Letter from Gerard O’Brien

Dear friends,

It was such a blessing to gather as God’s people on Wednesday night to bring our many needs to our Heavenly Father at the church prayer meeting. It was wonderful to have a full hall—it was the biggest prayer meeting in the 10 years I’ve been here—as the home-based Discipleship Groups joined the Central Discipleship Groups for prayer (as well as those who are not in a Discipleship Group).

During the prayer meeting we prayed for Vlad and Anna Kostornyy, our link missionaries with Eurasia Partners. Vlad and Anna were much-loved members of our church family when they did their theological training in Sydney a few years back. They now live in Florida USA, where Vlad works over video conference to train pastors in Ukraine, Russia, Belarus and Moldova. Vlad and Anna both grew up in Ukraine and are grieving deeply for their homeland, especially as they still have parents there. Here are the prayer points they gave us for Wednesday to aid you in your prayers:

  • Pray for unity in the body of Christ even across enemy borders.
  • Pray for the spread of the gospel in Ukraine and Russia in the midst of this war.
  • Pray for a quick end to the war.
  • Pray God would give wisdom to pastors and church members on how to respond (whether they are Ukrainian or Russian).
  • Pray that Christians’ hearts will become refreshed through the blood of Jesus and that Christ’s love will be conveyed to the ‘oppressor’ rather than hatred.
  • Pray that humility will soak peoples’ hearts.
  • Pray that we will all be focused on His Kingdom – not on those that are on this earth.
  • Give thanks that Vlad can continue his training of pastors in Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, and Moldova. Pray for wisdom and strength for Vlad as he leads the meetings.
  • Give thanks for Alex, a pastor from Lutsk in Ukraine and his church, who have been selflessly serving refugee women and children the past several days.
  • Give thanks that Anna’s parents are safe in Kyiv, but pray they would be able to get out quickly.
  • Pray for wisdom for Anna’s nephew thinking of joining the Ukrainian army.
  • Give thanks that Vlad’s mum is safe in Kherson, despite it being captured by Russia.

As the world goes through such turmoil, it would also be good to continue praying through Psalm 2. Here is the prayer we prayed on Wednesday:

Heavenly Father, you are the Almighty ruler of heaven and earth. The nations with all their rage and rebellion, all their weapons and wealth, are a mere drop in the ocean to you, counted as nothing. You look down on their insurrection with derision.

We praise you that you have established your king, the risen Lord Jesus, in the heavenly Zion. He is your true Son, the perfect human being, the perfect king. We praise you that his kingdom is secure. The rulers of this world are no contest for you. We praise you that you have fulfilled your promise to give the nations as his inheritance: that all authority in heaven and earth has been given to him. What a comfort it is in the turmoil of this world to know that Jesus is always on his throne. We praise you that you have entrusted judgment into his hands, the one who judges in perfect knowledge and equity. We praise you that this terrible task of judgment—the breaking with an iron rod, the dashing like a potter’s vessel—has been entrusted to the one who has also most clearly demonstrated your love, kindness and mercy. We thank you that perfect refuge is found in him.

Father, we pray that the rulers of this world would go to Jesus and submit themselves to him before it’s too late and his wrath is kindled. We pray for each of us as well, for the smaller realms of rule you have given us, in our families and jobs and studies, that we would submit that rule to Jesus also, knowing that it all rightly belongs to him in the first place. We pray these things in the name of our powerful king Jesus, Amen.

In Christ,
Gerard