Since the start of the conflict in Ukraine, Christian peace organizations worldwide have been coming together every week to pray for peace.
This collective effort, which began in February 2022, has seen participation from individuals across Europe, Latin America, the USA, and Palestine, with over 3000 minutes of prayer shared via Zoom.
On Friday, January 26, they marked their 100th gathering.
Organized by the Fellowship of Reconciliation, Cymdeithas Y Cymod, the Methodist Peace Fellowship, and the pan-European Church and Peace network, the weekly prayer sessions are open to everyone. Various topics related to peace are discussed during these gatherings, including Orthodox perspectives on peace, the environmental impact of conflict, stories from Palestine, and the role of reconciliation in rebuilding broken states. Participants also offer prayers and letters of solidarity for conscientious objectors.
John Cooper, director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, spoke about the initiative, emphasizing its importance in maintaining a Christian understanding of peace, justice, and non-violence. He explained that the idea to pray together emerged as a response to the shock of the conflict’s outbreak. Initially gathering over 100 people, there was a shared urgency that this shouldn’t be a one-time event but rather a continuous effort.
Cooper highlighted the significance of regular gatherings for prayer, which take place every Friday at 7:30 pm via Zoom. He stressed the importance of connecting with others for support while also emphasizing the need to connect with God, especially in matters of war and peace. According to him, the weekly prayer sessions have become a powerful force driving their work, serving as a constant reminder of the ongoing need for peace even after the news cycle moves on.
Reflecting on the global participation in these gatherings, Cooper noted a growing passion for prayer as a tool for spiritual growth, personal lament, and intercontinental fellowship. He described the sessions as a “powerful heartbeat” for their collective efforts, keeping their attention focused on areas of conflict long after they fade from the headlines.
The initiative has received widespread support and recognition for its simplicity and effectiveness in promoting peace through prayer. Participants continue to gather virtually each week, united in their commitment to pray for peace in Ukraine and beyond.