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God of mercy, justice and peace:

Our spirits are heavy with sorrow, our souls shocked
At the sudden and breathtaking violence,
the invasion of Ukraine by their neighbor, Russia.

We pray for lives caught in the grip of war,

who hear the bombs in the night,

the ominous movement of troops on the road into town

the whistle of incoming shells, for a cry from a desperate neighbor or a shout of warning.

For those who huddle in subways and basements

or flee for the borders, clutching their children’s hands

We pray for families separated from fathers, brothers and sons who must remain to fight and protect their homeland.

We pray for neighbors in Eastern and Central Europe

As their hearts and doors open to these refugees

That strained resources will become an abundance of hope

That fears and struggles with racism will yield to a generosity of profound welcome

That communities of faith within Ukraine will be protected from harm and sustained in their efforts to feed and shelter their neighbors.

That peacemakers and protesters in Russia will be heard and their lives preserved.

May we undergird our prayers with tangible resources to help.
May we reach deeply, give generously, and welcome extravagantly.
May we lift our voices in a strong and unified advocacy.
May we even as we breathe in lament, breathe out mercy, hope and peace.

And in this Lenten season, when we walk the way toward death and resurrection, repent our complicity in cultures of violence and renew our efforts toward justice and peace.

--The Rev. Dr. Laurie Kraus, Director, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance


From Circle of Grace, by Jan Richardson © 2015, page 91-92

Will you meet us in the ashes,
will you meet us in the ache

and show your face within our sorrow and offer us
your word of grace:

that you are life within the dying, that you abide within the dust,
that you are what survives the burning, that you arise

to make us new.

And in our aching,
you are breathing
and in our weeping
you are here
within the hands
that bear your blessing, enfolding us

within your love.


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