How to Pray for Ukraine

Ukraine’s top Church leader, Metropolitan Onufriy, not only called on his people to pray (early on in the war), but gave them a prayer rule. It is short and simple, and he asked them to pray it at least once a day.

Pray Psalm 90 (91) with twelve prostrations or bows. “He who dwells in the help of the most high shall abide in the shelter of heaven’s God.”…

Bishop Daniel of Chicago, who spoke to one of the Ukrainian bishops in those first few days, suggested we all join them in their prayer rule, as well as fasting for them. The war started right on the verge of Great Lent, and with such a disruption of daily life, many Ukrainians likely could not keep to the fast as they normally would have. Now, we are on the verge of another fast, the fast in preparation for the Dormition of the Mother of God on August, 15th. So, this is an opportunity to take up our brother’s burden and carry it for him.

And if you want to pray more specifically for the situation in Ukraine, you could either add some of the psalms below or occasionally use them instead of Psalm 90, above.

Below, you will see the “Peace and War” section of St. Arsenios’s Psalter as a Book of Needs. You will see specific topics and psalms that could be read as prayers for the strife in Ukraine. The first number is the Septuagint number (if you are using the Orthodox Study Bible) and the number in parentheses is the numbering used in most other Bibles in English.

Peace and War (revision-in-process of The Psalter as a Book of Needs)
26 (27) That God protect the people from invaders, that they do no harm to people or fields.
33 (34) When invaders threaten the borders of the land.
42 (43) That the people be freed from imprisonment in an unrighteous land.
73 (74) That God protect, when surrounded by attackers.
78 (79) That God protect from theft and looting.
93 (94) That God illumine those bringing disorder and division to the nation and the people.
107 (108) That God humble our enemies, changing their bad intentions.
111 (112) That God protect soldiers when they go to war.
117 (118) That God humble those surrounding and terrorizing us, reversing their bad intentions.
118 (119) That God bring down the wicked when they slay the innocent.
120 (121) That God protect the most unfortunate, that they not be killed before being delivered.
127 (128) That the bad intentions of the enemy never approach the home, and that God’s peace and blessing remain.
131 (132) That God show pity on the world in time of continual war.
132 (133) That God illumine the nations, and that their cooperation bring peace to all mankind.
135 (136) That God protect refugees when they flee for safety.
140 (141) That God make peaceful the tormenting leader.
141 (142) That God make peaceful the unrighteous one who is working brutality and evil.
143 (144) That God pacify unrest, thus to prevent civil unrest.

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