Ukraine Two Years Later: How to Pray 

After two years of devastating war, Ukrainian believers need our prayers more than ever.

In the early morning of February 24, 2022, Ukrainians endured the first attacks of a full-scale invasion.

As missiles struck cities throughout the nation and ground troops devastated towns, nearly 6.5 million Ukrainians, primarily women and children, were forced to flee to other nations. An additional 6 million fled to safer regions of Ukraine—of which 3.7 million remain internally displaced, according to recent UN reports. Meanwhile, countless men faced separation from their families, injury, and death as they were drafted to fight for their nation’s survival. Over 31,000 of these troops have been killed in the line of duty, reported the Ukrainian government.  

Now, two years later, the shock of February 2022 has become daily reality. While some regions of Ukraine have stabilized, allowing schools and businesses to reopen, they still face frequent air raids and lack of resources. A drone attack as recent as March 2, 2024, struck a neighborhood in Odesa and claimed the life of a local pastor’s daughter and her infant son—a heartbreaking loss for the Christian community and ABWE missionaries. 

After two years of trauma and devastation, Ukrainian believers need the prayers of the global church as much as ever. 

“The toll of war is discouraging those around us. Cracks in relationships and faith are starting to show,” writes ABWE Ukraine Team Leader Mike G. “Constant informational bombardment telling of more death and destruction can harden even the most compassionate heart.”  

Mike encourages his Ukrainian congregation to find comfort and direction through the biblical example of David, who, despite great loss and distress, “strengthened himself in the Lord his God” (1 Samuel 30:6). Indeed, many Ukrainians have looked to God for renewal during the last two years, some trusting him for the first time for salvation. Even in the chaos of war, Christ is building his church.  

As we remember the hardships of Ukraine today, along with the hope found in Christ, here are five ways to pray. 

1. Pray for the Church in Ukraine 

The church in Ukraine continues to grow as many hear and respond to the gospel. During the first days of the war, faithful Ukrainian believers identified needs in their communities and began distributing humanitarian aid, offering hot meals, and sharing hope through gospel presentations. Church attendance surged as people turned to Christ, and local churches, in turn, increased their focus on discipleship. Now, several new churches have been planted to accommodate growing numbers of new believers. 

“They began by serving people in the neighborhood. That’s the biggest testimony to people here,” shares ABWE missionary Caleb S.  

At the same time, he highlights the challenges of church ministry when many men, including pastors, remain away from home due to responsibilities in the war. “It’s a difficult time to plant churches because there aren’t a lot of people to do it. There are people who would come to attend them, but there aren’t a lot of ministers that are available to actually do the planting.”   

Pray for endurance and encouragement for the church leaders shouldering heavy burdens. Pray for continued growth of the Ukrainian church, and for believers to be strengthened for the days ahead. 

2. Pray for Healthcare Ministries 

Pray that God will use healthcare ministries to continue building connections with Ukrainians, especially in areas lacking a local church. ABWE missionary Holly F. often travels with the Christian Medical Association, providing free clinics in previously occupied towns and areas that have suffered damage due to their proximity to the fighting. Through medical care, they are to connect with patients on a personal level, listen to their concerns, and offer hope through the gospel. 

“A couple [of] weeks ago, we had the joy of providing care in a village where a new church is being planted,” Holly shares. “It was a joy to see how God is building his church in the midst of hardship and to come alongside those who are faithfully serving in this village.” 

In addition to village outreach, the Christian Medical Association seeks to build connections with Ukrainian doctors by providing training and resources. Pray for increased avenues for ministry with both doctors and patients. 

3. Pray for Pro-Life Women’s Ministries 

The crises of war and displacement have caused additional difficulties for women navigating unplanned pregnancies. The Choose Life women’s center in Odesa continues to offer resources and aid to women and families in crisis, introducing biblical principles and the hope found in Christ. Recognizing the challenges of war, they have expanded their discipleship material to address additional mental and emotional needs, including anxiety and trauma.  

Pray for the staff of the women’s center as they interact with women in crisis. Pray that these women would recognize the value of life, find support in their journey, and seek life for their child rather than pursuing abortion. 

4. Pray for the Governments Involved 

As the war persists, let us remember the Ukrainian government. Pray that they would lead their country wisely and uprightly, and that they would themselves embrace Christ as Lord even during times of trial in their country. 

Let us particularly pray for the future of Ukraine. As Caleb S. shares, “We pray that God would continue the freedoms in Ukraine—the freedom of religion, the freedom of worship. We pray that Ukraine would continue to send out missionaries.”   

At the same time, we consider the Russian leadership and pray that they too would find the light of Christ, act in accordance with biblical truth, and preserve life. 

5. Pray for the Missionaries Serving Ukraine 

Pray for the ABWE missionaries faithfully sharing the good news of the gospel and building up the local church, even as uncertainty and discouragement surround them. Pray that during times of suffering or hardship, the Lord himself would “restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish” them and their families (1 Peter 5:10).  

Pray also that these missionaries and their national partners would have sufficient resources to continue their vital ministry. As Caleb notes, “If anything, the needs are actually growing because of the economic difficulties connected with the war.” 

As we join in prayer for the missionaries, local believers, and general population of Ukraine, may we witness the glory of God as he enacts his sovereign plan.