At the core of our collective is the belief that Jesus has something unique and transformative to offer our hurting world. The heartbreaking situation in Ukraine, added to ongoing violent conflict in places like Northeast Africa, Myanmar, and the Middle East, perpetuates the worldwide cycle of conflict, injustice, racism, and the insatiable quest for power. 

Yet amidst the suffering, we have an opportunity to live out and amplify the Jesus Way, standing with the oppressed and endangered and walking in the way of peace, non-violence, and justice – in contrast to the ways of the world and even the voice offered by parts of the church in this moment. 

We collected a handful of reflections and prayers from our Partners that speak to what it means for us to centre on Jesus and live out his way in the times we’re in. You can read them below.

We’re also grateful and supportive of the work of Jesus-centred organizations like Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) who are actively involved in bringing peace and helping the vulnerable in Ukraine and other conflict zones around the world. You can support MCC’s emergency response in Ukraine and learn more about their global relief efforts here.

Peace indeed,

Team Jesus Collective


A prayer for peace in our:

Spirit. As Russia invades Ukraine, the collective spirit of the world has grown heavy. Lord of Peace, may your spirit unite us, your compassion grow in us, and your love put us into action.

Body. As evil is manifest through physical violence, occupation, and force, Creator God, give strength and protection to the weak and to those who embody peace and work towards justice.

Mind. As our minds are overwhelmed with scenes of horrific conflict and unimaginable fear, Holy Spirit, help us to pray when we don’t have the words and renew our minds daily so we may walk in faith, in trust, and in your peace.

Relationships. As we imagine the horror of fathers and sons saying goodbye to their families whilst staying behind to fight, Suffering Christ, may we become aware that as our fellow brothers and sisters suffer, so do we. Jesus, may we stand united even in our suffering.

Homes. As people’s homes are destroyed and life as they know it is forever changed, Great Provider, may we realize that nothing we have belongs to us, that what we have is also for our neighbor. Help us to always open our doors to the stranger and the foreigner.

Resources. As homes and hospitals are burned, as Evil builds its empire and power and money control, Good Father, be near to the weak and the vulnerable. Use our hands to be your hands of comfort, use our feet to be your feet of peace, and above all may our lives work towards the coming of your kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven.

Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy. Amen.

— Jill Hines, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Our work fully realized in Jesus

This current situation in Ukraine, added to ongoing wars in Afghanistan, Eritrea and Ethiopia, Myanmar, and Yemen, reminds us that we are not only living in rumors of war, but war. Wars that leave many peoples oppressed and endangered. We live in a world where darkness seems to be increasingly normalized. We live in a world where even the Christians have chosen earthly nations, care for me and mine, and power by might over the kingdom of God, love for others, and peace for all.

It is important that we stand with the innocents of Afghanistan, Eritrea and Ethiopia, Myanmar, Ukraine, and Yemen. It is imperative that we advocate on their behalf. It is crucial that we open our hearts, use our resources, and exhaust all we have been blessed with to help ensure them a better future. This is our work fully realized in Jesus, to be just as God is just, to love as God wholly loves, and to walk in shalom – peace with God, one another, our world, and our selves – in this very moment and with every single breath we’re blessed to breathe.

God helps us. May the Holy Spirit bind us together as one, guide our prayers and actions, and lead us in the way of the Everlasting. May Jesus our Christ be our continual witness and example, light and Lord, and giver of hope we bring to all others. And may our God and Father transform us by the power of the Holy Spirit into Christlikeness as we endeavor to be the blessed peacemakers, God’s beloved light bringers, and kingdom builders working for on earth as it is in heaven.

- Hank Johnson, Harrisburg, PAUSA

Jesus Incarnate

About a decade ago, a committed member of our church responded to a sense of calling to return to his home country of Ukraine and plant a church. For the past number of years, Pavlo and his wife, along with their two young girls, have sought to incarnate Jesus in their home community of Lviv.

When the attacks began, rather than fleeing their home, they stayed to house refugees. Throughout the past week, in spite of their own fears, they’ve sought to provide Christ’s comfort to others. Instead of stressing about what will happen to their church (and even their livelihood as leaders of it), they’ve focused on being the church. As others have asked how to pray, they’ve simply longed for Jesus to be revealed and for God to be glorified.

Years ago, they came to incarnate Jesus in their home community. And today – amidst the ravages of war – that’s exactly what they’re doing. To me, that’s the red-circle bull’s-eye of what it means for a follower and leader to be Jesus-centred.

- Jeff Lockyer, St. Catharines, ON, Canada

Can God change the heart of a tyrant?

How are Christians called to respond to the war in Ukraine? At a recent dinner party, my friends and I contemplated the question. The conversation turned to stories of precious lives and homes lost. We remembered the horrific scenes of devastation we’d seen on TV. As we talked from the safety of my comfortable home, I felt powerless to do anything to stop it. 

But then one of the guests reminded us of Saul’s story. How a flash of light and the voice of Jesus pierced the hardness of his heart (Acts 9). How salvation came to a brutal terrorist bent on murdering people. 

If God could change the heart of Saul, could he also change the heart of Putin? The answer of course is yes. This is a God who told us to love and pray for our enemies. The God who reached out to the most feared man of his day with light and truth. If I’m honest, I find it difficult to believe. But this is what faith in Jesus calls me to do. Lord, reveal yourself to Putin. Convict him of his sin. Change the heart of a tyrant. 

- Tania Harris, New South Wales, Australia

Every victim is the beloved of God

Christians everywhere should be horrified at the militaristic and imperialistic actions of Russia against Ukraine. Ukraine’s people’s lives were uprooted and disrupted merely for the purpose of the expansion of political power and fortune. It is vile and destructive behavior. Moreover, Russians were pitted against their cousins and required to kill and dehumanize them. It is antithetical to the nonviolent Gospel of Jesus Christ. And much of the world has been united in its condemnation of this evil behavior. 

Of course, the unity that is being demonstrated against Russia is occurring for two reasons: Russia is an enemy of the West, and also Russia’s victims are white. We wish, and I wish as an Arab man, that the world was as united in opposing the United States’ invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. It is a shame how white supremacy informs the united opposition against Russia. I pray and long for the days when we are united against all violence and all wars because every victim of it is the beloved of God.

- Jonny Rashid, Philadelphia, PAUSA

A Prayer for Russia-Ukraine

Heavenly Father, we know that it is beautiful when your people live together in harmony. We know, as the Psalmist has written, that when your people live together in harmony, you are present and your blessings of shalom are experienced by all.

We grieve that this is not so in the region of Ukraine. We grieve that one nation is fighting another. We grieve that violence and aggression are seen as the answer to conflict. We grieve that there is no harmony, there is no peace, there is no sight for alternatives. We grieve that each nation claims to be your people, Christians, and yet fails to see how you might offer reconciliation and peace for them as nations.

We ask that you would intervene, that you would open eyes and minds and hearts to the possibilities of alternative actions that do not use bombs or bullets or fists. Give opportunity to peacemakers who are already there, that their voice might be heard. Bring relief from the fighting, from the fear, from the pain and suffering.

We believe that Jesus is the centre of our faith and we believe that community is the centre of our lives and we believe that reconciliation is the centre of our work. So at this time we pray, asking that you would provoke us to keep Jesus in the centre. We ask that you would encourage us to keep this community central to our daily rhythms and we ask that you would lead us, together, in how we can seek reconciliation and peace for Russia and Ukraine.

As we pray for those over there, we also ask that you would open our eyes to how we might pursue reconciliation over here. As we grieve the violence there, may we also admit the violence here. We are not innocent because we contribute to systems that promote violence in all its forms. We repent of our propensity to resort to forms of conflict that are advocated by the powers of this world. We repent of our willingness to pursue our own desires for vengeance instead of following the way of Jesus. We have often failed to seek reconciliation in our own lives. We ask for you forgiveness and for your Spirit to flow freely in us and show us the way of the Reconciler.

Even so, we pray for your Spirit to move in the hearts of those engaged in battle in Ukraine. Even so, we pray for you to pierce the hearts of those leaders choosing this destructive path. Even so, we pray for the violence to end and for your peace to prevail.

We believe that Jesus has offered a new way, a better way, an eternal way to peace. We believe that it is possible to work for this in partnership with your Holy Spirit. We commit to follow Jesus as saviour and Lord. We commit to the body of Christ so that together we might pray for peace and pursue it in the land. We commit to reconciliation with one another and with those who are against us. We pray for peace in Ukraine at this time. We pray for the hope of the gospel for those involved in this conflict. We pray for those suffering the loss of peace and the fear of death.

If we can do anything to help end this madness, show us how. We are yours, Amen.

- Paul Kiss, Collingwood, ON, Canada (influenced by the writing of Palmer Becker)

Who is my enemy?

In times of national/​international conflict, we are quickly drawn into a narrative of polarities (meaning someone has to be the enemy here). And yet, even when the enemy” seems clear to us, I am reminded of two biblical invitations. One is to remember that our primary enemy is not actually the humans who carry guns on the other side of the line or the world (whether the law is on their side or not). As Jesus-centered people, we are reminded that our primary battle is not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers (Ephesians 6:12), some of which are animated by greed, violence, and other things that are truly of the evil one. So when someone invites you to pray for the Ukraine,” consider doing so in the authority that Jesus has given you and taking a stand against the plans that the evil one is working on in the nations (see Psalm 2).

The second thing is to remember that as followers of Jesus, our witness to the world is not solely about if we are on the right side of truth – our witness is rooted in the invitation to something more radical: Love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike” (Matthew 5:44 – 45 NLT). In other words, yes, there are still just and unjust actions that are perpetuated during times of war, but enemy love cuts through all of that to something more revolutionary: LOVE. So as you are able, move beyond tweets or posts of solidarity into concrete and specific actions of enemy love.

- Brad Sumner, Vancouver, BC, Canada