Over the past week many of us have struggled for words and a way to pray as news continues to break of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Gratefully, the Hope Congregation and the wider Dominican Family have provided a range of resources for prayer for our brothers and sisters in Ukraine.  They’re consolidated below for easy reference. Hopefully one (or more) speaks to you!

Sr. Debbie Blow, OP shared “A Powerful Prayer for Ukraine” from Crosswalk:

[God],

We thank you that in every situation, every dark moment, you are active and working among us. Even when things seem at their bleakest, we trust in your sovereignty and strength.   In John 16:33 you said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” We embrace the fact that this world and the troubles we face in it have been overcome, and rest in the knowledge that you have the power to move in any and every situation.

 As we watch war unfold in Ukraine, we ask for your grace and peace to rule in the hearts and minds of all involved.

 We Pray for the People of Ukraine

God, we pray fervently for the people of Ukraine. The situation they now face is not a new one. The name Ukraine translates to “borderland,” and this nation has been viewed for centuries as just that – a bordering land waiting to be conquered. This nation and its people have seen struggles with Russia for a century, and over 13,000 have already died in the small-scale war that has been raging in the southwestern area of Ukraine since 2014.  They are a resilient people who live in a volatile area of the world that has seen regular war and upheaval. Yet Jesus walked the earth in a similar part of the world, plagued by oppression and a ruthless empire. Your word promises in Isaiah 26:3 that, “you keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”  We ask that the people of Ukraine may be safe, secure, and that they would know not only peace of earth but your true and unwavering peace.   

For some of us, advocacy is a form of prayer. If that’s true for you, the Dominican Sisters of Hope posted a statement opposing the war and calling on world leaders to promote non-violent alternatives to the conflict.

On February 27, Pope Francis called for believers and non-believers alike to make Ash Wednesday a day of prayer for peace in Ukraine, and Sr. Connie Kelly shared the full text of his address from St. Peter’s Square:

“In recent days we have been shaken by something tragic: war. Time and again we have prayed that this road would not be taken. And let us not stop talking; indeed, let us pray to God more intensely. For this reason, I renew to all the invitation to make 2 March, Ash Wednesday, a day of prayer and fasting for peace in Ukraine. A day to be close to the sufferings of the Ukrainian people, to feel that we are all brothers and sisters, and to implore of God the end of the war.

“Those who wage war forget humanity. They do not start from the people, they do not look at the real life of people, but place partisan interests and power before all else. They trust in the diabolical and perverse logic of weapons, which is the furthest from the logic of God. And they distance themselves from ordinary people, who want peace, and who – the ordinary people – are the real victims in every conflict, who pay for the follies of war with their own skin. I think of the elderly, of those who seek refuge in these times, of mothers fleeing with their children… They are brothers and sisters for whom it is urgent to open humanitarian corridors, and who must be welcomed. With a heart broken by what is happening in Ukraine – and let us not forget the wars in other parts of the world, such as Yemen, Syria, Ethiopia… – I repeat: put down your weapons! God is with the peacemakers, not with those who use violence. Because those who love peace, as the Italian Constitution states, “reject war as an instrument of aggression against the freedom of other peoples and as a means for the settlement of international disputes.”

Sr. Mary Feigen also shared a Prayer of Peace from the School Sisters of Notre Dame:
O God, you are the source of life and peace. Praised be your name forever.
We know it is you who turns our minds to thoughts of peace in this time of war. We pray that enemies begin to speak to one another; that those who are estranged join hands in friendship; that nations seek the way of PEACE.

Strengthen our resolve to give witness to these truths by the way we live. Give to us: understanding that puts an end to strife; mercy that quenches hatred; and forgiveness that overcomes vengeance. Empower all people to live your law of LOVE.

The Master General of the Dominican Order has also called for prayer for the people of Ukraine as well as Russia, encouraging us to call on the “Dominican Family, who are now part of the Communion of Saints.

 

MO Call to Prayer for Peace.EN_

 

The “Oranta” or Praying Madonna icon is in the sanctuary of St. Sophia Church in Kyiv, Ukraine. She prays with extended hands for the well-being of the people. Above the head the inscription in Greek reads: “God is in the midst thereof, she shall not be moved. God helps her day by day.”