Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | March 2, 2022

Praying for Ukraine

I first visited Ukraine in 1995. I accompanied my mentor, the late Dr. Rudy Hernandez, to assist with televised evangelistic meetings broadcast from the opera house in Donetsk. What I witnessed that week made a profound impression on me.

The people I met were gracious and received us with open arms. During the course of our two-week stay, we recorded thousands of decisions for Christ. We also gave away thousands of copies of the Bible to individuals who had never owned nor read any part of Scripture.

That was the first of three trips I made to Ukraine. Each of those trips resulted in many Ukrainians embracing Christ for salvation. On my final trip there, I was privileged to lodge with a family of nine who cared for me as one of their own. I have nothing but fond memories of my time with the Ukrainian people.

After 8 years of ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Russia launched a large-scale invasion of its neighbor on February 24. As the rockets began to fly, families began to flee for safety. Fathers bid tearful farewells to their loved ones as they stayed behind to defend their homeland.

And now, the world is watching the painful conflict escalate and unfold.The second psalm in the Old Testament speaks about the nations raging and the wars that result when kings of the earth take their stand against one another — and against the Lord. People, it seems, can’t seem to live without engaging in some kind of conflict.

One of the characters in War and Peace, the internationally praised classic by Russian author Leo Tolstoy, lamented:

“I don’t understand, I decidedly do not understand, why men can’t live without war. You would think that humanity has forgotten the laws of its divine Savior, who preached love and the forgiveness of transgressions, and that it finds its greatest merit in the art of mutual killing.”

And because we can’t live without war, and because of what is happening in Ukraine, untold numbers will die, families will be forever shattered, promising futures will be extinguished, and millions will breathe the suffocating dust of war until it chokes the life out of them. And then, perhaps, things will settle for a while, and then history will repeat itself.

By some estimates, the current conflict in Ukraine may result in as many as 5 million displaced people, creating a catastrophic humanitarian crisis. This week, our Kingsland family has responded by sending financial aid through our international network to address humanitarian needs among the people of Ukraine.

Addressing humanitarian needs is extremely important. Displaced families will need food, water, shelter, clothing, sanitation and hygiene supplies. The need for these items will only increase exponentially in the coming days and weeks. We are monitoring the situation through our partners and will continue to respond accordingly.

In the meantime, we should remember to pray daily for the people of Ukraine. I formulated the following outline to guide my own prayers and hope it will help you as you pray.

U = Understanding | Take the time to look at a map of the world and note where Ukraine is located. Look at the surrounding nations that will also be impacted by what is happening. Remember that all of these nations are inhabited by people in need of the hope that no government can ever give.

K = Kingdom | Pray for the many Christians in Ukraine who are a part of the kingdom of God. Pray also that God would draw many to Himself through this conflict. Pray that Ukrainians and Russians would discover that Jesus is the only true source of peace, safety, comfort, truth and freedom.

R = Resources | Those presently helping displaced Ukrainians will need resources to meet the demands of providing comfort and care. Pray that those resources will reach aid workers and responding organizations. And then pray with your hands by sending a gift to an organization that is helping meet practical needs.

A = Administration | Please pray for Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the President of Ukraine, and his administration. Pray for their safety and for the wisdom that will guide them to make courageous decisions to protect their people. Pray also for those in Vladimir Putin’s administration and circle of influence who are not in agreement with the decision to invade Ukraine. Pray for them to have the courage to voice their concerns to him, even though at great risk.

I = Ideologies | War is driven by ideologies — by worldviews that either acknowledge or ignore the existence of a God who created us in His image. Ideologies have consequences. Bad ideologies have victims. Pray for a biblical understanding of the sanctity of human life to prevail and to drive away impoverished ideologies that do not value life.

N = Needs | Some in Ukraine have already experienced the pain of loss in the first few days of the conflict — both of possessions and loved ones. Pray for those who mourn. Ask God to comfort those who have suffered loss and to supply their needs. Pray for the elderly and the orphans who are among the most vulnerable.

E = Expect | Pray with a sense of expectancy. Pray the way David did in Psalm 5:3:
In the morning, O Lord,
Thou wilt hear my voice:
In the morning I will order
my prayer to Thee and eagerly watch.
Expect God to do what we cannot do in places we cannot go in ways we cannot imagine. God is there, in the midst of it all, already at work.


  1. Thanks for this great article .

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