Power of Prayer
February 20, 2015
The Ukrainian Catholic Bishops in the United States have issued an appeal to clergy, religious and faithful for meditation and fasting for Ukraine. In their letter, the Bishops asked to join the Bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine with Patriarch Sviatoslav Shevchuk and their faithful in fasting and praying daily for the President and elected officials of Ukraine, for the conversion of the aggressors, for the Ukrainian army, for those who protect citizens, for the souls of the deceased, and for unity and independence of Ukraine.
The Bishops invited the faithful to fast by pausing from their daily activities, to reflect and pray for the people of Ukraine. They were asked to meditate on the horrific sufferings and pray to God for peace and unity and to pray to the Mother of God for her intercession with her Son, Jesus Christ, and for her maternal protection of Ukraine.
Father and Head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav invited people to be persistent in praying to God. "We have to be persistent in our prayer. Almighty God calls us to this. Consistent prayer does not change God to whom we pray. Consistent prayer changes the one who prays," said His Beatitude.
He noted that in the Gospel we hear the parable about the unjust judge who was neither afraid of God nor respected the people. However, through this parable Christ wants us to discover the truth of who is our God and how the Heavenly Father treats all of us. Our Heavenly Father listens and hears our prayers. There is no breadth, no prayer which God will not hear. Almighty God is our guardian.
On February 8, Bishop Antal Maynek of Mukachevo, published an appeal. In it he called the faithful to prayer and fasting for peace in Ukraine, and stressed that only “a growing number of pure and peace-loving hearts can save Ukraine and Europe from the ruin of war.”
He notes that in the story of Abraham God was looking for ten righteous to spare Sodom from punishment. We do not know how many people praying with pure hearts God will be required to save the cities and people in Eastern Ukraine, certainly many more. In his appeal he gives an example of Petrus Pavlitsek, a Franciscan monk, who after II World War convinced the Austrians that, if at least a million of people would gather in prayer in order to be saved from the Soviet occupation, then God would listen to their plea. In a short time people gathered for prayer, ordinary people and politicians, and much to the world’s amazement in 1955, the Soviet troops left Austria.
Today, Ukraine, and even Europe may be saved from the threat of war and destruction, only by a growing number of people praying for peace, for peace in Ukraine.