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Prayers and worship materials for Ukraine

Please use these prayers, including prayers and prayer activities for children and young people, sermons, reflections and liturgies in your private devotions, prayer groups or services.

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In partnership with Christian Aid, the United Reformed Church prays for peace in Ukraine, that all belligerent parties - both seen and unseen - are moved to...

This is a prayer from the Joint Public Issues Team of the United Reformed Church, Methodist Church and Baptist Union. The text may be shared and reproduced for non-monetised purposes. For all other uses, contact [email protected].

God of all,
with alarm and concern we bring before you
the military intervention in Ukraine.

In a world you made for peace and flourishing,
we lament the use of armed force.

We mourn every casualty of this conflict,
every precious life extinguished by war.
We pray comfort for those who grieve
and those who are fearful.

Hear our longing that leaders and nations
will honour the worth of all people
by having the courage
to resolve conflict through dialogue.

May all our human failings be transformed
by your wonderful grace and goodness.

We ask this in the name of Christ,
the author of peace and sustainer of Creation.

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God Almighty – you are God of peace and justice.
We pray for our sisters and brothers in Ukraine,
and all places suffering because of war.
As we cry out to you in anger and anguish, we pray that peace will reign, and justice prevail.
Kyrie eleison. Lord, have mercy on us.

Jesus Christ – you are the Prince of Peace.
We pray that arms will be silent.
We pray for those who have the power over peace and war.
Grant them wisdom and compassion in their decisions and lead them on the path of peace.
Kyrie eleison. Lord, have mercy on us.

Spirit of Truth and Comfort – you have the power to heal and reconcile.
We pray for those, who have lost loved ones, their homes,
who are in dire need of food, drink, sleep, safety.
We pray that you keep your children safe.
And we pray that you may grant us discernment, open hearts and ready hands to assist those in need.
Kyrie eleison. Lord, have mercy on us.

The statement concluded: “As this war prompts new reflections on issues of security, defence and cooperation in Europe, we commit to participating in this process, not least through our engagement in reconciliation in Ukraine and beyond.”

God of all time,
God of this time,
these times are difficult, and we bring them to you.
There have been other times like this when countries have invaded others.
You show us countries seized a village or settlement at a time and countries facing full invasion.
You reveal, when we dare to look, how national boundaries have changed like waves on the sand.
We feel so powerless; it all is so human and so tragic.
We bring it all to you in our confusion and worry.
Remind us, as ever, that worry is not what we must carry.
Remind us that worry makes us smaller, makes our powerlessness real.
Fill the place that worry has taken in our hearts and replace it with hope.
Give us courage to read the news as we can, to listen, to watch, to understand.
As we face the reality of these times, we pray for your hope to carry and fill us.
Let hope be the insight which we gift to each other.
Fill us with your knowledge that hope is as real an act as giving our money and our welcome.
You will bring peace, as ever you do.
Give us courage to gift your hope to that process.

In the name of your incarnated Christ and in the power and presence of Holy Spirit,

By the Revd Elizabeth Gray King, pastor in the North Western Synod

This is a prayer from the Chairs of the London District of the Methodist Church.

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 swords into ploughshares, and to seek peace.
We pray for leaders on the world stage; that they are inspired by the wisdom and courage of Christ.
Above all, Lord, we today pray for peace in Ukraine.
And we ask this in the name of your blessed Son.
Lord have mercy.

Eternal God,
As we are overshadowed once again by war,
We lift up before you
The innocents and vulnerable,
The victims of violence and cruelty,
Along with all who continue to sow the seeds of hate.

In the fog of war
Where truth is the first victim,
May your light, which cannot be overwhelmed,
expose the truth.

Grant to world leaders and all in positions of power today
Not only the wisdom
But also the courage
To do what is right in your sight.

Grant all who turn to you
your strength and fortitude,
Your inner peace,
Along with a continuing faith in your sovereign power,
In the face of military might.

All this we pray in the name of the Prince of Peace,
Jesus Christ,
Our living Lord and Saviour.

By the Revd Dave Herbert, Northern Synod Moderator

Oh Lord,
I really want to ask you smite Mr Putin;
it hasn’t got to be a big smite,
just enough to remove him from power,
topple him from his throne,
remove his advisors,
disable his armed forces,
and make him see sense.
Is that a big ask Lord?

After all you seem to have smote a lot in the Bible;
powerful kings brushed away,
invading generals confounded by your power,
or had their heads chopped off by some pretty feisty women,
so that your people would be free.
Even your mother sung of your power to remove tyrants from their thrones
and she faced the might of Rome.

The problem with asking you for some smiting,
is that I see myself as a trendy leftie,
what they call a snowflake,
I don’t really believe in violence,
I think anger can be used more productively,
I know you call us to solve our problems and not depend on you to sort out our messes,
but just this once Lord?
A bit of a smite?
A localised precision smite?

In the meantime, Lord,
please look after Mr Zelenskiy,
inspire him to continue to use his skills to defend his people;
protect him as you protected his ancestors of old.
Give hope to the people of Ukraine,
hope in your providence,
hope that the world won’t ignore their plight,
hope that the invaders will go,
and if, after that, you’ve got time for a smite….

By the Revd Andy Braunston, URC Minister for Digital Worship

Holy God,

We hold before you all who live close to war and conflict; and all who live close to the threat of war and violence.
We remember especially at this time, people in Ukraine and Russia. We pray for nonviolence and peaceful resolutions of conflict.
Give us hearts of hospitality and sanctuary, forgive us all our hostility and hatred.
Bring all people to the humanity you give us, and to the reconciliation and healing for which you gave your life.
Strengthen us all to work with you to build justice and peace, reconciliation and healing, in our hearts and homes, in our streets, in all communities, neighbourhoods and nations.
Bless all who live lives for the peace and wellbeing of others, and make their service fruitful.
In the name of Christ.

By the Revd Inderjit Bhogal, Honorary President, The Fellowship of Reconciliation

Prayers for children and young people

A meditation based on Exodus 13: 17-22 drawing a parallel with those forced to leave their homes and seek sanctuary as refugees.

Drop everything!
There wasn’t enough warning or time to plan.
What to pack?
What to leave?
What to throw away?
If I can carry it – I can bring it.
But what about everything else?
What about the memories that haunt this room? No one else will ever recognise them.

Drop everything!
Where are we going?
‘Somewhere better!’ doesn’t answer my question.
I don’t want to stay but aren’t I allowed to feel scared?
You tell me the future will be better but all I see is a blank canvas, a glaring light, the edge of a cliff……….

Drop everything!
We can’t do this alone so:
God will travel above us;
God will travel beside us;
God will travel before us and
God will travel behind us.
When my neighbour is hungry, I’ll share my bread.
When I’m scared, my neighbour will hold my hand.
When a baby cries, everyone will take their turn to sing and soothe.

Drop everything!

Let’s go!

By Jo West

Jesus, I want to talk to you about Ukraine.
Please be with the people of Ukraine.
Let those leaving the country as refugees find a welcome.
Let those standing up to injustice find courage.
Let those who are sad find comfort and those who are afraid find hope.
And let those who make decisions seek peace.

Loving God,
We see the pictures on the news, we hear the stories in the playground;
What’s happening in the Ukraine is scary and we don’t know what to think or do.
We know it’s happening in other places too, places like the Yemen, Afghanistan, Palestine.
So much fighting, so much bullying and injustice, so much to understand.
But you are with your children, no matter where they are, so we know we can talk to you.
Be with the people of Ukraine and everywhere where there’s fighting.
Be with the babies, the children, the young people when they are afraid or anxious.
Give strength to the people who love them and help them.
Give courage to those who stand up to oppression and speak out for peace.
Touch the hearts of those who are threatening others and teach them a better way to be.
Jesus taught us that your way is the way of love and of peace.
Help us to trust in your way, and to do our bit to act in your way wherever we can,
Loving others and being peacemakers in our own small corner of the world.

Sun Hats & Wellie Boots has produced interactive Prayer Stations designed for all ages, and are ideal for intergenerational worship, or to be left in churches to be explored throughout the week. They’re also ideal for school prayer spaces, particularly for children 8 years + and secondary school students, but can also be used for youth groups or house groups.

Almighty God

You are the Lord of all people and all nations.

We lift before you the current situation in Russia and Ukraine. We pray for Your will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, so we pray for peace to come.

We pray that in this horrible situation people will call on Your name and know Your salvation power.

We pray for each girl and boy, each woman and man living in fear of what today and tomorrow might bring. May they know Your loving hand of protection and blessing on them.

We pray for our friends and people we know who have connections with Russia and Ukraine. We pray that they will know Your peace, strength and comfort at this time.

We pray for soldiers on both sides. May they look to You and call upon Your name. May they know Your presence, protect them, guide them. Lead them to put down their weapons and turn from this war, standing up for peace.

Even during such violence and aggression may Your love and peace come through and have victory. May Your light shine and breakthrough this darkness so that all will see Your goodness and power.

We pray for Putin and all the Russian leaders. Change their hearts from violence and aggression and lead them with great wisdom towards peace. You God can change any person and we pray that You do a transformation in their lives.

We pray for all leaders, of all nations. May they cry out to You for wisdom and guidance. May You grant them wisdom to make godly decisions and to respond in ways that will lead to peace and Your will being accomplished in these days.

We also pray that You will raise up leaders that will lead in ways that will demonstrate Your unfailing love throughout the world.

Nothing is impossible for You God, so we pray for Your supernatural power to cause things to happen, and we thank You for stories how You have protected some people.

We pray that at this time people will be treated equally. We especially think of Russian people throughout the world. We pray that people will demonstrate love towards them and not treat them with prejudice.

Finally, we pray for ourselves. Help us to demonstrate Your love in these times. Help us to share our faith and stand up for what is right. Help us to do practical things for those in need and teach us to pray in this situation. Give us a heart for all those in need and stir us to pray for a transformation to take place.

We lift all our prayers to a God who loves us and is able to do more than we can ask or imagine. In the name of Christ our Saviour.


Prayer activities for children

Take a map of the Ukraine and trace the outline with your finger. As you go round the borders of the country, ask God to watch over the people of the Ukraine. Can you think of two or three things you might want to ask of God?

Cut a heart shape out of stiff card and round the edge make slits about 1 cm long towards the centre of the heart shape. Now take some wool or string and weave it round the heart, going back and forth across the heart by tucking it into the slits you have made.

On each side of the heart you will get a tangle of strings crossing it. Sometimes the world feels a bit of a tangled mess and the situation in the Ukraine may make us feel like this. Now take some ribbons, or strips of coloured paper and weave them in and out of the strings.

As you put each one in, ask a blessing from God for the people of Ukraine – you might even want to write or draw your blessings on the things you choose to weave. Ask God to be right in the middle of the messiness and bring God’s peace. Hang your heart up somewhere where you can see it and remember your prayers every day.

Sermons, reflections and liturgies

Download First thoughts after the world has changed – a sermon by the Revd Neil Messer which was shared at The United Church, Winchester.

Download a reflection on Ukraine by Roberta Ritson, Ministry Student on Placement at St Columba’s, North Shields.

Through the Communion of Protestant Churches in Europe (CPCE), the United Reformed Church has relationships with churches in both Ukraine and Russia. A few days ago the CPCE issued a liturgy for peace with contributions from various church leaders in the region. It includes the following prayers from the Lutheran Church in Russia and the Orthodox Church in Ukraine:

Additional prayers and worship resources

United Reformed Church