Pray for Children Orphaned by the War in Ukraine

As the war in Ukraine continues into its second month, we are aware that the casualties of war are not only those killed or maimed, but also family members of the victims. And some of the most vulnerable casualties are those children who have lost their parents in the war. How can we best pray for them?

Each year hundreds of thousands of children around the world die as a result of the indirect effects of conflict—such as malnutrition and disease—or from the lack of medical care, water or sanitation. Many fall prey to human trafficking and abuse. Now we are discovering yet another danger that requires further investigation and attention: the forcible transfer of children and illegal adoptions.

On Easter Sunday, CNN reported that a 12-year-old girl, injured by a landmine while attempting to flee the besieged city of Mariupol, is destined for an Russian orphanage. Her mother died when she was a baby, and her father was shot and killed as Russian forces fought their way into Mariupol. The young orphan was taken to a Russian-controlled hospital in the Donetsk region. Her grandfather fears he will never see her again; he told CNN that the Russians have taken away his granddaughter’s documents and said she would be provided with new ones in Russia.

According to Ukraine’s Human Rights Commissioner, Lyudmila Denysova as well as Ukraine’s UN ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya, more than 121,000 children have been forcibly deported to Russia over recent weeks, mostly from the bombed-out port city of Mariupol. This number includes both orphaned children and those who have one or both parents. Reportedly, the majority of the of the children were taken to eastern Donetsk and then to the Russian city of Taganrog.

“Russia is reported to have drafted a bill to simplify and accelerate the procedure for the adoption of abducted Ukrainian children, both orphans and those who have parents and other relatives,” Mr. Kyslytsya told diplomats in New York. “These actions flagrantly violate international rules on protecting children.”

UNICEF spokesperson Joe English told CBS News that the agency hasn’t been able to independently verify these reports. “They are, of course, incredibly concerning.”

Orphans created by the Russian invasion of Ukraine are in great need of our prayers. Won’t you join us in lifting them up before the Lord?

1. Pray that these orphans would receive the food, water, shelter and medical supplies that they need—and that God would  protect them from malnutrition and disease.

2. Fervently pray that the Lord would shield vulnerable children from human trafficking and abuse—and that He would protect them from evil people whose intent is harm and not help.

3. Ask the Lord to provide these new orphans with caregivers who truly value them and are concerned for their wellbeing. May the comfort these caregivers provide penetrate deep into the hearts of these needy little ones.

4. Ask the Lord to be very close to recently bereaved Ukrainian children as they grieve the loss of one or both parents. May many of them come to know Jesus during these difficult days.

5. Please pray that God would help these children to gain access to excellent trauma care services that can assist them in processing the horrors of war they have experienced—physically, emotionally and spiritually.

6. Pray that the Lord would miraculously reunite children who have been separated from living parents and other family members as a result of the war in Ukraine. Many had to flee to safety without parents, some were separated during evacuations, and some are now being reportedly removed from their home cities by force.

7. Ask the Holy Spirit to graciously intercede for those little ones without family members and provide them with loving forever families. 

Thank you for lifting up these most vulnerable children to our heavenly Father.

Information in this prayer update was taken from articles by Forbes, CNN, National News, CBS News, and the Associated Press.

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