Over 700 people have been killed in Ukraine as a result of Russia’s invasion, including 52 children, and the number of deaths and injured is rising. The number of miracles reported appears to be rising as well in Ukraine. Could it be the result of an unending thunder of prayers from Christians around the world on behalf of Ukraine? Many may attribute the “miracles” to luck, infrastructure, or accident. But, with God, there are no coincidences.
Russian forces continued their relentless assault on Ukraine, targeting the port city of Mariupol, on Wednesday, March 16. During that assault, a Ukraine theater being used as a shelter by an estimated 1,000 Ukrainians, including children, was hit, and destroyed. The theater comes in the third week of the siege of the city and many expected hundreds of casualties from the theater bombing. It seems, however, there were other forces in play that had other plans.
Because of the continuing attacks on Mariupol following the theater destruction, rescuers and responders could not immediately get to the location to help those who may have been trapped or killed. The following day, however, many were able to reach the location (at risk of their own safety) and reported people were coming out alive. In fact, as of Thursday, there were no reported casualties of the theater.
According to a message posted on the Telegram messaging app Thursday, Ukraine ombudswoman Ludmyla Denisova wrote “the building withstood the impact of a high-powered air bomb and protected the lives of the people hiding in the bomb shelter.”
Denisova was not the only one proclaiming the good news coming out of the theater attack. Ukraine parliament member Sergiy Taruta posted on Facebook, “after a terrible night of ignorance on the morning of the 22nd day of war finally good news from Mariupol! The Bombardment Holds Down. Zavali began to understand, people come out alive!” In response to Taruta’s post, one individual praised God and wrote “Glory to you Lord, Glory to you! Thank the Lord God for the protection of children, women and the elderly! Keep your children safe! Hold on, we pray for you, God will help! Together we are power, together we will win!”
The protection of the people sheltering in the theater comes just one day prior to the start of a worldwide novena requested by Ukrainian Archbishop Mieczyslaw Mokrzychik of Lviv. The Archbishop requested the novena beginning March 17 and leading up to the consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by Pope Francis. Since the beginning of the Russian invasion, Christians around the world have been praying for Ukraine and the Ukrainians, despite heavy losses, have seen the results of a world praying.
Ukrainians have been photographed clinging to the crucifix at the start of war, they have reported seeing angel formations in the sky above Kyiv, and many have reported bombs not exploding upon impact and mechanical problems with Russian tanks.
The Lord promises us in Sacred Scripture there is power in prayer and it appears Ukraine, and the world, is seeing the power of prayer in the midst of war.
“And we have this confidence in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in regard to whatever we ask, we know that what we have asked him for is ours.” (I John 5:14-15)
“Again, I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father. For where two are three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:19-20)
The world has come together in prayer and we know the Lord God is in the midst of all of this. The Lord will not turn a deaf ear to the cries of the world.
Despite the casualties, property destruction and onslaught Ukraine has suffered in the last three weeks and is expected to continue to suffer, there is certainly power in prayer. For a war that was expected to be over in 72 hours, Ukraine has been holding its own and standing tall. Many can credit the resources and weapons, some credit the Ukrainian will and drive to survive, and give credit to other things outside the Lord. However, sometimes you just have to see God’s hand where it is revealed.
It is still unclear if there are casualties from the theater bombing not discovered yet, but for now, we know God has protected the lives of those who sheltered there and that includes women, children, and the elderly.
The world has come together in prayer for Ukraine. I suspect there are more miracles on the way. For now, we pray for the repose of the souls of those killed and protection of those still in danger.