In the Face of Russian Invasion, Christians and Jews Unite to Pray A Psalm Across Ukraine

Christians and Jews prayed together in the days leading up to what is happening in Ukraine. Earlier this month, Anatoliy Raychynets of the Ukrainian Bible Society shared photos of Jewish and Christian leaders in Ukraine praying together. The gathering, which he described as a “appeal to the Almighty for the protection of Ukraine,” took place in Kyiv’s St. Sophia’s Cathedral.

The chief rabbi of Kyiv, Rabbi Yaakov Dov Bleich, reportedly invited Christian leaders to join the Jewish community in praying Psalm 31, a hymn of protection, over the evolving situation in Ukraine. “For me, as a pastor, that Psalm … well, I read it differently now, because it’s about our current situation in Ukraine,” Raychynets said. “This ancient prayer — written several thousand years ago — now we see is so alive, is living.”

May be an image of 10 people and people standing
Credit: Anatoliy Raychynets/Facebook

He also provided insight into what Christians and Jews are praying for in the midst of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, which violently invaded the small European nation in the early hours of Thursday. “[W]hen people come to us asking questions, we pray together. We encourage them to stand for peace and to pray for peace. We don’t pray for victory over our enemy. We pray that the diplomacy of Ukraine and the whole world will bring a solution. We pray that God’s miracle happens because we know that it must be a miracle to stop this. So we read the Bible with people and pray.”

Clarissa Ward of CNN even paused the network’s live coverage of Russia’s assault in Ukraine to highlight a “very moving” sight of Christians kneeling outside in the bitter cold in Kharkiv to pray. Ward commented, “I think this… really speaks to the sort of desperation of this moment.”

May be an image of 11 people and people standing
Credit: Anatoliy Raychynets/Facebook

Pastors in the United States have also expressed concern for Ukraine, urging Christians to respond in prayer. Harvest Christian Fellowship Pastor Greg Laurie stated. “Let us all pray for the people there.” Please pray for our leaders to make wise and prudent decisions in the coming hours.”

Owen Strachan of Grace Bible Theological Seminary, encouraged Christians to “pray for peace, pray for Gospel advancement, pray for God’s many people in Ukraine, pray for God to depose world leaders who are unwise, unsound, unbiblical, [and] ungodly, and to pray for God to rouse His global church.”

Psalm 31

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

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.

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