I feel compelled to call for intense and concentrated prayer for the situation in Ukraine.
On the surface, it may appear to be only a political struggle between those who desire closer ties with Russia and those who want to integrate more closely with Europe. Having spent many weeks over a seven-year period ministering in Ukraine in both the eastern and western regions, I believe I can say with some certainty that a majority of Ukrainians in both the east and west do not desire a close alignment with Russia.
That being said, the real battle isn’t about political alignments or economics, although those things are indeed important. I believe there are underlying spiritual realities to be considered. I have long prophesied that Ukraine is a spiritual stealth torpedo in the arsenal of the Lord, a weapon of power that the enemy of our soul has not seen coming until now.
Historically, Ukraine has been a kind of innocent player on the world stage, ravaged by armies from Europe rampaging over it on their way to attack Russia and then trampled again by the armies of Russia driving back the armies of Europe. Ukraine itself has had little blood on its hands. Who would expect anything world-changing to come out of Ukraine? A parallel might be what the Jews said about Galilee: “They answered him, ‘You are not also from Galilee, are you? Search, and see that no prophet arises out of Galilee’” (John 7:52, NASB). The Jews used to ask, “Can anything good come out of Galilee?” And yet from Galilee came Jesus and the 12.
Powerful voices will arise out of Ukraine carrying a fresh stream of the Spirit and of power. Out of Ukraine’s relative innocence—and since the dissolution of the Soviet Union—a number of strong Christian leaders have been rising, mostly unknown and in hiddenness—hence my “stealth torpedo” metaphor. These are among the finest men of God I have met or had the privilege to know in my travels over the years. Although the number of charismatic and evangelical Christians in Ukraine remains small relative to the overall population, in terms of spiritual power and maturity their growth has been strong and wonderful to see. This has often been accompanied by signs and wonders that have garnered little attention outside of Ukraine.
It is my opinion that this political turmoil over the determination of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to align Ukraine with Russia and to turn away from economic alliance with the European Union strategically coincides with a time of ripeness for Ukrainian Christians. An underlying intent of the spiritual hosts of wickedness in this conflict is to dampen, squelch or hide the influence of a Ukrainian revival and Ukrainian spiritual leaders upon the rest of the world, as well as to simply create as much human suffering as possible.
In short, please pray for Ukraine. The consequences of what happens there go well beyond what you see in the news. There are kingdom of God issues at stake.
R. Loren Sandford is the founder and senior pastor of New Song Church and Ministries in Denver. He is a songwriter, recording artist and worship leader, as well as the author of several books, including Understanding Prophetic People, The Prophetic Church and his latest, Visions of the Coming Days: What to Look for and How to Prepare, which are available with other resources at the church's website.