A collection of prayer resources for ongoing conflict in Ukraine
Pope Francis’s appeal for day of prayer on Ash Wednesday
My heart aches greatly at the worsening situation in Ukraine. Despite the diplomatic efforts of the last few weeks, increasingly alarming scenarios are opening up. Like me, many people all over the world are feeling anguish and concern. Once again the peace of all is threatened by partisan interests. I would like to appeal to those with political responsibility to examine their consciences seriously before God, who is the God of peace and not of war; who is the Father of all, not just of some, who wants us to be brothers and not enemies. I pray that all the parties involved refrain from any action that would cause even more suffering to the people, destabilising coexistence between nations and bringing international law into disrepute.
And now I would like to appeal to everyone, believers and non-believers alike. Jesus taught us that the diabolical senselessness of violence is answered with God’s weapons, with prayer and fasting. I invite everyone to make next 2 March, Ash Wednesday, a Day of Fasting for Peace. I encourage believers in a special way to dedicate themselves intensely to prayer and fasting on that day. May the Queen of Peace preserve the world from the madness of war.
Downloadable text for prayer vigil
A prayer for Ukraine
We pray for the people of Ukraine,
for all those suffering or afraid,
that you will be close to them and protect them.
We pray for world leaders,
for compassion, strength and wisdom to guide their choices.
We pray for the world
that in this moment of crisis,
we may reach out in solidarity
to our brothers and sisters in need.
May we walk in your ways
so that peace and justice
become a reality for the people of Ukraine
and for all the world.
In this time of crisis
Reflection from Cardinal Nichols day of Prayer held on 26 January 2022
This evening we’ve celebrated prayer here in the Ukrainian Cathedral in central London for peace in Ukraine. This short service, just half-an-hour, was broadcast throughout the world as part of a call by the Ukrainian Church and by Pope Francis for people to pray for 24 hours for peace in Ukraine. So we’ve been part of a linked prayer – a chain of prayer – all around the world, and it’s important that we sustain that.
I ask you sincerely to pray for peace in Ukraine. The situation, as everybody knows, is very delicate – very fragile. There are daily efforts, as I gather from the conversations here, to try and ensure that what is a brittle situation does not break out into armed conflict.
We heard this evening from the Metropolitan Archbishop, the Ukrainian Archbishop from Philadelphia, who is here in London for a few days, that the prospect of war is a prospect that breaks the very foundation, reality and hopes of our human family, which is made in the image and likeness of God, which is to be one family destined for the peace of heaven.
So we pray that what is a very difficult situation does not break out into armed conflict. The invitation to prayer this evening was very moving, based on the martyrs – the Ukrainian martyrs who were beatified by Pope St. John Paul II on a visit to Ukraine. Those martyrs gave their lives for the visible unity of the Church.
Of course, the unity of the Church is a sign and a Sacrament of the unity of the human family, and that unity is broken wherever there is warfare. At the moment, that frontier between Russia and Ukraine is a place of great danger. My prayer this evening was especially for the people of the Ukraine, who feel now that great armies are massing at their borders. But my prayer was also for those who are involved in negotiations – both directly with Russia and in the negotiations that are taking place between allies in Europe and across the Western world.
We pray for each other no matter which side of these conflicts we’re on, because conflict is always a failure, and it’s a failure that is deeply destructive, as this country knows. Tragically, conflict erupts in many places even now as we speak. So the duty to pray for peace is one of the first flowerings of a love of God and an ability to see the world through the eyes of God.
As we end this reflection, I give again the blessing that I gave at the end of the service of prayer.
May God, our Merciful Father, look with kindness on our broken world in which there is so much conflict.
May God, our Merciful Father, give wisdom to those who are trying to sustain, protect and build peace through negotiation and diplomacy,
and may God bless us all in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
More resources from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales
Archbishop of Canterbury Prayer for Ukraine
God of peace and justice,
we pray for the people of Ukraine today.
We pray for peace and the laying down of weapons.
We pray for all those who fear for tomorrow,
that your Spirit of comfort would draw near to them.
We pray for those with power over war or peace.
for wisdom, discernment and compassion to guide their decisions.
Above all, we pray for all your precious children, at risk and in fear,
that you would hold and protect them.
We pray in the name of Jesus, the Prince of peace.
Archbishop Justin Welby
Archbishop Stephen Cottrell
Russian Orthodox Church, Cardiff
O Lord Jesus Christ our God, look down with Thy merciful eye upon the sorrow and greatly-painful cry of Thy children, abiding in the Ukrainian land.
Deliver Thy people from civil strife, make to cease the spilling of blood, and turn back the misfortunes set against them. Lead unto sanctuary those bereft of shelter, feed the hungry, comfort those who weep, and unite the divided.
Leave not Thine own flock, who abide in sorrows on account of their kinsmen, to diminish, but rather, as Thou art benevolent, give speedy reconciliation. Soften the hearts of the unmerciful and convert them to the knowledge of Thee. Grant peace to Thy Church and to Her children, that with one heart and one mouth we may glorify Thee, our Lord and Saviour, unto the ages of ages. Amen.
A prayer for Ukraine
Holy and Gracious God
We pray for the people of the Ukraine and the people of Russia; for their countries and their leaders.
We pray for all those who are afraid; that your everlasting arms hold them in this time of great fear.
We pray for all those who have the power over life and death; that they will choose for all people life, and life in all its fullness.
We pray for those who choose war; that they will remember that you direct your people to turn our swords into ploughshares and seek for peace.
We pray for leaders on the world stage; that they are inspired by the wisdom and courage of Christ.
Above all, Lord, today we pray for peace for Ukraine.
And we ask this in the name of your blessed Son.
Lord have mercy.
Church of Scotland
A prayer for Ukraine:
The news can be difficult to listen to and to read.
When that news relates to faces we know
And to voices familiar to us,
It becomes all the harder to hear.
We ask you to hold the people of Ukraine deep in your heart.
Protect them, we pray;
From political gamesmanship,
from being used and abused.
Give, we pray,
the nations of the world the courage
and the wisdom
to stand up for justice
and the courage too,
to dare to care – generously.
Lord in your mercy,
Take from us all,
The tendencies in us
That seek to lord it over others:
Take from us those traits
that see us pursuing our own needs and wants
before those of others.
Teach us how to live in love
And respect – following your example.
In your name and for your sake,
With thanks to the Archdiocese of Liverpool for collating these resources.