Dear brothers and sisters at Christ Church,
Many of us have been shocked and saddened by the turn of events in Eastern Europe this week. War is always an awful thing and we are seeing not only horrific suffering for the people of Ukraine right now, but also great uncertainty about potential consequences – political, economic and more – much further afield. In some ways it all seems a long way away, but global connections are of course now so complex and intricate that many of us are likely to feel deeply anxious.
As Christian believers, we will naturally want to commit to the Lord all parties involved in this conflict, not least our brothers and sisters in Christ in Ukraine right now. But the situation is changing by the hour, so the precise prayers we pray will therefore likely develop as the days go by.
What I offer here, then, is not a list of specific prayer points, but a selection of 8 New Testament prayers (or exhortations to prayer) which may serve as a model and inspiration for our own prayers right through the days of this conflict, however things unfold. You may like to set aside some time today, over the weekend and repeatedly in the coming weeks to pray through these verses.
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1-4)
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus… And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:3-11)
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:5)
And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ… (Colossians 4:2)
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:6-7)
Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13:20-21)
For the return of Christ
Come, Lord Jesus (Revelation 22:20)