Patrick Lenk has a YouTube channel that shows scenes from Ukraine in real-time. In the background a famous Orthodox prayer, “The Jesus Prayer,” is repeatedly spoken.
The prayer on his channel is in Russian, but the English translation is: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner.”
What Paul wrote – “for we do not know how to pray as we ought” (Romans 8.26) – describes how I wrestle in prayer for the war in Ukraine.
I don’t know the “mind of Christ,” as Paul wrote in today’s Bible passage. What I can do is to pray for mercy, or use Rudy Ross’ prayer, “Help.”
Here’s how I use the Jesus Prayer for the war in Ukraine.
(1) I devote morning and evening prayer time for this purpose.
(2) After telling the Holy Spirit that I need his guidance, I prayerfully read a chapter from the Psalms, Prophets, Gospels, and Letters of Paul.
As a retired person, this is a good use of my time.
Often, I sense the impulse of the Holy Spirit on a certain Bible passage. When that happens, I remain in prayer on that passage.
(3) I have a mental map of Ukraine. I move from city to city and pray the Jesus Prayer for each city.
The prayer can be coordinated with our breathing. For example, “Lord Jesus Christ (breath in), Son of God (breath out), have mercy on me (breath in), a sinner (breath out).
(4) After I pray for the cities, I use the prayer to focus on the faces of people I have seen on TV or YouTube.
These people are representative of the population as a whole. Again, I pray the prayer for each face that enters my mind.
I often say that prayer is like art. I don’t expect you to follow my method. The Holy Spirit will show you how to pray.
My wish for you is that you take some time every day to ask God to show mercy to the people of Ukraine. The people of Russia are victims of an evil leader. Let’s not leave them out of our prayers.
Humility and God’s Wisdom
Rudy Ross and I talk about our need for humility in today’s YouTube video. Rudy gives an excellent interpretation of the verses in 1 Corinthians 2.14-16.
— 1 Corinthians 2.14-16 – Those who are unspiritual do not receive the gifts of God’s Spirit, for they are foolishness to them, and they are unable to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
Those who are spiritual discern all things, and they are themselves subject to no one else’s scrutiny.
“For who has known the mind of the Lord
so as to instruct him?”
But we have the mind of Christ.
Paul wrote these words to correct the church in Corinth.
— They were enthralled with spiritual gifts.
— They didn’t think they needed to be accountable to other Christians, because they had the mind of Christ.
They DID have the mind of Christ and gifts of the Spirit, but the way they exercised them was a problem.
Pride, status-seeking, and harm to others in the church are not gifts of the Spirit. People who have the mind of Christ do not engage in such behavior either.
To have the mind of Christ and operate in the gifts of the Spirit, a humble surrender and an intimate relationship with the Lord are essential.
I earlier quoted a portion from a verse in Romans. The full verse pictures the surrender and intimacy that God desires his children to experience.
— Romans 8.26-27 – Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.
And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
Rudy Ross and I continue encouraging prayer for Ukraine in today’s video. Also, Rudy has several excellent insights into this passage. The video can be found on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel.
Please email your prayer request to firstname.lastname@example.org or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.