by Janine Schenone on March 24, 2022
Many people in my life, including church members, have been sharing with me their anguish about the attack upon Ukraine. I am right there with you. It is very hard to watch war in any circumstance, and especially when an intimidating superpower attempts to overtake a neighboring nation.
Like many of you, I have been praying fervently for an end to this war and for the safety of Ukrainians. I want to emphasize for anyone who is feeling overwhelmed that prayer works, in all circumstances, even if not in the way we expect or want. Did our prayers stop the invasion from happening? Nyet. Did they prevent loss of life? Nyet. Did they stop the war? Nyet.
Or rather Not yet. Not yet. Not yet. Many military analysts have been impressed with the Ukrainian military’s ability to hold back the overpowering Russian military, and that to me is a sign that prayer works. It’s also possible that our prayers have prevented greater loss of life. Our prayers may have provided a protective cover for refugees to make their way to safe borders.
Prayer works in other ways, too. It galvanizes our will to avoid other wars at all costs, for one. It inspires our generous gifts to refugees both near and far. It also reminds us to be grateful for our relative safety and security.
So I’m going to keep praying for an end to COVID, an end to this war, for job security and a slowing of inflation. Yes, these are big orders, but God can take them. And Jesus reminds us to persist in prayer always (Luke 18:1) with the sure faith that God will help us.