Recently, I have been deeply burdened by a situation involving an at-risk child in Ukraine. I am not at liberty to share specific details, but since hearing, I have wrestled with feelings of helplessness and frustration. “There is nothing to do but pray!” I complained to the Lord one night. Even as I gave voice to this thought, I suddenly felt foolish…even rebuked by Him. I was now being confronted with my own apathy toward prayer.
Theologically, I’ve always known prayer is important. That’s Christianity 101. Yet as my prayer life has suddenly become the main topic of conversation between the Lord and I, it became obvious that somewhere between heart and brain there has been a disconnect. Of course I pray, but not with the fervor, diligence, and commitment that we see patterned in the life of so many heroes of the faith or ultimately Jesus Himself. It’s a humbling admission – especially for a missionary – and I can’t help but wonder if this is how the disciples felt when Jesus found them sleeping in the Garden of Gethsemane. Yet I hear His call to “Rise and pray….” (Luke 22:46), and I am ultimately writing this post to ask you to join me in rising up in prayer on behalf of the at-risk children in Ukraine.
In his book, “Let Us Pray,” Watchman Nee said, “Prayer is the rail for God’s work. Indeed prayer is to God’s will as rails are to a train. The locomotive is full of power, it is capable of running a thousand miles a day. But if there are no rails, it cannot move forward a single inch…it may be able to travel over great distances, yet it cannot go to any place where no rails have been laid. And such is the relation between prayer and God’s work.”
I am convinced God is already working in Ukraine. I see evidence of this through the people contending for change and building a work to serve and reach “the least of these.” Yet it doesn’t change the fact that the need remains tremendous. Children are still being abandoned in hospitals with no families or homes to receive them. Abuse runs rampant. Children are dying from preventable and treatable causes like hunger and sickness. Isaiah 59:1 says, “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy that it cannot hear.” Jesus is well able to rescue, redeem, and restore every precious life. Yet we must go to battle in prayer so that His will can be accomplished.
Of course, tangible action must be taken. After all, faith without works is dead (James 2:17). Yet as Oswald Chambers said, “Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work.” Again, I humbly ask you to join me in praying – in laying down the rails – for God’s work and will to be done “on earth as it is in heaven” here in Ukraine. To cry out on behalf of the little ones whose cries have reached God’s ears. Through prayer we have the extraordinary privilege of partnering with God to see lands filled with darkness, suddenly flooded with light; to stretch our arms across thousands of miles, to help the one in need. May together we answer His call to rise and pray.