With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints (Ephesians 6:18, ESV).
Yesterday, I talked to a long-time friend from Russia. He was able to move to the United States in February of this year.
He is thankful to be in America and rejoices in God’s impeccable timing.
We discussed the economy in Russia.
I said, “In 1992 when I first visited St. Petersburg, Russia, I arrived at Palace Square outside the Hermitage Museum and saw a farm truck selling eggs to a long line of Russians.” Then I said, “I imagine the economy in Russia is that bad again.”
To which he replied, “Things are worse now because in 1992 we had freedom.”
Another friend sent me the following four requests from a prominent bishop of a Protestant church union in Russia. My friend and his bishop are asking for prayer in four areas:
- The church is polarized. The Bishop said, “I feel great grief and disappointment in the thinking of some evangelical Christians who support the monstrous ‘special operation’ and find an explanation for the violence against the Ukrainian people. Though a minority of Russian Christians feel this way, the war is causing tension and conflicts among Christians.”
- Freedom of speech is shrinking. Our ability to associate by giving and receiving support from the international community of believers is being dismantled. Christians who disagree with the “official position” of our political leaders must be prepared for persecution.
- Many elite leaders are leaving the country, even in the church. The loss of the most thoughtful, mobile, and internationally connected ministers will drain Russia and Russian Christianity of blood.
- The Russian people already feel the economic consequences. There is a saying in Russia, “We were poor, and then we got robbed.” A decrease in well-being will be followed by an increase in crime.
I have many friends in Russia. My ability to communicate with them is increasingly restricted. Some forms of e-communication are closed and in the open channels, only cryptic sentences can be written.
It’s assumed every word is read by others.
Confiscated church buildings, persecution, prison, suspicion, and scattered church members are within the thoughts of pastors in Russia. But hope underlies their fears. Russian Christians have learned endurance in ways that we haven’t.
They pray. And reading between the lines of cautious emails, I hear this hope. They ask God for their trials to launch prayers for a worldwide revival.
I agree with them. Come quickly, Lord Jesus, but first send revival that brings millions to Your loving grace.
Personally, I have been praying for a pastor from a church in Siberia who also built an orphanage in Ukraine. I wrote about him previously in Interruption #579. He is still driving back and forth to the Odessa area to get orphans and others in need out of the country (https://www.grantedwardsauthor.com/2022/03/01/ukraine/).
If you would like to support his efforts, please send me a note and I will send you a link for financial giving.