City of God

In recent days it has been truly awful to witness the horrific invasion of Ukraine and see the scenes of towns and cities being devastated. Such a stark contrast between God's city and the cities of this world! In Psalm 48, God's presence and faithfulness are shown in how he protects his people in his city. We might think, ‘What place is truly safe from all enemies today?’ 

Imagine being in Ukraine as enemy soldiers inch closer and closer to your city. What was once solid and secure can be taken away at any moment. Perhaps you watch the news and wonder if the fighting will ever stop. Or will it spread? We don't have the answers to these questions or the ability to alter world events.

But amid sorrowful, frightening and angering scenes, our city in heaven remains secure if we are trusting in the Lord Jesus. In Hebrews 11 we learn that Abraham, ‘was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.’ (Hebrews 11:10). Christians do have hope beyond the suffering of this world. A place that is solid, enduring and peaceful. And best of all, it is the place where God dwells with his people in love and protection. When Jesus returns, he will welcome his people who have been cleansed by his blood. We will join him in the new creation where he will wipe away our tears and cast out all the wicked. Until that time, we watch, pray and look forward. As sojourners in this world, we set our minds on things above. We continue to live life with hope in our unseen King and declare his greatness to the world around us, even as our world fades before our very eyes.

Crosslinks mission partners in Moldova (which borders Ukraine) have suggested a few things we can be praying for at this time:

  • Pray for Christians in Moldova as they provide shelter for Ukrainian refugees. Over 300,000 have entered Moldova so far. Pastors are working 20 hours a day to coordinate the relief efforts and there is a risk of burnout. Pray that the Lord will sustain and strengthen Christians. Pray that they will know that his grace is sufficient for them every day. Pray that the Lord will keep them going spiritually and that they will be dependent on him. Pray that they will not only be seeking to meet people’s material needs but caring about their eternal needs as well by holding out the hope that is found in Jesus.
  • Pray for the Ukrainian refugees – that they will be able to find physical safety and peace. As they come to terms with having left everything behind, including loved ones, pray that the Lord might comfort them. Pray that they will hear and remember something of Christ as they pass through churches and Christian homes. Pray that they will experience the peace that is found in Christ.
  • Pray for the Moldovan government as they deal with the crisis. Moldova is the poorest country in Europe and does not have the infrastructure to cope with the numbers of refugees passing through and staying in the country. More are expected as cities come under further attack. Pray for wisdom in knowing how to handle the situation.

If you would like to give in support of Christians on the ground in Moldova or Ukraine, Stewardship have put together a list of agencies that are taking donations.

This blog post has been adapted from a prayer letter sent by a friend serving the LORD in India, together with prayer information from Graeme Innes.

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