A Prayer for the Russian People

Today I pray for the people of Russia, passive victims of a sociopathic leader, taken into war without their voices and opinions being considered, lacking full knowledge or with the benefit of a factual and free press we pray.

Lord have mercy.

For a nation whose history is replete with czars, dictators and authoritarians, who have crushed dissent, stolen her wealth, compromised her people’s trust and repelled her Christian heritage unless it bow the knee to the idols.

Lord have mercy.

For mothers and grandmothers, whose young sons have been sent on a mission of bloodshed against kinsmen for no rational reason, who shell schools and synagogues and hospitals to assuage the egotism of a despot pursuing a delusional past.

Lord have mercy.

For people suffering hunger, deprivation and financial ruin for nothing better than stubborn lust for power and revenge.

Lord, have mercy.

For opposition leaders and true people of conscience, media, reporters, young people, whose future is being destroyed before their eyes. Protect them as they rise up against Nebuchadnezar, Nero, Stalin and Hitler, whose evil spirits still live among us.

Lord, have mercy.

May we be moved to refrain from hating Russia’s people as we loath her failed leadership. May we help her to return and rebuild her economy and standing when the wickedness has passed into dust and we have repented of our sins.

Lord, have mercy.

May they, and we, know again the refreshing waters of reconciliation and peace, the strength of mercy and forgiveness, the hope your grace provides, and may we learn the ways of war no more.

May they see the bleeding children, the desperate mothers, the suffering families, the terrified immigrants, the overwhelmed helpers, the ruin of infrastructure and homes and places of business and community. May they hear the cry of their courageous Ukrainian neighbors and rise up with us all to say, “Enough.”

Lord, have mercy, have mercy, have mercy on us all. Amen. #StopTheWarAndViolence

My Ash Wednesday Prayer

My Ash Wednesday Prayer

Eternal God,

We have been horrified by a Russian army that uses banned weapons. By order of their war criminal President, they kill civilians. The Russian army has invaded a free sovereign nation. Vladimir Putin, as the agent of evil, spews the same language of grievance that Hitler used to deceive his nation into a grandiose lie.

God, pour out your judgement on him and those who bow to him, but also on us who watched him do it before and said little. Bring the world together to do Your will. Grant us discernment to choose actions in a sea of difficult and hazy choices. Save us from blaming, indifference, excuses and disunity. Fill us with a spirit of relentless self-sacrifice and determination to jam a spoke in the wheel of evil.

Forgive us for turning our eyes away from sin and misery. Help us to stare at this moment and see. Prepare us for the long fight for the helpless, the refugee, the vulnerable and the truth.

In this season of Lent, call us who call ourselves Christians to give cheerfully and sacrificially when it hurts to do it, to feed and clothe and heal and help. May we fast from indifference. May we repent of pride, resentment, division, and unrighteousness.

Help us to take up practices and disciplines of deep resolve and fierce action that express a living and genuine faith. If they have lain useless by our distractions and misbegotten selfishness, wake us. In the weariness of a world with too many temptations and escapes, help us to focus. Help us to walk with each other, hand in hand, for the sake of all the is worth saving and for the sake of Your Kingdom. But let us never mistake soft sentimentality or smooth words for faithfulness.

This our painful Lenten prayer. Through Christ our Lord, Amen. ashwednesday2022