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A Prayer for the Displaced
i) Accompanied by music by Rachmaninov
ii) The Rachmaninov music on its own.

Every refugee has a story to tell and is in need of prayer.

Sky reported on those who arrived from Ukraine in Murmansk in the far north of Russia, where they feel lonely and vulnerable, but have been generously welcomed. Ukrainian Refugees flee to Russian Arctic.

Their position could, however, become far more tense if and when they start competing for jobs with the locals by being prepared to work longer hours for less. This is what has happened in Lebanon, which initially gave a warm welcome to over a million Syrians, but are now finding themselves losing their jobs to the incomers, and becoming increasingly bitter as a result. Every refugee has a story to tell and is in need of prayer. It is easier to trace what happens to the 5,000 who have just arrived in Kiev.

Bearing in mind that the Russian army numbers something like 700,000, many times the size of the Ukrainian army, and has immediate access to virtually unlimited armaments, sending arms would be a risky business, not least because Putin has been at pains all along to portray this as the West directly threatening Russia itself. Or is the alternative more dangerous in that it gives President Putin licence to do as he pleases with national boundaries?

What effect would trying to fight a proxy war have on both Ukraine and the West if the go ahead is given to arm pro-government forces? Neither John Kerry nor President Obama instinctively warm to the idea of doing so, but they are under intense pressure from the Republican led Congress to be seen to be taking a stronger line; this stronger line could at best lead to a “neutralising” of the danger of Russian expansionism, but is surely more likely to provide President Putin with the excuse to escalate the a conflict which he has always firmly blamed upon the West’s expansionism#.

EU Official sees no rift with US over arming Ukraine

Ukraine crisis prompts new Domino Theory

See also: Putin – a Brilliant strategist, a Cunning Tactician or mad?

During our time with the musicians at House of the Open Door, Broadway, we recorded this powerful piece by Rachmaninov that Jane Mortimore kindly transcribed for us as a string ensemble. So far as we know Rachmaninov was not a Christian himself but was deeply influenced by his love for Russia, and the chants of the Orthodox church that feature prominently in his music. We hope you will be able to flow with this prayer for people displaced in Ukraine that I have recorded, but you may well want to use the music on its own to pray as the Spirit leads you. The piece is called ‘Bogoroditse Devo and it is taken from Rachmaninov’s beautiful Vespers.

We have posted the music separately so that you can pray as led for all the people caught up in this conflict.