There are many ways to properly prepare for battle, but a handful of people were caught performing the most fruitful of all wartime actions — fervent prayer.
During Wednesday’s broadcast of CNN’s “Don Lemon Tonight,” chief international correspondent Clarissa Ward shared the scene of these unidentified people praying on the frigid pavement in Ukraine shortly before the Russian invasion began.
“CNN’s Clarissa Ward reports from Kharkiv, Ukraine, where she witnesses a group of people gather to kneel and pray in the town square in the hours following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement of a military operation in Ukraine,” the network tweeted with the clip of the report Thursday.
CNN’s Clarissa Ward reports from Kharkiv, Ukraine, where she witnesses a group of people gather to kneel and pray in the town square in the hours following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement of a military operation in Ukraine https://t.co/h2PihF08i8 pic.twitter.com/efXZkWoPs6
— CNN (@CNN) February 24, 2022
“I think this, Don, really speaks to the sort of desperation of this moment,” Ward told the host.
“We just see a small group of people have gathered in the main square and they are kneeling and praying,” she added.
“Because right now, there is truly a sense of having no idea of what is coming down the pipeline, what is in store for the people of Ukraine in the coming hours and the coming days,” Ward continued.
“And it’s freezing cold here, so to see these people kneeling on the cold stone in prayer is honestly … it’s very moving,” Ward said.
“And I think it speaks to the state of ordinary Ukrainians here who have done absolutely nothing to deserve this, who have no quarrel with Russia, who have no desire for war or conflict, who are not engaged with the geopolitics underpinning all of this, and yet who will ultimately be the ones to bear the brunt of … this multipronged major attack by one of the world’s most sophisticated militaries on a sovereign, independent nation,” Ward predicted.
“There is a massive buildup of weaponry, armor, troops, personnel, just beyond that border,” Ward said referring to earlier reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin had been posturing for war and amassing troops at its border with Ukraine.
“There’s a very real fear here that there could be even more coming along for these people,” Ward later said.
“I think that’s why you’re seeing those people just behind me getting to their knees and praying as they wait to see what today will bring.”
Russian forces would later mobilize Thursday as citizens in the Ukrainian regions of Kharkiv, Chernihiv and Luhansk hunkered down against the onslaught from soldiers and bombs.
This is likely the beginning of very dark times in Ukraine, and how wretched and brutal conditions get before it’s all over are still unknown.
What is apparent is that the weakness of President Joe Biden and the failure of his administration to corral Putin has brought them to this point, proving that faith in allies and governments is futile.
Their military will surely counter, but inflicting bloodshed on one another only leads to utter misery and despair until one side — usually the one that can afford the most casualties — is declared the victor.
The only way for Ukraine and Russia to get out of this spiral into violence is through God’s help, and the simple witness of these believers kneeling in prayer has shown us how.
Just as Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane that the bitter cup of his Passion would pass him by, so shall we pray for the people of Ukraine, that they may be spared from further violence.
It’s the least we can do for them.