He also wrote: “My prayers focus on all whose lives will be changed forever – Ukrainians, Russians, Europeans and, ultimately, all of us. I pray for the most innocent victims of all wars, children.
Many readers said they prayed that Putin would repent of his actions and turn away from continuing the war. Here is an excerpt from a prayer by Pamela Thacher in New York: “God, please allow Putin to cast off his thirst for war, punishment and greed, and whatever purpose he had for his war, let him pursue him by other means. I pray for their leaders, of course, and especially for the extraordinary President Zelensky.
She continued, with magnificent precision, “I pray for the humans, the pets, the horses, the cows, the farms, the fields, the rivers, the very land of Ukraine.”
The biggest reaction from readers was that they turn to the Psalms to pray. I find myself doing it too. Every day I prayed Psalm 7:14-16 while thinking about the invasion of Ukraine: “He who is pregnant with evil conceives trouble and brings forth disillusionment. He who digs a hole and the void falls into the pit he has dug. The trouble they cause comes back to them; their violence falls on their own heads.
Brendan Payne of South Carolina wrote, “Just by reading the Psalms in Anglican Lectionary order, every Psalm seems relevant to Ukraine. Praying for God to vindicate the innocent and punish the wicked must resonate with Ukrainian civilians and soldiers every day. Times of crisis bring these ancient songs to life.
He continued, “The real enemy here is not Russia, not even Putin, but spiritual evil, which to some extent infects every human heart, including mine. It makes me mourn every loss of life in this vicious war. And, while I can’t do much directly for Ukraine, I think more about how I might seek the good of my neighbors around me every day. And it’s hard work, much harder than self-righteous outrage at the obvious evils at work in the world.
Readers said they prayed many different Psalms, and the most common mentioned were Psalms 23, 91, and 46. Many readers told me they prayed Psalm 31, which has become a global rallying cry for Ukraine.