More pointers for prayer concerning Russia’s war with Ukraine

Dec 16, 2022 | Flashpoints, PRAY, Prayer Focus for the Nations, Ukraine, Watchmen for Russia

When we heard recently, that major preparations were being made in Russia for an all-out bombing attack on Ukraine, we prayed that it would be hindered before it was even mounted. After all, the best time to attack a plane is when it is on a runway!

As you will have heard, Ukraine launched homemade drone attacks on airfields deep inside Russia, successfully damaging at least two planes. This was surely troubling to the Russian Air Force, which has suffered the loss of many planes and helicopters and to the morale of Russian leaders generally. But as we know from only too much past experiences, Putin will be looking to find ways to extract revenge.

Having spoken with several people in the last couple of weeks who surprised me by seeing things very firmly from Putin’s perspective, we cannot but be aware that people see – and no doubt pray – from deeply contrasting perspectives. Many of us will heartily agree with Frank Ledwidge, who features in this estimation of the drone attack on Russian airfields.

In an article in The Guardian, Ledwidge quotes the occasion back in 1941, when Britain was standing alone against the Nazi regime, that Churchill pleaded with the US: ‘Give us the tools and we will finish the job. His powerfully worded argument is that Zelensky is making the same request of Europe and that we must not fail to honour it.

In the verse immediately preceding the wonderful promise in Isaiah 9 of the birth of a child who will be the Wonderful Counsellor and the Prince of Peace, and on whose shoulders will sit the government, there comes a strong declaration that ‘Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire.’ (Is. B9:5) the (literal) Jubilee Bible 2000 translates this, ‘For every battle of him who fights is with shaking of the earth and the rolling of garments in blood; but this shall be with burning and consuming of fire’, whilst the Voice renders it like this: ‘It’s true. All the fabric of war will go up in flames: the troops’ heavy boots that stamped us down and their blood-soaked garb Will all be burned beyond recognition or use. There will be a new time, a fresh start.’

This passage reminded me of the great end time battle of Ezekiel 39:9-16, in which the Lord brings Gog against His peaceful people, but then destroys him and all his weaponry with him, and inasmuch as it is common for intercessors to sense the Lord directing them to particular verses of Scripture, I think it would be entirely legitimate, given the way things have worked out in Ukraine in this past year of conflict, to marvel that so much of Putin’s seemingly all but endless supplies of ammunition and tanks and other armaments, of which he has made such an idol, is being effectively reduced to nothing but scrap metal. If so, we can truly say with Isaiah that it is ‘The zeal of the Lord of hosts that has performed this.’ (Is. 9:2, 6-7)

Others, equally keen for the war to be brought to an end, find it impossible to condone supplying the means to kill people on either side of the dispute, with all that means for their eternal destiny. How do we square these extremes? Especially when we gather together for prayer, how do we say amen to prayers that cut right across the grain for us?

It is far more important to bring matters before the Kings of King on whose shoulders the government finally rests, than to argue and lean too heavily on behalf of our own beliefs and perspectives.

I do believe that America’s stance concerning the war remains important. Many Americans are reluctant for their country to remain so heavily involved, especially in the aftermath of the prolonged Afghanistan debacle, and as a result of the very different attitudes espoused by certain of the newly elected Republicans in Congress – whose voices are likely to be out of proportion to their numbers due to the narrow Republican majority. This too is an important matter to bring before the Lord.

You will remember, too, the article we published near the beginning of the conflict concerning the role that ‘Generals Mud and Winter’ would play in the conflict. With temperatures expected to fall sometime soon to below minus 20, and the ground to freeze over, making it easier for armour vehicles to operate, this continues to be an important factor in this dreadful conflict.

Father, we give You the country of Ukraine, and the huge shock waves that continue to spread out from this conflict. We acknowledge with sadness that there are Fascist factions in Ukraine, and that corruption has been rife there, making it, until very recently the second most corrupt country in Europe after Russia itself. But You have many of Your people there, Lord, and we believe that You are wanting to protect it from the constant and unprovoked attacks it has been subject to. Stretch out Your hand afresh we pray to protect Ukraine – and particularly its energy supplies – from deadly assault, now that Russia appears to be receiving further supplies of advanced drones from Iran: a partnership that feels made in hell.

Years ago, George Bush spoke of an ‘axis of evil’ between Iran, Iraq and North Korea. Substitute now Russia for Iraq, and we pray that You will divide this ill-founded unity for the well-being of the world, Lord. Continue, too, to be at work in the hearts of all concerned nations to inspire and coordinate their response and so give Ukraine the tools it needs to protect itself.

We pray for the misfiring of missiles and for divine checks to restrict the movements of the huge fleet of TU bombers that the Russians have assembled in readiness for a vast airborne strike. We continue to pray for preservation of vital military and energy supplies, relief for the utterly traumatised victims who have suffered bereavement, or the loss of their homes, or both.

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