Video-message of His Beatitude Sviatoslav. July 20. 147 th day of the war

Wednesday, 20 July 2022, 17:04
Glory to Jesus Christ! Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ!
Today is Wednesday 20 July 2022 and the Ukrainian people have been standing and enduring the full-scale Russian invasion for 147 days in this war with which the enemy came to our land.

Again, during the last day, the Ukrainian land shuddered in its various parts. Especially, today we pray for our Zaporizhzhia and Dnipropetrovsk regions. In Zaporizhzhia, in the city of Hulyaipole, the enemy brutally shelled the city centre, many people died. Similarly, in the Dnipropetrovsk region, the city of Nikopol once again became the epicentre of a powerful rocket attack. Unfortunately, there are also dead and wounded.

The most intense battles are taking place in the Luhansk region and Donetsk region. We pray for the city of Kramatorsk, a martyr city. Because again, the city was destroyed by powerful Russian weapons, there are many dead and wounded. Our Kharkiv region is burning. The border area in Sumy and Chernihiv regions is burning.

But Ukraine is standing. Ukraine is fighting. Ukraine is praying.

And we thank the Lord God and the Armed Forces of Ukraine for the fact that we survived until this morning. We see the dawn and daylight, and we can stand in prayer before God's face.

Today we continue our journey along the roads of Christian wisdom, this knowledge of how to overcome, to defeat evil. And we know that prayer is a special power, a special weapon of a Christian against the devil. Yesterday we talked about the following two types of Christian prayer: common liturgical prayer and personal prayer. We said that the most powerful prayer that the Lord God gave to people is the Divine Liturgy, His bloodless sacrifice. Because then Christ Himself prays in us, with us, and for us, as the head of His Church.

Today I would like to reflect with you upon the main principles and rules of personal prayer. It is so important to cultivate the spirit of prayer in your spiritual life. The Fathers of the Church called prayer the breath of the soul. If a person is not breathing, well, this is a sign that he is dying, or has already died. Likewise, a Christian who does not pray, well, apparently, his spiritual life freezes, and then he is simply not capable of even the weakest, simplest type of spiritual struggle or the invisible warfare with evil.

Therefore, prayer, personal prayer, is, as it were, a continuation of liturgical prayer. It is a special kind of presence of the Holy Spirit in the person of a Christian. Saint Ignatius the God-bearer, bishop-martyr of the early Church, spoke about the fact that the Holy Spirit murmurs in his heart and calls him back home. He whispers and teaches, calls him to communicate and pray with our merciful, saving God.

Jesus Christ Himself gave an example of such personal prayer when He retired to pray, when He prayed to the Father in secret, when He spent day and night in communication with His Heavenly Father in various circumstances of His earthly life. And therefore, seeing how the Saviour Himself prays to the Father, the disciples asked Him: "Lord, teach us to pray." In order to be able to learn to pray deeply in a real way, a certain amount of time, a certain effort for attention and skill is necessary.
In order to start any prayer, first of all, you need to prepare for it. Traditionally, we call the time before personal prayer as the moment when it is necessary to place oneself in God's presence. At that moment, it is necessary to put aside all our earthly cares, our thoughts about this world, about the temporal, about other people or things. And it is necessary to present our whole being, to direct our attention to our God. Such a moment of silence before personal prayer is very important for realizing who I am standing in front of, who I am addressing, with whom I am starting communication.

I invite all of you to possibly continue the next day to practice such a moment of silence of the preparation and concentration of our spiritual attention before you begin to say any prayer. Let us be able to place ourselves in God's presence, regardless of the circumstance, place, and time. Let us feel that we are called to live and act in the presence of the living God.

Today I want to ask everyone to personal prayer for those who are suffering today from the pains of this war in Ukraine. Today, many girls and boys are in enemy captivity. In the occupied territories, many sons and daughters of Ukraine are unjustly imprisoned, tortured, and abused. No one from among the people wants to hear their cry. But the Lord God sees their torment. Let us keep them in prayer, especially on this day, those who are in the filtration and concentration camps of the Russian occupiers, all those who are taken to interrogations, who are tortured, executed, shot, abused physically, spiritually, and psychologically.

O God, You Who suffered in a human body, You Who suffer in the body of all those who suffer today from the war in Ukraine, save Your people and Your children. O God, bless Ukraine!

May the blessing of the Lord be upon you through His grace and love of mankind, always, now and ever, and for ages of ages. Amen. 

Glory to Jesus Christ!

We can imagine what the prayer of the prisoners in the Russian torture centers in the Ukrainian Kharkiv region was like – Head of the UGCC on the 206th day of the war 17 September

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