Watch and Pray

My heart breaks over the events in Ukraine and the images and stories of suffering that come out of that nation. Yesterday I sat with a beautiful pre-recorded prayer session put on by Renovaré, focussed on lifting up the nation of Ukraine. It was a ‘lectio visio‘ experience which involves much silence while looking at a piece of art. The artist is Ukranian and the image was of Christ on the cross.

Before we sat and prayed, the opening prayer was given, taken from Matt.26: 38, 41

“Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me… Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.

The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.”

Tears came to my eyes.

I imagined Jesus speaking these same words over the suffering and carnage in Ukraine. And I reflected: how often had I stopped and ‘kept watch’ with Jesus over this situation? Life has been busy and full. Thoughts of Ukraine often popped up and I would send up a quick prayer. But to actually sit with Jesus and the suffering and sorrow?

Ukraine is not the first, nor the only source of pain and suffering in our world right now. And our Jesus sees all the tears and hears the groans and anguished sighs: the prayers that we breathe when words have run out.

Will you choose to watch and pray with Jesus over the suffering in Ukraine for a few moments today?

If so, may I offer the link below? It is the 20 minute prayer lectio visio provided by Renovaré.

Prayer for Ukraine

Blessings in Christ.

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