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Struggle in Ukraine Prompts Calls for Prayer

Pray For UkraineAs the crisis in Ukraine continues to escalate, calls for prayer continue to resound.

"We need to encourage all Christians around the globe to pray for Ukraine and Crimea,” remarked Viktor Hamm, the Vice President of Crusades for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA).

More specifically, “that believers would be strengthened in their faith, that churches would not be divided along ethnic lines, that the country would be preserved as a whole, since it has the strongest evangelical witness in Europe,” he added in a BGEA report this week.

Hamm arrived in Kiev, Ukraine, Monday in the midst of an escalating crisis that has grabbed the attention of the world. Born inside an infamous Soviet labor camp in what is now northwest Russia, Hamm returned to Ukraine to encourage the many churches affected by the violent uprisings that have taken place in the country.

“My visit to Ukraine is to show BGEA support to the churches and encourage church leaders to focus on Kingdom goals even in this tragic hour,” he said.

Last week, BGEA President Franklin Graham twice took to Facebook to ask for prayer, stating that he was "saddened" to see the violence escalate in Ukraine - a part of the world that he said "has a very special place in my heart."

"Pray for peace for this troubled region and for the innocent civilians caught in the turmoil," he urged before citing Matthew 5:9, which states, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”

On Wednesday, Christians everywhere were encouraged to pause or gather to pray at 12:00 noon for a peaceful resolution to the crisis in Ukraine. Prayer topics included:

  • that the evil powers of aggression and self-interest be restrained.
  • that the leaders of Ukraine and Russia would restrain themselves from aggressive actions and decisions.
  • that they would have humility and respect, and find grounds to compromise.
  • for our Christian brothers and sisters.
  • for the church leaders.
  • for the hundreds of missionaries.
  • for the vulnerable - especially children and the elderly.
  • for Ukraine's economic crisis - bankers, business leaders, small business professionals - because the banks are limiting withdrawals, and workers are not being paid.
  • for world leaders to act courageously, wisely, and decisively.

Adding to that, the leader of TWR’s partner organization in Ukraine specified several concerns for TWR supporters and other Christians around the world to keep in mind as they pray, namely that they:

  • ask God to bring peace to the confrontation and bloodshed in the country.
  • ask God to give wisdom to politicians responsible for resolving the contentious issues.
  • ask God to awaken an interest in people to seek Christ as a result of these events.
  • ask God to send the spirit of forgiveness to Ukrainian believers and prevent the exacting of revenge.

According to a report last week from that leader, evangelical churches are united in an around-the-clock intercessory prayer vigil for their country.

In another report, shared through Life Outreach International, missionary Jim McCann said, "We can feel the strength and encouragement of prayers from our brothers and sisters in Christ. And we are filled with God's perfect peace, which passes all understanding."

"The battle is not over yet," he continued. "But when we pray with faith, the battle is definitely the Lord's, who has promised to always lead us to victory in Christ Jesus."

According to Life Outreach International, the ministry's LIFE Centers in Ukraine have been providing a safe haven for children.

Also operating in Ukraine is FEBC, which has been broadcasting its programs in five regions of Ukraine for almost two decades, with an estimated audience of three million people. Over a year ago, FEBC opened its first station in Eastern Ukraine, reaching a potential audience of more than a million.

 

Published: March 6, 2014

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