A Prayer for Ukraine and Russia

Heavenly Father, hear our prayers for our brothers and sisters in Ukraine and Russia.

Lord we ask for peace for those who need peace, reconciliation for those who need reconciliation and comfort for all who don’t know what tomorrow will bring. Lord may your Kingdom come, and Your will be done. 

Lord God, we ask for you to be with all – especially children who are suffering as the crisis in Ukraine deteriorates. Lord for those who are anxious and fearful. For those who are bereaved, injured or who have lost their lives. And for those who have lost loved ones. Lord hear our prayers. 

Lord, we ask that decisions makers hear Your voice. Parents protecting their families – deciding whether to stay or leave. Church leaders as they support and comfort people. And Lord we ask for wise actions from global leaders – who have the power not only to start wars, but to stop them too.  

And Father God we cry out for an end to this crisis. We pray for all your children, both Ukrainian and Russian, for there are no winners in war. We pray for mercy, peace, and truth – because You are light, hope, power, and love. Amen. 

To children ardent for some desperate glory –

Dulce et Decorum est by Wilfred Owen

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.
Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime. . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.

Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori, which is a line taken from the latin odes of the Roman poet Horace, means it is sweet and proper to die for one’s country. Wilfred Owen takes the opposite stance.

WILFRED OWEN 1893 – 1918

In June 1917, Wilfred Owen was wounded and sent home. He returned to France in August 1918 as a company commander. He was awarded the Military Cross in October and was killed a week before Armistice Day, at the age of 25.

In These Times . . .

“there may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” – elie wiesel

oppression is not beyond us.  yes, as elie wiesel says, there are many injustices we can never prevent.  but we can always, always, always try.  we can protest, use our voices, vote with our feet, allow ourselves to feel others pain instead of ignoring it, refuse to distance ourselves from the plight of the afflicted, fight the tide of indifference. ” -Kathy Escobar

A Litany For Peace

Thich Nhat Hanh

As we are together praying for Peace, let us be truly with each other.
Silence
Let us pay attention to our breathing.
Silence
Let us be relaxed in our bodies and our minds.
Silence
Let us return to ourselves and become wholly ourselves.
Silence
Let us be aware of the Source of Being common to us all and to all that is.
Silence
Evoking the presence of the Great Compassion, let us fill our hearts with our own compassion—towards ourselves and toward all living beings.
Silence
Let us pray that all living beings realize that they are all nourished from the same Source of Life.
Silence
Let us pray that we ourselves cease to be the cause of needless suffering.
Silence
Let us pray that we may live in a way which will not needlessly deprive other living beings of air, water, food, shelter, or the chance to live in health.
Silence
With reverence for Life and with awareness of the sufferings that are going on around us, let us pray for the establishment of peace in our hearts and on earth.