“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you” (John 14:27)
“Let’s keep on praying!” “Let’s remain united in prayer!” “Shalom Ukraine!” These were some of the moving salutations that many persons shared following the prayers held on 2nd March for peace in Ukraine.
People from more than 1,000 places joined the brothers and sisters of Ukraine in prayer through a digital communication link. They connected from Germany, Holland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, South Africa, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, France, Northern Ireland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Italy and Israel.
The relationship was mutual: the latter shared their experiences and fears, but also the courage of the brothers and sisters in Kiev, Lviv and other regions of Ukraine – and, at the same time, their European brothers and sisters joined them in prayer to show them and clearly state: You are not alone, and may God grant us peace!
The invitation for this virtual prayer ‘meeting’ was issued by the network Together for Europe. However, it was immediately clear that these prayers had to be held on a wider base. In fact, many other networks joined in and took an active part; one such network was the Evangelische Allianz Deutschland that made available the digital platform.
During the prayer ‘meeting’, there were various inputs from Ukraine and Russia; once again, it was important to listen and to beseech God’s mercy, because only this can make up for our lack of words.
The words spoken were essential and the shared experiences quite impressive. Miroslav e Viktor strongly pointed out that what their Country needed was the wisdom of Nehemiah (See Book of Nehemiah Ch. 1-6). In one hand he held the defence weapon, while in the other he rebuilt the city. They both sustained that the war in Ukraine has awakened the body of God from its sleep – it was awakened to the reality of God in a battle that is concrete as well as spiritual.
These phrases were saturated with experience. They were illustrated with stories of the families that they both had to take to a safe place, and, while worrying about them, they opted to remain in Ukraine. They spoke about their experiences of responding to attack warnings; indeed, such warnings sounded while they were praying, and this meant that several brothers and sisters had to leave the prayer meeting and find some shelter. They made us aware that other brothers and sisters were at the moment fleeing or crowded in bunkers – or that they did not dare anymore use internet; or simply, words fail them when it comes to describe what they are going through.
Aware of this reality, a lot of persons joined in prayer in the name of Jesus; they prayed a moving bidding prayer together with the brothers and sisters in Ukraine and shared their worries also with the chat. It was a wave of powerful prayer. Together for Europe became a concrete and powerful reality.
At the end, the appeal was a clear one: let’s keep on praying! And: in keeping on praying we are all strengthened, because, after all, prayer benefits all of us.
The friends from Austria immediately accepted this invitation:
On Wednesday 9 March from 19-20.30 (CET).
we will continue to pray in a digital meeting (in German and English).
Sr. Nicole Grochowina