Ukrainian Prayer Service

from Psalm 59 in Ukrainian and English

I never felt more close to the Ukrainian people than when I was at the prayer service where they organized and brought together dozens of Ukrainian churches. Thousand people nearly, maybe more? PACKED. Well dressed and somber spoken. Prayerful and passionate. Loving and Longing for peace.

There is no weapon more powerful than prayer, both the local Ukrainian leader and the many pastors stated.

It was a packed house. I slipped into a seemingly empty row, middle back, but then realized and slid to the middle of the pew, because the first band who came off stage was to sit there. Cool, I was “with the band”. Holy Spirit cool too as I bumped into the same band leaving, with too much to carry and grabbed gear to help bring to their car. We can’t all be in the band but we can all be “roadies” of real support.

I was blessed to sing with these thousand folks all, as they put up lyrics in both languages and WOW the singing gave me chills, especially when the 50 choir members took the stage, their music so beautiful, harmonious and strong, CHILLS… We were all blessed to be knowing that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, and how many churches come together and strengthen their brothers and sisters. And for me an opportunity to put aside my small life concerns to pray for other whole life situations.

Prayers were collective and they asked for small group prayers as we naturally divided into groups of five, without moving seats. That was something so powerful to witness and participate in. It was a spirit-moving event AND our lips and hearts moving too, plus the second prayer time, they asked you to gather with a new five people. Then each person spoke in English or Ukrainian in prayers in the circle. I prayed for the blood of Jesus to cover us all. 

The amazing power of collective prayer is experiencing how it is said prayers rise to God as incense rises (from the book of Revelation, as my band seat mate spoke of). The collective power of prayer this night prayed for God to bring us peace from bloodshed, for strength for medics firefighters soldiers, for the Ukrainian president and also for repentance of the Russian aggressors. 

We all prayed with passion. So I don’t think my ears have ever heard something like that few hundred circles of whispered prayers – like standing in a forest fire of incense rising. It was so cool and so inspiring and warm. There was one circle of older folks still standing that when we sat they continued prayers for a couple minutes and I watched a shaking teary older woman and the support next to her and in the room. What I also watched was how young people were watching their elders and each other in prayer. That’s something we rarely see these days, a packed house of prayer of all generations. 

About 40 to 50 pastors were in attendance and some did come read scriptures throughout, with translations posted. Then at the closing prayer about five gave prayerful pleas.

During the service, we had a live video link to a Ukrainian pastor in an Ukrainian “safe spot” where he was continuing to help those people including his adopted church kids and family members. (We had amazing translators throughout – translating the speeches but not the prayers). He described funerals and people telling him of the bodies found. His prayers were so tearful and his strength so holy-inspired.  The unfairness of it all resonates greatly, yet the prayerfulness of the Ukrainians shows the strength, resilience, resistance to evil, and power of “DON’T EVEN THINK DARKNESS COULD OVERCOME LIGHT” 

Next to me on my left was a soft-spoken man who just brought in his nephew from Ukraine yesterday. Behind me the gentleman was bringing his sister from Ukraine thru Mexico. The band member on my right, who works in a similar industry to mine (small world), he may take time to fly to be a translator for refugees. I honestly don’t know how many refugees are coming, but I know it will mirror with incredible hope and separation sorrow like my great grandparents trip to America from Eastern Europe. Likewise I know these communities are opening loving homes, wallets, and HOPE. 

As we left, they shared Ukrainian chocolates in the cafe. A display of floral headband, intricate embroidery, delicate Ukrainian easter egg. The chocolate amazing, yet the greatest sweetness for me was seeing the families together. The sweetness was knowing Jesus in all of them gathered and feeling their spirits. The sweetness of chocolate reminds us of the after-death sweetness of eternal life. 

I felt that in closing the Ukraninan-spoken prayers of one pastor were so passionate to be tear-bringing, but when the crowd stood to sing a Ukrainian prayer love unity song, I could see the SPIRIT rise stronger than the tears.

Sweeter than anything is knowing God is saying: LET LIGHT SHINE. 

God bless Ukraine’s LIGHT. 

Amen Amen 


Psalm 59 – English Standard Version

Deliver Me from My Enemies

To the choirmaster: according to Do Not Destroy. A Miktam of David, when Saul sent men to watch his house in order to kill him.

Deliver me from my enemies, O my God;  protect me from those who rise up against me; deliver me from those who work evil, and save me from bloodthirsty men. For behold, they lie in wait for my life; fierce men stir up strife against me. For no transgression or sin of mine, O Lord, for no fault of mine, they run and make ready. Awake, come to meet me, and see! You, Lord God of hosts, are God of Israel. Rouse yourself to punish all the nations; spare none of those who treacherously plot evil. Selah

Ukranian Ribbons, Egg, Chocolate

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