One Bright Shining Lamp: Prayer for Eastern Europe
As you read this, Abbey and I, along with our Polish Living Waters Coordinator Jacek, are holding a series of important meetings in Lithuania. For such a time as this! In the shadow of Putin’s aggression, we pray our efforts will contribute to a unified and faithful people whose hope is Jesus and whose love routs fear. It is natural to be triggered by brutality; it is supernatural to pray and tap reserves of ‘oil’ for the Lamp that dispels darkness.
Father Walter Ciszek, a Jesuit missionary to Russia who spent 23 years in Soviet prisons, wrote these timely words (slightly paraphrased): ‘Again and again, I had to force myself not to think of the question that kept returning unbidden to mind: Why has God allowed this evil to happen?…Could it be, like a fond and loving father, He is trying to wean us away from trust in kings or princes or in armies or in the powers of this world? Perhaps He is trying to teach us again that our faith must be in Him alone. He is leading us through every trial to the realization that God alone is faithful in all tribulation, that He alone is constant in His love and must be clung to even when it seems all else has been turned upside down.’
Our prayers for the Ukraine and nations surrounding her—Poland, Belarus, Latvia, Estonia, Slovakia, Moldova: may faithful Christians of all stripes unite in prayer for Jesus to be glorified, lifted high on the eve of Holy Week as to draw all men and women to Himself. Might He reduce the faithful to Himself as they repent of grumbling, blaming, and all hopes attached to other ‘gods.’
May the ‘wise lamp-bearing virgins’ (Matt. 25) of Eastern Europe increase their ‘oil reserves’ through prayer. That link between lamp oil and intercession culled from Mike Bickle has stayed with me for years now. When we drop our arms and drugs and our noisy stupid opinions and instead fall on our knees and pray, God endows our spirits with oil that frees us to shine amid darkness. Oil gives us grace to endure until He comes, with just enough light to behold His purposes, the faithful next to us, and the fearful in need of us.
The darkness of political strife in Eastern European may not soon subside. May the saints in the land arise with renewed unity and focus. ‘The brightest lights of prophecy and holiness shine forth in the darkest night,’ declared Edith Stein. May her words and witness prevail through one burning Lamp, the united saints.