6 Prayers for Ukraine (and 3 Ways to Help)

Jo Acharya | March 1, 2022

Two hands clasping a small lit candle glowing red, offering prayers for Ukraine
Image by Anna Shvets

The invasion of Ukraine ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent shockwaves across Europe. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed in the face of such a huge crisis. One of the few things ordinary people can do is to pray, but even this feels immensely challenging for many of us. Perhaps you pray regularly but right now don’t know where to start or what to pray for Ukraine. Perhaps you’re not sure what you believe about God but feel moved to pray somehow for this terrible situation.

It’s comforting to realise at times like this that we don’t have to come up with our own individual, unique words to pray. In each moment there are thousands, even millions of people praying in old, familiar words, echoing the prayers given to us in the Bible and adding their ‘Amen’ to prayers prayed around the world and throughout our history. By agreeing with the prayers of others we can stand together before God, pleading in one voice for peace, protection and mercy for all those involved in the conflict.

Many people have been sharing prayers for Ukraine across social media this week. Here are a few that I’ve found helpful in different ways.

The Lord’s Prayer for Ukraine by Sheridan Voysey

The Lord’s Prayer is always a good starting point when we struggle to know how to pray. It reminds us of God’s sovereignty and goodness, acknowledges our human failings and declares our dependence on him. It is prayed all over the world multiple times every day, and is one that Christians in Russia, Ukraine and and other areas of conflict know as well as we do.

Author and speaker Sheridan Voysey posted this version on Facebook, and it is a great way to give to God our worries and anxieties about the war in Ukraine.

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
may your kingdom come in Ukraine,
may your will be done there, just like it’s done in heaven.
Give our Ukrainian brothers and sisters everything they need today.
Forgive their sins – and ours – as we forgive those who sin against them.
Lead them away from the temptations of this hour,
and deliver them from this evil.
For the kingdom, the power and the glory are Yours, and no one else’s.
Sheridan Voysey

A Prayer for Ukraine by Archbishop Justin Welby and Archbishop Stephen Cottrell

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York shared this short, simple prayer for God to bring peace and justice to the nation of Ukraine.

Text of a prayer for Ukraine next to an image of a woman praying with her hands clasped together
Image by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York

The text on the image reads:

God of peace and justice, we pray for the people of Ukraine today.
We pray for 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.

Easy Read Prayer for Ukraine by Jess Thompson

I love this easy read prayer, which was adapted from the Archbishops’ prayer by Jess Thompson. It uses easy words and Makaton symbols to help people with learning difficulties to pray.

An easy read prayer for Ukraine including Makaton symbols
Image by Jess Thompson

The words read:

God of peace and justice, we pray for the people of Ukraine.

We pray for peace and for war to stop.

We pray for people that are scared, that you would be close to them.

We pray for leaders that they would make good decisions.

We pray for all of your precious people, that you would look after and protect them.

We pray in the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.


Ancient Latin Prayer, shared by Penelope Wilcock

Author Penelope Wilcock felt moved to pray for Vladimir Putin, because if there is a flood it’s important to turn off the tap, not just mop up the water‘. Click here to read her full post, shared via Tony Collins.

Penelope prayed for Ukraine using a ancient Latin prayer called ‘The Golden Sequence’, and wrote, ‘I’m praying it for him [Putin], that he may be rinsed through with the courageous peace of Christ and that his heart of stone may be gently exchanged for a heart of flesh, that he may be free from fear and lay down arms, and that the outcome of this will be peace and safety in Ukraine.’

I had never heard of this prayer, but I think it’s just beautiful and very apt. Here is the English translation given by Penelope, with her commentary in brackets:

Come Holy Spirit,
Shine out your rays of heavenly light.

Come, father of the poor,
Come, source of our real treasure,
Come, light of the human heart.

Come, our best strength,
Gentle gust of the soul,
Quietly refreshing,
Rest in our labours,
Temperance in our heat,
Comfort in our weeping.

Oh blessed Light,
Fill the innermost heart of your faithful.
Without your permission [the nod of your head]
There is nothing in humanity-
Nothing harmless.

Cleanse what is toxic,
Water what is arid,
Heal what is wounded.

Flex what is rigid,
Warm what is cold,
Straighten what is crooked.

Give to those who trust in you the seven-fold gifts.
[Of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, good counsel, courage, knowledge, reverence, submission to the Holy Spirit- basically, wisdom and insight both seen and followed]

Give your goodness,
Give your salvation,
Give the joy of eternal life.
Ancient Latin Prayer

A Prayer for the Crisis in Ukraine by Pete Greig and Chris Denne

First slide of a prayer for Ukraine, with the background image of a Ukrainian flag blowing in the wind
Image by 24/7 Prayer

Author and Founder of 24-7 Prayer, Pete Greig, wrote this helpful communal prayer with Chris Denne. It is split over seven slides which you can view and share here. It takes elements from Anglican, Catholic and Eastern Orthodox liturgical prayers with the refrain ‘Kyrie eleison’ which is a Greek phrase meaning ‘Lord have mercy’. 

Here is the text in full:

Father God, King of all nations, we cry out to you now for the people of Ukraine. We ask you to rescue those who are vulnerable from the hands of their enemies that they may live without fear before you all their days [Luke 1:74-75].

Kyrie eleison – Lord have mercy.

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant us peace.

Lord of lord and Prince of peace, our politicians are predicting the biggest war in Europe since 1945, and we simply cry out to you urgently to write another story in our time. Thwart the machinations of evil men. Give wisdom beyond human wisdom to peacemakers seeking an equitable and less violent way. May politicians exercise the wisdom from above, which is peacable, gentle, willing to yeild, and full of mercy [James 3:17].

Kyrie eleison – Lord have mercy.

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant us peace.

Holy Spirit, we pray for the church in Ukraine, a nation in which 70% of the population call themselves Christian. Give our many brothers and sisters in that nation courage in this crisis that they may proclaim the good news of your kingdom, bind up broken hearts, and bring comfort to all who mourn [Isaiah 61:1-2].

Kyrie eleison – Lord have mercy.

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant us peace.

You Lord, make wars cease to the end of the earth; you break bows, shatter spears, and burn shields with fire [Psalm 46:9]. And so we ask you now to save the lives of many people in Ukraine. Make a peace that is strong and not weak. De-escalate this crisis. We hear of wars and rumours of wars [Matt 24:6], but you Lord are our rock, our fortress and our deliverer. Our hope is in you. And so we address the nations now. In the name of Jesus we say: “Be still and know God! He is exalted among the nations; he shall be exalted in the earth.” [Psalm 46:10]

Kyrie eleison – Lord have mercy.

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us. Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant us peace.

Pete Greig & Chris Denne

If you are looking for practical ways to help Ukraine, here are three ideas:

  • Sign this petition at change.org to ask The UK government to do more to help Ukrainian refugees. So far this petition has been signed by more than 153,000 people and backed by 126 organisations.
  • Donate to one of many Ukraine appeals to help provide humanitarian aid for those affected by the conflict, for example the British Red CrossUnicef or Christian Aid.
  • Check your local Facebook community and newspaper website to find collection points where you can donate essential items.
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