We have all been thinking about Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, the two boys who went missing off the Florida coast last Friday. While some of us know the Stephanos and Cohen families personally, most of us just know about the boys from the media. There has been a lot of anger directed at the boys’ parents for allowing them to venture out to sea without an adult. Now is not the time to point fingers. As the search for the boys continues and their parents do everything in their power to find them, now is the time to offer our support and pray for their safety.
A Prayer For Austin and Perry
Hear our voice, God, have mercy on us. Accept our prayer with compassion and kindness. Help us to come back to You. Renew our lives as when we were young. Cast us not away from Your Presence. Take not Your holy spirit from us. Cast us not away in times of weakness. When our strength is gone do not abandon us. Do not be far from us. For You are our help and our comfort. Hear our words, God, and consider our innermost thoughts. May the words of our mouth and the meditations of our heart be acceptable to You, O God, Our Rock and our Redeemer.
Dear God, please hear our prayer as we pray for the safety and return of Austin and Perry. We join together this Shabbat – in between worlds of hope and despair – to pray for their wellbeing. At this difficult time, we reach out to You and to one another to weave a sukkat shalom, a shelter of peace and a tapestry of love. May we find comfort in each other’s presence as we pray for the boys and their families. May the bonds of love and concern that we share reach out to them. Holy One of Blessing, we pray that you protect the boys under the sheltering wings of Your Presence. (Based on the words of Rabbi Jennifer Feldman)