Last week Russia tightened its grip on Crimea, a peninsula in the south of Ukraine that is, for the most part, ethnically and culturally Russian. After months of protests in Ukraine resulted in the installation of a more European-leaning government, Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops into Crimea under the pretense of protecting Russian citizens living there. Pro-Russian authorities in Crimea support secession, and many residents want to become part of Russia, but US and European leaders have said that Ukraine’s sovereignty must be respected. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk traveled to the US this week for talks, and Secretary of State John Kerry will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday to work toward a diplomatic solution.
“Prayer for Ukraine, Russia, and the world community” explains how each of us can pray in support of productive negotiations between Russia, Ukraine, Europe, and the US. Infinite Mind, God, guides each of His children — including diplomats and heads of state — and in our prayers we can recognize that all parties are responsive to this divine intelligence. Recognizing God’s control helps us to dissolve collective mental burdens like pride, confusion, and misinformation that would stand in the way of a peaceful resolution.
“The quest for stability in Ukraine” explains how each of us can pray for peace in Ukraine and Crimea, by recognizing that God’s power is available to everyone, everywhere, and guides both officials and citizens to make decisions that promote peace and stability. Prayer doesn’t introduce any new element to a situation; it simply reveals the power of God’s goodness that has been there all along. Our prayers can play a role in revealing this goodness in Ukraine, where God’s plan for His children surely includes cooperation rather than conflict.
“People power everywhere” discusses, in more general terms, how our prayers for peace can have a worldwide impact. Spiritual government is based on the unassailable spiritual worth and dignity of each individual as a unique expression of God, and we can expect to see day-to-day government conform to this standard. Our prayers can also support selfless leadership that is based on spiritual qualities such as integrity, honesty, and spiritual receptivity. As we pray to understand these qualities as coming from God, we can expect to see them displayed by leaders in Ukraine, Russia, and other countries.