Spontaneous prayer for Ukraine, the heart-cry of every compassionate soul, has turned into global organised intercession and practical action.
Since February 24, the day President Putin invaded Ukraine, spontaneous prayer erupted across the world. The heart-cry of every compassionate human on the planet has become co-ordinated global prayer led by Christian organisations such as World Vision, Operation Mobilisation, our own more modest Watchman Prayer Ministry International and many others.
Practical action swiftly followed. International aid, support and solidarity in the face of bombs, bullets and Russian military advances in the East, South and North of Ukraine. The diplomatic initiatives quickly took the form of a renewed Western Alliance between the United States of America, the European Union, Great Britain and other NATO States. Military aid, equipment, weapons, expertise and high-powered intelligence and advice from seasoned Generals. Aggressive international sanctions were finally agreed after some delays as each nation considered its own economic interests.
So far, no direct military action on the part of nations outside Ukraine has been officially agreed or implemented. The fear of the war spilling over into neighbouring Eastern European states as well as participation from the classical West, remains strong. Ceasefires have been broken and the civilian evacuation from Ukraine severely hampered. The talk is of war crimes and retaliation, but the hero is the Ukraine resistance movement led by Ukrainian President, Vlododymyr Zelenski who declared, “We will fight in the forests and on the streets.”
The situation remains critical as the world faces the threat of an all-out European War, and perhaps a World War. Whatever happens next, history will be sure to reveal the emergence of a realigned Europe, a redefined axis between what we call the East and the West. This was not supposed to happen. The 21st Century was intended to bring in a post Cold War world in which we were all united in our common love of peace, humanity and the global ability to just get on with our lives. I suggest that is what we all want, especially the nations of Middle Europe, not to mention the general Russian population. But the hard lesson is that 21st Century passivity cannot easily eradicate 20th Century history and the categories of thought that still pervade the corridors of Eastern and Western power. Those patterns contributed in no small measure to the making of a man like Putin.
Continued prayer, divine intervention, international cooperation and wise diplomacy may yet produce a sane and equitable solution but this seems unlikely without increased military pressure on Putin. May God help us all.