As believers see today’s news reports, we can’t help but understand that we need to pray. Images of children, of the elderly and other innocent Ukrainian citizens fleeing cities under siege fill our screens.
J. Lee Grady, director of The Mordecai Project, author and senior contributing editor for Charisma magazine, has identified a unique reason behind the crisis in Ukraine, and it has to do with spiritual warfare. Because of Satan’s evil attacks, he says, we must pray with particular fervor.
Over the years, God has given Grady numerous connections in Eastern Europe and with pastors from that part of the world. One of his friends, Pastor Peter Kucher, a Ukrainian-American living in Chicago, says people from Ukraine have planted more churches than any other Eastern European country, Grady explains in a recent interview for the Strang Report podcast.
“They’ve planted churches all over Europe,” he says. “They’ve even planted churches in Russia. And so it’s very, very vibrant. Honestly, this is one of the reasons why this is happening. The Bible says we shouldn’t be ignorant of the devil’s schemes. The devil is certainly not happy with the fact that Christianity is thriving there and that the gospel is being promoted from there. And so he would like to do anything to disrupt that.”
Grady also says we should pray “that the Holy Spirit will strengthen those Christians there and that the Lord will protect the seed of the gospel that has been planted there.”
Through his many connections with Slavic Christians in the U.S., Grady understands something many Americans do not: Many of the Christians in Russia are upset about the recent attacks on Ukraine.
“They love Jesus; they love the church; they’re not happy with what President Putin has done,” he says. “And of course they risk their lives if they speak out. … Russian Christians, the ones I know, are very grieved by what is happening, and they are praying for freedom and for an end to this conflict.”
Grady also says that amid this conflict, we must pray for people to come to know Christ: “This is a harvest moment for a lot of people, maybe very troubled Ukrainians who might not know Christ. … because of the difficulties they’re facing, they’re going to need to turn to Jesus for help.”
Recent reports of divine intervention in supernatural ways also spur Grady’s prayers and should spur ours, he adds. “We’re also praying for angelic intervention; I’ve been praying about this since the conflict started, and I keep hearing reports about Russian soldiers putting their arms down. … I’ve just been praying that they would open their hearts and feel conviction that they’re doing the wrong thing, and just lay their arms down.”
Grady also shares the prayer from his recent Charisma column on prayer, “Pray for Ukraine as if Your Family Lived There,” which has since gone viral:
Father, You have used the nation of Ukraine to spread the gospel of Jesus to many nations. It has been a beacon of light and freedom to the world. Rise up now and defend your people from hostile forces. Shield them from attacks. Release Your invisible angel armies to push back their enemies. Send confusion into the enemy’s camp. Cause Russian soldiers to put down their weapons and go home. And prevent President Putin from using nuclear bombs. Deliver us from evil and establish Your peace and Your government in Ukraine and all of Eastern Europe, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
For much more from J. Lee Grady on the urgent situation in Ukraine and how you can direct your prayers, listen to this entire episode of the Strang Report here, and subscribe to the Strang Report on Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast platform for more inspiring, informative stories like this one.
In addition, Charisma has created a special portal for you to give to trusted pastors and others in Ukraine via some of our contacts such as Grady through Christian Life Missions, our nonprofit partner. You can know with confidence that when you give here, 100% of your donation will reach those most in need. Click here to give to Ukraine.
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