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Franklin Graham and Other Leaders Rally Day of Prayer for Ukraine, Pope Declares Ash Wednesday a Day to Intercede

An unidentified woman prays outside a monastery in Kyiv. (Screenshot credit: SKY-TV)

Around the world, Sunday, millions of people prayed for the people of Ukraine as they face a violent military invasion from Russia. 

Evangelist Franklin Graham and others around the world called for a special day of prayer on Feb. 27, asking Almighty God to work in the hearts of leaders and bring an end to this deadly conflict. 

He said in a Facebook post, "Let's lift up in prayer those who are enduring these dark days filled with uncertainty, fear, hardship, loss, and suffering. May they know the comfort, presence, peace, and protection of God who is a 'refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." (Psalm 46:1). 

In the U.S., Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and his wife Fran attended the St. Andrew Ukrainian Catholic Church in Parma, offering words of encouragement and declaring his solidarity with the Ukrainian nation, according to WJW-TV

"This is a day of prayer for their democracy," he said to the congregation during worship services. "Every Ohioan, every American, must care deeply about what's going on in Ukraine today."

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Earlier on Saturday, DeWine signed a proclamation announcing the day of prayer as a time "to show support for innocent civilians under attack by Russia," his office said in a statement.

The Ukrainian flag was also flown at the Ohio Statehouse and at the governor's residence Sunday, DeWine tweeted. 

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, also invited the world to join him in prayer for peace on Sunday. 

"Placing our trust in Jesus Christ, the author of peace, we pray for an urgent ceasefire and a withdrawal of Russian forces. We invite Christians to make this SUNDAY a day for prayer for Ukraine, Russia, and for peace." 

Pastor Robert Morris, the senior pastor of the Gateway Church in Dallas, Texas also joined in to pray for Ukraine. 

"I am joining @Franklin_Graham & others in a special day of prayer for the people of Ukraine. Today, I hope tens of thousands of churches & millions of families around the world will pray, asking God to work in the hearts of leaders & bring an end to this deadly conflict."

Ukrainians in New York City gathered at the Ukrainian Catholic Church of St. Volodymyr to pray for their country Sunday and to speak out against Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion.

"What is happening right now is, all the atrocities and the crimes that are being committed like, you know, just simply, this assault is a crime because it is a crime against humanity," said Victor Kurylyk, a member of the church's choir.

People around the world have joined Ukrainians in praying for their nation, and hoping peace comes quickly.

But perhaps the most poignant image of prayer was a video tweeted by CBN News Senior International Correspondent George Thomas who's reporting from Ukraine. 

"PRAYER WORKS: As Russian troops were entering the city, this woman was seen praying and lifting her hands to heaven outside a monastery in Kyiv. Friends, please join her and people around the world who are praying for peace here in Ukraine. #kyiv #StandWithUkriane #UkraineWar

"Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has asked all to pray 'for those who defend Ukraine' and to 'work to avert war and protect a just peace," the Westminster Diocese tweeted. 

Also, Pope Francis has declared Ash Wednesday, March 2 as a day of prayer and fasting for Ukraine. 

What is prayer? Does God hear me if I pray? Your important questions about prayer are addressed here.

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