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Albin Hillert/Life on Earth candel

WCC moderator Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, from Germany, led the prayers.

Bedford-Strohm prayed: Gracious God, on this day we bring before you our lament. Our lament in the face of terrible suffering under violence, injustice and war in so many places on this earth. Our lament about the invasion of the Ukraine that happened today a year ago.”

He lamented the many thousands who have been killed in the war since then. About the brutal attacks on civilians, which terrorize the Ukrainian people. About the war crimes against innocent people, which violate all minimal standards of humanness. About the misuse of religious language in justifying the invasion.”

Bedford-Strohm also prayed about the despair of all those who have lost their loved ones on both sides. Our own feelings of powerlessness in trying to find ways to overcome this terrible violence. Send beams of hope into our hearts and into the hearts of all those who have lost every hope.”

He added: God, we ask you to send your spirit into the hearts of those in power. So that those who are responsible for this war may recognize the injustice of their action and repent.”

Finally, he prayed that those fighting against each other may find ways for a just peace. That the logic of military violence may give way to the logic of dialogue and peace. You are the creator of heaven and earth. You sustain us every day. Show us your presence. Give us your comfort. Strengthen our faith and our love and our hope in this difficult time.”

Link to the order of service