciliation and love, and choose paths not of hatred or destruction, of violence or retribution, but God’s way of justice, mercy and peace.
As Christians, our response to a crisis must always be rooted in prayer. And so we invite you to join with us in praying most earnestly for an outpouring of the Spirit of God, that the world may once again choose peace, strengthening those international bodies that enable us to work and live together as one humanity inhabiting one world.

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.

From the Archbishops of Canterbury and York
The Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby,
The Most Revd and Rt Hon Stephen Cottrell

United Reformed Church

Holy God,
We hold before you all who live close to war and conflict; and all who live close to the threat of war and violence. We remember especially at this time, people in Ukraine and Russia. We pray for nonviolence and peaceful resolutions of conflict.
Give us hearts of hospitality and sanctuary, forgive us all our hostility and hatred.
Bring all people to the humanity you give us, and to the reconciliation and healing for which you gave your life. Strengthen us all to work with you to build justice and peace, reconciliation and healing, in our hearts and homes, in our streets, in all communities, neighbourhoods and nations. Bless all who live lives for the peace and wellbeing of others, and make their service fruitful.
In the name of Christ.

(Revd Inderjit Bhogal, Honorary President, The Fellowship of Reconciliation