Updated: Mar 23
Good morning. It is Tuesday, March 22, 2022. Jeanette Stark here.
I do not usually write about world events or politics. I stay close to home and my own life experiences. But today is different. A headline caught my eye this morning:
“The Russian Military’s Heavy Losses from Ukraine in Charts” – msn.com
I kept reading.
There are more than 150,000 Russian troops involved in the war with Ukraine, and an estimated 7,000 have died within three weeks of fighting.
Experts contribute the high casualty rate to a poorly trained Russian army.
The immense casualties are unsustainable for the Russian army.
I then remembered some miracle stories I read about 2 weeks ago.
From Pastor Igor in Lviv, Feb. 27, “Please tell your people, because of their prayers, God really fights our battles. The rockets disappear in the air without reaching our homes and no one knows where did they go. Enemy tanks run out of fuel, Russian troops get lost and ask our locals for food and for directions –that is definitely God because we are dealing with the second strongest army in the world. And this morning Kyiv and other major cities are still free and we in Lviv did not have to run to the basements.”
Believers have been praying for the Russian army to have fear as in accounts of battles in the Old Testament. When some Russians surrendered, they shared that at a certain moment they experienced supernatural fear that could not be explained. And at the same time God is giving courage to some unarmed Ukrainians who literally try to stop tanks with their bare hands, attempting to block roads just by standing on the highway–and there are cases when tanks were stopped. One missile landed two yards from a church building and did not explode.
A host for One For Israel said, “…We have had some similar experiences with rockets coming from Gaza.” He described one man who normally ignored the frequent incoming missile sirens but “for some reason” when he heard one siren, he felt restless and walked into the next room–just as the desk where he had been sitting and his computer took a direct hit! “We serve a miraculous God who does great things!”
In a similar account from the president of the Kyiv Theological Seminary: On the first day of the attack from Russia, a missile exploded in an apartment building, landing in the bedroom of a 10-year-old boy named Dima. But at the time it landed, Dima was in a bomb shelter with his mother. (source: ifapray.org)
“A baby was born in the basement of a Ukrainian city hospital as Russian forces fired outside. His mother went into labor…on Friday night, according to the hospital’s Facebook. Staff rushed to create an underground makeshift ward where she could give birth safely. The maternity ward’s page read: “Three danger warnings a day. In the morning, shelling of a residential area next to the hospital. Now, somewhere very close to the heavy fire … in the waiting room – the wounded … “Meanwhile, in the basement of the maternity hospital, in conditions far from those that a new life deserves – a loud cry of a newborn … Boy!” (Sky News)
From 1.CBN.com, “…one man shared a story of his son who's serving in the Ukrainian army. He said the man told him on one dark night, the soldiers were holding their positions and discovered there were a lot of Russian Federation tanks and other mobile units coming directly at them. It appeared the soldiers would have trouble defending themselves.
The son picked up his phone and called his father. "He said, 'Dad, you have to pray right now. We're in a situation." So the father called other members of their church and asked them to start praying. Later, the son called his father back. "He said, 'There's some miracle that happened. It looked like an attack (on the Russians) from a spaceship. There was some kind of lightning shooting from the sky, and sparks were spreading everywhere." In the morning, they (the Ukrainian troops) discovered the Russian tanks and other mobile units had been destroyed. "All of those soldiers thought maybe it was done by some kind of a weapon we didn't know about, it was just God's intervention."
And here is yet another story, "We were praying that they (the Russians) would start resisting each other. That the enemy would resist the enemy." What happened next reminds him of several similar incidents that were recorded in the Bible. Part of the Russian army, they occupied one little town. And they removed flags from the town's government buildings and they attached those flags to their tanks," he said. "And they started to drive. Eventually, in the evening they met the first group of the (Russian) tanks." …Both groups of tanks were confused and thought they were looking at the enemy. "They started shooting into each other." Ukraine and Russia are two countries that border each other in Eastern Europe. On February 24, 2022, Russia sent its army into Ukraine and began trying to take over the country by force. This invasion surprised many people, as it was the first major war in Europe for decades. But Russia and Ukraine have had a difficult relationship for centuries. To understand what’s happening now you have to dig into 1,300 years of history. (Source: theconversation.com)
CBN News asked one citizen how people should pray for his family and the people of Ukraine.
"Please pray that we could hear God in this time," he said. "…That our God, who is the Prince of Peace would grant the peace in our hearts. And in that, this condition of peace, we could see the ways how we can build the kingdom in the times of war. That we could be the light, and the warmth and the love, and the hand of God to other people who are in need. Pray that we would be active members of the body of Christ at this time, that we would not just sit and be afraid and fear for our lives. That we would be productive in building the kingdom." (Source: 1.CBN.com)
In the last couple of years, we have seen just how fast a situation can change. Just how fast our lives can change; how fast new rules and mandates can be put in place. For the people of Ukraine, it was just that fast.
A story from the New York Times really spelled it out:
“The change to a war footing has been swift, for some almost bewilderingly so. What just three days ago had been a bustling, modern European capital, with copious restaurants, bars and cafes, slipped into an eerie war footing faster than seemingly imaginable. Vans and cars with armed men without uniforms careened along the streets. Checkpoints went up seemingly at every stoplight, with men and women in civilian clothes, carrying rifles, stopping cars.” (Source: nytimes.com February 26, 2022)
One day life is normal, the hustle and bustle of city life, within 3 days civilian men and women are carrying rifles and stopping cars at check points.
Friend, if you have not been praying for Ukraine and the situation there, please do! Please add this war to your daily prayers, hourly if impressed to do so.
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” I John 5:14-15 NKJV
The world needs to come together in prayer. These Bible promises, and many others, assure us that God hears the cries of His people.
“Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:19-20 NKJV
Yes, Ukraine is suffering! The people are suffering. Bombings, deaths (over 850 civilian deaths as of March 19. - cnn.com) and injuries, people fleeing for their lives, but there is power in prayer.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1 NKJV
I read that Russia expected the war to be over in 72 hours. That has not happened. Ukraine has been holding its own. You might give credit to weapons and resources or the will of the people, but let’s also give credit, where credit is due, many people can see the hand of God at work there too.
Please lift your heart and your voice to heaven for these people and this situation. Pray for divine protection over Ukraine. Pray that God’s will be done. Pray for courage for the Ukrainian people. Pray for an end to this conflict with no more bloodshed. But most of all pray for the eternal salvation of all those involved. Pray that they would know Jesus before it is too late.
Matthew 24:6-13 gives us very vivid imagery regarding the end times.
“And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” NKJV