Prayer for Lent, Easter and Ukraine
I come to you with a heavy heart Lord, and perhaps that's partly because there are things going on in my own life which are difficult to deal with - a change in career, the loss of a job, the death of a family member or friend, domestic abuse of one kind or another, depression or other health issues. So please hear my cries for help which come from the depths of my being, looking to you for guidance and for healing.
But my heart is heavy also because I see on my television screen what human beings are capable of doing to other human beings. We are are truly appalled at the invasion of Ukraine by Russia - the mindless destruction of major cities and infrastructure, the death of innocent people, the huge numbers of refugees having to seek shelter in Poland, Hungary and other neighbouring countries. Thanks for those, individuals and nations, who are doing all they can to relieve this suffering.
I pray today for peace, and a speedy resolution to all that is going on in that area of the world.
In this Season of Lent and Easter, as we contemplate the life and the teaching, and the death and resurrection of Jesus .... we come across precisely the same issues - jealousy, anger and manipulation by the powerful, dishonesty, mindless torture, the death of the innocent, mindless masses who are simply spoiling for a fight or the smell of blood, fearful and weak friends who simply fall away when the test really comes and the pressure is on.
And yet, we are told that Jesus, naturally unsure at first (Father, if it be thy will, take this cup from me.) goes through all this to show us something of the depth of God's love for all people everywhere.
So I cannot escape this Lord - for me, for Ukraine and indeed other countries at this time too, and for Jesus, the world sometimes only seems to offer pain and death.
But the Easter message reminds me not to give up! Suffering and death are defeated. The tomb is empty. The Lord is risen! This is the way that leads to life.
Help me today Lord, whatever the challenges I am facing, not to give up, but rather to be open to the new life you want to give me.
Help Ukraine, Lord .... may there be an end to bombing, may peace talks continue, and may there be a resolution to this dreadful conflict, and a determination by friendly nations to help rebuild this country.
I offer my prayer in the name of the risen Lord Jesus,