Like so many others, I have been wondering how to pray about the hideous war Putin has unleashed on Ukraine. Speaking with a neighbour, we realised one of the few things we can do is pray earnestly for a miracle.To focus this prayer, I have been moved to liken my request to the defeat of Sennacherib - against all odds, (found at 2 Kings Chapter 19 v 35) I imagine many are hoping for a defeat of the Russians as dramatic as the story in 2 Kings. Many will be aware that Lord Byron turned that story into a poem, so I have followed his model which can be found below my prayer/poem.
Praying, like many others, for a miracle for Ukraine.
See 2 Kings 19 v 35 by Trevor Thorn after Byron
The Russians came down like a menacing wolf
and their tank columns threatened the brave and the good,
As their vast weaponry looked prepared to destroy
The whole of Ukraine: Putin’s criminal ploy.
Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green
great columns of death in March evenings were seen,
Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn has blown
That host, we pray will be withered and strown.
May Ukraine’s guardian angels war against Russian steel,
So all those vile weapons will shortly be stilled
By Covid, desertions and lack of supplies
And deaths of their comrades through fake news and lies.
Then there will lay tanks, smashed and twisted by fire
With the corpses of soldiers, who had hated this war,
But were forced to attack neighbours longing for peace,
Who were desperately seeking their country’s relief.
And there lay invaders distorted and pale
With the dew on their brow, and their guns no avail
And the tanks will be silent, their crews’ names unknown
In a landscape of terror and assailant’s groans.
And the widows of Russia will be loud in their wail
For their sons and their partners, sent by the vile
Lying leaders in Moscow, causing folly so vast
They’ll be hunted for war-crimes when this sham war has passed.
©Trevor Thorn 1st March 2022
The Destruction of (the army of) Sennacherib: 2 Kings 19 v 35
The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.
Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green,
That host with their banners at sunset were seen:
Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown,
That host on the morrow lay withered and strown.
For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed;
And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!
And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide,
But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride;
And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,
And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.
And there lay the rider distorted and pale,
With the dew on his brow, and the rust on his mail:
And the tents were all silent, the banners alone,
The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown.
And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;
And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord!
If you want to read more about Sennacherib, you will find the story at
2 Kings 18 -19 (Old Testament): 2 Chronicles 32 (Old Testament):
Isaiah 36 and 37 (Old Testament): Tobit 1.15 (Apocrypha):
Ecclesiasticus 48.18 (Apocrypha): 2 Maccabees 8.19 and 15.22 (Apocrypha):
3 Maccabees 6.5 (Apocrypha): 2 Esdras 7.110 (Apocrypha)