God of all, we come with heavy hearts as the horrors of war continue to fill the news. There is nowhere we can turn that there are not reminders that your people are suffering. We humbly ask that you pour your powerful Holy Spirit upon those who must flee for their lives, those who remain with nowhere else to go and those who stand and fight. Keep them safe, Lord, and guide them to places that will protect and care for them.

We want to help but there are moments when their pain is almost too much to bear. We want to shut our eyes to the horrors, but in this season of Lent, we are very aware that there is no hiding from pain and death. As we journey with Jesus to the cross, we are reminded that evil exists in our world. Jesus experienced the cruelty of a world that did not understand his message of love and compassion. He was betrayed by the very people he came to save. He was not immune to our suffering, yet he chose not to abandon his mission. When he called out to you, Abba, your love for us was so great that the plan was not thwarted. You desire our good.

Help us to trust in your love and grace. Strengthen us with perseverance, so that we do not to lose hope when all appears to be dire. Your love, O God, is unending and our consolation. Let your merciful compassion provide encouragement to those who grieve.

-Pastor Maria