The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have encouraged us to have a especial focus on prayer for peace in Ukraine, This simple prayer can be at the heart of our devotions this day.
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.
The Chief Rabbi has suggested we use Psalm 31 as Prayer for Ukraine
In you, LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness.
Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me.
Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
Keep me free from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge.
Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, LORD, my faithful God.
I hate those who cling to worthless idols; as for me, I trust in the LORD.
I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul.
You have not given me into the hands of the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place.
Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and body with grief.
My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning; my strength fails because of my affliction,and my bones grow weak.
Because of all my enemies, I am the utter contempt of my neighbors and an object of dread to my closest friends— those who see me on the street flee from me.
I am forgotten as though I were dead; I have become like broken pottery.
For I hear many whispering, “Terror on every side!” They conspire against me and plot to take my life.
But I trust in you, LORD; I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in your hands; deliver me from the hands of my enemies, from those who pursue me.
Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love.
Let me not be put to shame, LORD, for I have cried out to you; but let the wicked be put to shame and be silent in the realm of the dead.
Let their lying lips be silenced, for with pride and contempt they speak arrogantly against the righteous.
How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you.
In the shelter of your presence you hide them from all human intrigues; you keep them safe in your dwelling from accusing tongues.
Praise be to the LORD, for he showed me the wonders of his love when I was in a city under siege.
In my alarm I said, “I am cut off from your sight!” Yet you heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help.
Love the LORD, all his faithful people! The LORD preserves those who are true to him, but the proud he pays back in full.
Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.
In a second ecumenical roundtable meeting convened by the World Council of Churches (WCC) on 10 June in Bossey, Switzerland, senior representatives of WCC member churches from several European countries neighboring and directly affected by the current conflict gathered to consult each other on relevant developments since the first roundtable meeting held 30 March.
With very deep sadness and regret, we again missed the presence of representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church, due to very recent changes in the hierarchy of the Moscow Patriarchate, which had however been committed to taking part in our gathering,” reads a message from the roundtable. “Obviously, the absence of these key counterparts constituted a fundamental obstacle to the purpose for which we convened – that of dialogue and mutual consultation.”
The participants strongly reaffirmed the joint ecumenical position expressed by the participants in the first roundtable meeting, especially the rejection of war as against the will of God, and of the use of deadly military force as a means of resolving disputes – in Ukraine or elsewhere.
“We reiterate our denunciation of the unjustified and illegal military aggression launched by the leadership of the Russian Federation against the people of the sovereign state of Ukraine,” reads the message. “We call again for an immediate ceasefire and for dialogue and negotiations as the only morally acceptable path forward.”
Participants lifted up again the consequences of the war for the poor and vulnerable of the entire world, especially due to the escalating global food crisis and the accelerating trajectory towards climate catastrophe.
“Despite the absence of our dialogue partners from Russia in this meeting, we re-emphasize the critical importance of the WCC as a platform for encounter and dialogue among the churches and communities most directly impacted by this war,” reads the message. “This is the key and unique contribution that the global ecumenical movement can bring to the peaceful resolution of this crisis for which we all hope and pray.”
The roundtable emphasized that the calling to dialogue, encounter, and the pursuit of mutual understanding is the very essence of ecumenism. “Division and exclusion is the antithesis of the purpose of our movement,” the message reads.
“Nevertheless, we strongly reject the apparent instrumentalization of religious language by political and church leaders to support an armed invasion of a sovereign country. It is urgently necessary to help turn the tide of division, confrontation and conflict, and to help heal the deep wounds created in the global community by this brutal ongoing war.”