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Prayer ~ a Christ centered response to times of trouble

"... the Church calls the Ukrainian nation to more than just feelings of human justice – to Christian forgiveness, grace, and reconciliation. We pray to God for repentance for the guilty. However at the same time we ask victims to forgive those who are already repentant as well as those who are still lost. In order to unite the nation, in order to reconcile its various parts, its various social, cultural, and political groups, laws and justice are not enough. Without repentance, grace, forgiveness and reconciliation, the country will remain divided and in conflict. This is the precondition for a deep spiritual transformation of Ukraine." ~ excerpt from the public statement of Valery Antonyuk, vice president of the All Ukrainian Union of Evangelical Churches, Baptist.

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We live in tumultuous times, and I follow most news reports concerning world events with eyes and ears searching for what the Lord would reveal. As I was considering what I should write today the turmoil in the Ukraine captured my attention. Not only by what I see on mainstream news, but what I discover we're not hearing from them. In my research I came across an article from Christianity Today where I learned a well-known Baptist pastor, Oleksandr Turchynov, had taken office as acting president February 23, after the Ukrainian Parliament voted to oust President Yanukovych. The information intrigued me, not only because this man is a pastor, but I was interested to see how he would respond to the current crisis in his country. Our own president has been under quite a bit of scrutiny for his responses to what is happening in the Ukraine. I think it will be interesting to see how these two men deal with the presence of the Russian army. History is being played out before our eyes.

One of the statements in the article from Christianity Today showed the heart of the new president of the Ukraine, as he spoke of restoring peace within the borders. "Our first task today is to stop the confrontation, to regain control … to ensure peace and tranquility, to prevent new victims, local rivalries and lynchings." In an exclusive interview with the Billy Graham Evangelical association he asked believers worldwide to "pray for us so that peace would return and people would be able to live peacefully."(

Those of us who are familiar with God's word know there will be increasing trouble as the time nears for Christ's return. We must continuously encourage and remind one another, this world is NOT our home. Jesus told us to be courageous and to keep our focus on Him. "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." John 16:33 Knowing the whole story and how it ends is helpful as we watch world events unfold. Keeping our eyes firmly fixed on the Lord Jesus Christ, and our hands folded in intercessory prayer, we will always have the peace we seek.

A day is coming when we will all stand before the One Who created all things. Until then, let us be deliberate in our prayers and our service to Him. Pray for those who know Him and especially for those who have yet to know Who He is.

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